The Dalmatian is a breed of dog known for its black (or brown) spots on a white coat. Dalmatians are born completely white but begin to develop spots about two weeks after birth. In the past they were often used as hunting dogs or watch dogs, as well as sheep dogs, meaning they have the strength and stamina to endure tough physical exertion. They also get along well with horses, and back when horse-drawn carriages were the mainstream form of transport, Dalmatians were used to guide or protect the carriage. In America, there were many heroic rescues performed by Dalmatians leading horse-drawn fire engines. The Dalmatian remains known as an unofficial mascot of the fire brigade to this day.