Firemen’s Dog

Do you know the breed that was once known as the firemen’s dog?

There were few firehouses which did not have one on site, sometimes several.  Back in the day, as firemen hurried to put out fires, this dog could be seen riding along with them.  In fact, the moment the bell sounded, and firemen grabbed their gear, this dog was ready and waiting with a big grin on its face.  If not on the truck, the dog would follow the trucks to their destination on foot.  The breed is very agile and fast, racing after the galloping horses.

The dog knew it had a job to do. As the firemen battled the blaze, the dog became what is now known as a rescue dog.  It helped to save people’s lives.  In fact, I could have called this post Hero Dogs.

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Horse-drawn carriage-on-the-way by Everett,


Unfortunately for the dogs, horsepower replaced horses. Things changed.  What remained, though, was that this breed loves horses.  For those of you who ride, this dog would love to follow along. If you are not riding, but are walking the dog where other riders gallop or trot by, hold on to the leash.  This dog will want to follow that horse.

You all probably know the breed I am discussing.


Authorities differ as to the origin of this breed.  Some claim it is from Dalmatia. Others claim it is a descendant from the Hound of Bengal and originated in the East.

Paintings of similar dogs have been found in Egyptian tombs, running behind chariots. Frescoes from the 15th century also depict them.  In England, Dals ran behind horse-drawn carriages to protect the travelers.

The dogs became firemen’s dogs when they came to the U.S.

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Dice, Rescue Dalmatian (Charlene Grotefeld)
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Dice, Rescue Dalmatian (Charlene Grotefeld)

A Dal is a wonderful dog: full of spirit, bright and always ready for action.  If, however, you do not understand the dog, and what it needs to thrive, it will go off its food and/or become destructive. When this dog becomes anxious, it will chew anything at hand. The dog needs to run and play more than most breeds.

Pen this dog up and it will feel rejected and become very sad.

The country or the suburbs, with a fenced yard, are good environments to raise this pup.  The dog is bright and eager to please, but as a pup tends to become over excited and loses its focus easily.  With a little perseverance, and keeping the training sessions short, a Dalmatian can be all you want it to be.

If you are choosing a Dalmatian puppy, you will have to do your homework.  The Hundred and One Dalmatians book and movies gave breeders a heyday.  Combined with Budweiser Clydesdale horses ads showing Dals, the dog became super popular.  Indiscriminate breeding resulted.  To get a real Dal, check out the breeder.

All Dal pups are born white, without spots.  If you don’t intend to show the dog, where the spots come in are not that important.  What is important is that some pups are born deaf, so you would want to check this out.

If you live by the ocean, your Dal may well want to go for a dip.  It’s important to rinse off the salt water or your dog might get dermatitis.

Dice, seen above, lost his home.

The couple who originally owned him were engaged and busy with plans to marry. They lived in an apartment and bought Dice from a breeder, but things went awry with their relationship and with their dog.

Dice is not an apartment dog and became destructive when left alone.  When the couple split up, neither of them wanted to keep Dice. He became a casualty.

His foster parent sent me the photos and his story. He is a beautiful dog, but he continued his destructive behavior in her home. Even so, she was sorry to see him go when Dalmatian Rescue picked him up.  In a matter of days she had become fond of Dice and thought he just needed some more training and a place to run off his obvious energy.

We hope he now has a forever home.  He certainly deserves one.

We suggested Dalmatians for Sagittarius in AstroPups , available in paperback or Kindle at Amazon books).

Thanks for coming back to my blog.  If I can help you in any way, or you have a comment, please leave one and I will answer it.  You can also email me. You will find my email in  About Us, top right of page. Click on About Us and scroll down.  The banner of dogs remains for the post, About Us and Reviews.

Acknowledgements of authors who contributed to AstroPups, which I use to write my blog, can also be found in About Us. 

See you soon 🙂