General Question

jballou's avatar

Why don't fire stations have Dalmations hanging around anymore?

Asked by jballou (2113points) May 11th, 2008 from iPhone

and why did they used to have them in the first place?

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7 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Dalmatians (an ancient breed) originally bred as war dogs later were used with carriages to protect them from thieves (highwaymen). The dogs were prized for their endurance, their fierceness, and their beauty. They can run more than 20 miles a day, thus keeping up with the coach and horses.

Early fire stations were private or volunteer. When insurance came into being, there was even competition. If competing companies arrived at the same fire, they could end up in brawls or sabotaging each other. The dogs protected the company and the equipment. When fire trucks replaced fire horses, the writing was on the wall for the dogs too.

Many firefighters like this tradition of their craft and some stations still keep the dogs today.

NeroCorvo's avatar

Dalmatians also were good at running along with the horses and keeping away other animals that might spook the horses.

Spargett's avatar

Maybe cause their general dimeanor can be best described as “assholes”.

Besides, I never understood how they ever helped in estinguishing fires or responding to paramedic calls. They seem good at napping at eating food.

Adina1968's avatar

Dalmations are very difficult dogs. Very Hyper, Many are deaf, & they are not always the friendliest dogs. Disney really mislead the public with 100 & 1 Dalmations. Dalmations are a lot to manage & Firemen are way to busy these days to provide the care that this breed requires.

marinelife's avatar

Whoa, there are some gross generalizations here.

There is a recessive gene issue with Dalmatians, but “Many are deaf” is an exaggeration and flat-out wrong. Breeders do not breed the dogs with the gene and breeding stock is tested.

Dalmatian owners, lovers and breeders all cringe when 101 or 102 Dalmatians is re-released, because we know it means that more dogs will end up in shelters. This, however, is not a Dalmatian-specific phenomenon. It is the same thing as when Frasier was on and everyone jumped on the Jack Russell Terrier bandwagon and a lot ended up in shelters, because Jack Russells, while adorable, are terriers. They bark a lot, they are willful, and they are hard to train. They are not the right dogs for everyone.

The same is true for Dalmatians. They really are not hyper, but like I said, they were bred to run more than 20 miles a day. That is not a dog you can just stick in a backyard! They need exercise. I had to take my pup to an off-leash dog park three times a day until he was more than a year old. I gradually tapered down to twice a day by the time he was two.

They are lovely and loving dogs. Again, as I said, they were bred for war and protection. Like all breeds of that type they require good training.

I’m not clear what the point of the breed-bashing is here. If you are going to do it, though, at least be accurate.

Adina1968's avatar

Marina, I wasn’t trying to bash the breed. Sorry if it came across like that. I was just trying to explain that they are a breed that requires a lot of care.

marinelife's avatar

@Adina As to requiring a lot of care, you are so right. But don’t all animals? And aren’t they SO worth it? Is that your gorgeous cat? I have real cat hunger. After our two elderly females died in 2006, we adopted an ex-racing greyhound. Sadly, he is not small animal safe. It has not been a year yet, and there is some chance he can improve although some percentage of them never do. It makes me sad to think I might never have another kitty. I go for petting my friends’ cats whenever I can now.

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