Dalmatians are Carriage Dogs - Dog and Horse in harmony

The earliest reference to dogs with clearly marked spotting is that King Cheops (or Khufu), who built the Great Pyramid in Egypt, owned them. There are later references in Greece and Crete to spotted dogs used to run with horses while hunting deer. In fact, the most likely source of the name Dalmatian is a corruption of "Dama Chien" which literally means "Deer Hound" (not the common misconception that they came from the region of Dalmatia - they didn't!).

This affinity with horses, bred over thousands of years, made them ideal carriage dogs and in more recent centuries Dalmatians would accompany horses and carriages on their travels.


They acted as guards, protected the passengers, reassured the horses and killed vermin in the stables each night.


Whilst carriages are no longer used as horse-drawn beer delivery drays, the ceremonial Anheuser Busch (Budweiser) wagon, pulled by the famous giant Clydesdale horses, always has a Dalmatian on it.


Whilst carriages are no longer used as horse-drawn fire tenders, they are still used as mascots in American fire stations today.


Whilst carriages are no longer used to transport people from town to town, they are still driven for leisure and there is a British Carriage Dog Society which exists to help preserve this working heritage of the Dalmatian as a coaching dog.


The Society runs the annual National Carriage Dog Trials. The trials demonstrate and test the Dalmatian's traditional role as a companion to ridden and driven horses and they demand both control and fitness, as dogs are judged on their obedience as well as their capacity for endurance - running along with the carriage over distances up to 25 miles.

In 2012, we joined the Society and attended the National Carriage Dog Trials. Our dallies completed the "Instinct Test" and proved their natural affinity with horses.

The following year, having spent some time training with Vicky Brennan who owns a horse and carriage and runs with her own Dalmatians, Josi entered with Celsie and successfully completed the Bronze Carriage Dog Award.


In the spirit of ensuring our dogs are "Fit for Purpose", we are committed to promoting Dalmatians as Carriage Dogs and we fully intend to do more Carriage Dog work with our spotties.