Dalmatians are the default dog we think of when it comes to firefighting sidekicks, but they were carriage companions many years before the firetruck. Carriage dogs accompanied horse-drawn carriages to protect the drivers and horses from harm.
Fire carriages came on the scene in the 1700s and Dalmatians proved to be the best carriage dogs. According to the American Kennel Club, Dalmatians were the perfect carriage dog because they had the “strength, vitality, fortitude and size to keep going gaily til the journey’s end,” plus they were great with the horses.
Even though fire carriage dogs are no longer needed, they have persisted as the most frequent mascot for firehouses and are included in many educational materials regarding fire safety. While many firefighters have Dalmatians as pets, it’s become common for them to adopt dogs rescued from fires and sometimes become the firehouse’s own “house dog.”
Learn more about the history of fire dogs here: https://www.rover.com/blog/fire-dog-history/
Written by: Lynn Moynahan