Why Were Dalmatians Used By Fire Stations?

Why has the Dalmatian breed been so long associated with fire stations?
Why has the Dalmatian breed been so long associated with fire stations?

Characteristics Of The Dalmatians

The Dalmatian can be described as a medium sized dog that is most recognized for its black or liver spotted fur. It was initially used as a carriage dog, and its origin can be traced back to Croatia in Dalmatia to be more specific. When it’s fully grown, it is estimated to measure 19 to 23 inches tall with the male breed being a little bit larger than the female. This breed of dogs has a serious health problem concerning their hearing. It is well known that many Dalmatian dogs are deaf with only about 70% having normal hearing. Initially, the deafness was not recognized by early breeders, and thus the dogs were taught to be unintelligent. The breed is characterized by their strong hunting instincts and is good eradicators of rats. Originally the dogs were used in war and to guard the borders of Dalmatia.

Why The Dalmatians Were Used By Fire Stations?

The Dalmatian dogs are well known to be strong and aggressive dogs, and thus they were used in the firefighting industries to protect the companies’ equipment. These dogs were used in a time when most fire companies were operating privately. There were competitions from different fire organizations and the fire stations were paid by insurances according to which Fire Company put out the fire. Therefore whenever there was a fire outbreak, the fire companies rushed to the fire point and whichever managed to reach at the fire point first, hooked up to a hydrant and accomplished the task. Through this, the fire stations could be paid by the insurance company. The Dalmatian dogs were an added advantage to the company for their strength in firefighting, and thus most fire companies ensured that they had some to have the upper hand while dealing with fire. However the Dalmatian dog was a rare breed, and most of them were deaf, this did not, however, hinder or affect their working rate or the rate at which they took orders from their bosses, and that is why they were most preferred.

During this early period, fire companies used horses to pull the fire engines as there were no tracks. The Dalmatian dogs were used to keep the horses calm in their stables, and it was a common scenario seeing these dogs running out in front of the horses. The dogs’ stamina and their excellent endurance made it more suitable to be used by fire companies as it could run long distances taking a scenario whereby a fire had erupted in a distance place.

In conclusion, the Dalmatians are best recognized for operating for the firefighters. The Dalmatians are very comfortable being around horses, and thus they are probably taught to run in front of the carriages to aid in clearing the path and lead the firefighters and the horses to the source of the fire. They are well thought to make perfect watchdogs, and that is why they have been used by fire stations to protect the fire stations and the respective equipment. It can be concluded that this breed of dog served the American fire service well and it will forever be remembered despite the fact that these days the dog is taken to be a pet.


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