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Spotlight On Fire Dogs

October 15 2021

Man’s Best Friend has held quite a few different jobs throughout history. Fido has been a shepherd, tracker, guardian, and guide, to name just a few. However, fire dogs definitely rank up there with the best and bravest of our canine companions. A vet shines the spotlight on fire dogs below.

The Dalmatian

As you might know, the breed most often found in firehouses is the Dalmatian. This adorable spotted pooch has some interesting traits. Although the breed’s exact lineage has been lost, we do know that Fido was initially a hunting dog from Dalmatia, which is in what is now Croatia. Another fun fact about Dalmatians? They are always born white! Those iconic spots only start appearing when the puppies are about two weeks old. Friendly, loyal, and intelligent, the Dalmatian is also referred to as the English Coach Dog, the Carriage Dog, and the Plum Pudding Dog.


Fido first began working as a fire dog back in the 1700’s. The breed was already very popular as a carriage dog, in large part because they had an unusual, natural affinity to horses. This was very helpful, as Dalmatians turned out to be great at keeping horses calm at fires. They also ran alongside the horse-drawn carriages, clearing the way and guiding the horses to the fire. Sometimes they would even run under the carriage axles! These faithful pups were also excellent guard dogs, and could often be found guarding firehouses and horses. Although we don’t use horses as much these days, Fido is still friends with Silver, and is often found accompanying the Budweiser Clydesdales.

Dalmatians Today

Fido’s role as a fire dog has evolved a lot. His original position, as horse-companion and guardian, is no longer needed. However, fire dogs are now very recognizable and beloved cultural icons. They can still be found in many firehouses, and are beloved mascots that provide moral support, comfort, and companionship to firefighters.

Dalmatians In The Media

We can’t discuss Dalmatians without mentioning the iconic Disney movies. In addition to the original cartoon classic 101 Dalmatians, there is a live-action version, a sequel, 102 Dalmatians, and the newest addition, Cruella. One celebrity Dalmatian, Louie Dog, was the official doggy mascot of the rock band Sublime. Louie Dog appeared in several of their videos, and was often ‘spotted’ onstage with them during concerts.

Do you have questions about Dalmatian care? Contact us, your local animal clinic in Rialto, CA! today!

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