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Dalmatians: A History

Everyone has probably seen the movie 101 Dalmatians. These dogs are portrayed as very loving and active, just as they are in real life.

Known for their white base and black or brown spots and markings, Dalmatians are beautiful, medium sided dogs that can practically live anywhere. They originated from Croatia and were used as carriage dogs in the 18th to 19th  century. These dogs are also known as spotted coach dogs and firehouse dogs, with deep connections to firefighters.
As puppies, these dogs are born with a white coat, developing their distinctive black spots and patterns a few weeks after birth. No two Dalmatians share the same dots and spots, with each dog’s coat pattern unique from one another. These muscular dogs are strong and make great home and family dogs. They usually have good temperaments and they get along with younger children very well. Dalmatians are very smart dogs and can easily be trained to perform a wide range of tasks.

Many people wonder why Dalmatians are also called firehouse dogs. This is because Dalmatians were originally coach dogs, which means that they commonly go around with the coach driver and the horse. Coach drivers would usually stay with their horses after a day of driving to watch over them, but if they had a Dalmatian, the dog would guard the horse and coach while the driver sleeps inside the house. Dalmatians and horses get along very well and work together wonderfully.

The old fire stations had horses to pull the water pumper to get water, and it was common to see a fireman owning a Dalmatian as a companion and a guard for the horse. Modern fire stations do not need horses anymore, but the Dalmatian is still around. Many firefighters also train these dogs for search and rescue purposes. They are known to be fearless and loyal, running bravely into a burning building to save anyone left inside.
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