Dalmatians were used as coach dogs. A coach dog was a large breed of dog having a smooth white coat with black or brown spots, having originated in Dalmatia, a region of Croatia on the Adriatic Sea, being very mountainous and having many islands. These dogs were used to accompany horse-drawn carriages to ward off robbers.
When horse-drawn fire carriages were introduced, the carriage dogs were used because they were accustomed to horses and able to run long distances. The dogs’ white coats were highly visible and alerted people to get out of the way of the oncoming carriage.
Since the advancement of technology the dogs were obsolete but have been adopted by the fire department as their mascot and a few firehouses still have dalmatians on the premise.