Innovation of the Era!
Mid to Late 1800s

Do You Call That Dog Spot?

Although many breeds of dogs were fire house mascots, the Dalmatian is certainly the most well-known. This is because the Dalmatian was bred to be a carriage dog and run with horses. So, when the fire service started to use horses to pull apparatus, the Dalmatian was the natural choice. Dalmatians' speed and endurance and strong working relationship with horses made them invaluable to the firemen. They could skillfully clear the path for the apparatus and keep other canines from interfering with the horses as they rushed to the fire. Once at the fire, a Dalmatian would fiercely protect the fire apparatus and equipment.
Although today fire department vehicles are motorized, many companies still keep the Dalmatian as their mascots out of respect for the past service of the breed and because Dalmatians are excellent fire house companions.
Many breeds of dogs were fire house mascots. This portrait was painted of a beloved fire house dog that happened to be a terrier.