The Dalmatian is named after the region of Dalmatia which if history and memory serves me right is in what is now Serbia/Croatia/ Bosnia area. They were originally used as carriage dogs, they actuallly ran under the carriage. Their job was to keep the Horses in line and protected when the carriage was left unttended. Thus the carry over to the fire service, as often when the old horse drawn pumpers were taken to a fire the horses were then detached so as not to put them in harms way. Over the years we have replaced the horses but not the dog. You should know that the Dalmatian is in the working dog category and if had as a pet should be used as such or atleast exercised quite a bit as they tend to be a little high strung by nature, and breading.
This is from the Columbus, OH FD FAQ
Q: Why is the Dalmatian considered a fire dog?
The Dalmatian has been the fire dog since the fire department used horses. Dalmatians were bred for endurance and stamina. Dalmatians are not fast dogs but are able to run for long periods of time without rest. Dalmatians were trained to escort the horse drawn engine to the fire scene and prevent stray dogs from interfering. The spotted Dalmatians were easy for the horses
to distinguish from the other dogs. Once at the fire scene Dalmatians would continue to protect the horses from other animals.
I have personally trained several dalmatians. In my experience they have different personalities as any dog's do. And can be hard or easy to train according to the individual dog. But they in my experience are easy. sometimes easier than lab's that can be bull headed. I got lucky with my lab's and they were easy, pup was taught mostly by the older dog's. But the dalmatian trained easy too. The only problem was that he was not good with kids and we had to give him up when we had my son.
Nikki, I hope you have gotten the information about dalmations you were looking for. I happen to believe that anyone that wants to step foot into a firehouse should know our history. With that being said a texas fire chief believes the samething that i do... HIs name is Rick Laskey. Read this book that was written by him and learn somethings about the fire service Traditions, Ceremonies, and just why we call a hydrant a "plug" or where the FD symbol came from which is the Maltesse Cross. The book is called "Pride & Ownership". If your in the Fire service now i hope you've come to love it like most do and honor it by knowing its history.