Today, October 1st, is National Fire Pup Day. Our canine buddies have held many different jobs throughout history. Fido has been a shepherd, guardian, tracker, and guide, to name just a few. However, fire dogs definitely rank up there with the best and bravest pups of all. A local veterinarian shines the spotlight on fire dogs in this article.
As you probably know, the Dalmatian is the breed most commonly found in firehouses. This iconic spotted pooch has some very interesting traits. Although the breed’s exact lineage is unknown, we do know that they were initially hunting dogs from Dalmatia, which is in what is now Croatia. Another fun fact about Dalmatians? They’re born all white! Those iconic spots start appearing when the puppies are about ten days old. Friendly, loyal, active, and intelligent, the Dalmatian is also referred to as the Carriage Dog, English Coach Dog, and the Plum Pudding Dog.
Fido first began working as a fire dog back in the 1700’s. The breed was already in common use as carriage dogs, in part because they had a natural affinity to horses, and formed very strong bonds with them. Because of this, Dalmatians were great for keeping horses calm at fires. Dalmatians would run also before or alongside horse-drawn water carriages, clearing a path and leading the horses to the fire. Sometimes they even ran right under the carriage axles! These faithful pups were also excellent guard dogs, and were also very helpful in protecting firehouses and horses.
Fido’s current role as a fire dog has evolved quite a bit since he was first hired. Of course, his original position, as horse-companion and guardian, is no longer necessary. However, Dalmatians do still serve as mascots for firefighters. They have also become very recognizable and beloved cultural icons. These very good boys also provide moral support, comfort, and companionship for firefighters.
Dalmatians In Media
We really can’t discuss Dalmatians without mentioning the beloved Disney movies. In addition to the original cartoon classic 101 Dalmatians, there is also a live-action version, a sequel, 102 Dalmatians, and the most recent addition, Cruella. One Dalmatian, Louie Dog, was also the mascot of the rock band Sublime. Louie Dog appeared in several videos, and was often ‘spotted’ hanging out onstage with them during concerts. Last but not least, Dalmatians are also often found accompanying the Budweiser Clydesdales.
Do you have questions about Dalmatian care? Contact us anytime!