The Dalmatian (Croatian: Dalmatinac, Dalmatiner) is a breed of dog whose roots are often said to trace back to Dalmatia, a region of Croatia where the first illustrations of the dog have been found. The Dalmatian is noted for its unique black- or brown-spotted coat and was mainly used as a carriage dog in its early days. Today, this dog remains a well-loved family pet, and many dog enthusiasts enter their pets into the competitions of many kennel clubs. The Dalmatian is a mid-sized, well-defined, muscular dog with excellent endurance and stamina. When full grown, its weight normally ranges between 35 and 70 pounds (16 and 32 kg) and it stands from 19 to 24 inches (48 to 61 cm) tall, with males usually slightly larger than females. The Dalmatian is often used as a rescue dog, guardian, athletic partner, and most often an active family member.[4] Dalmatians are a very active, high maintenance breed. Particularly in the United States, the use of Dalmatians as carriage dogs was transferred to horse-drawn fire engines, although it is unclear why this link was not made in other countries. Today, the Dalmatian serves as a firehouse mascot, but in the days of horse-drawn fire carts, they provided a valuable service. They would run alongside the horses, nipping at their heels to get them to run faster.

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