"Like many other much-loved humans, they believed that they owned their dogs, instead of realizing that their dogs owned them." -- Dodie Smith, The Hundred And One Dalmatians. The original Dodie Smith book is SO much better than the disneyfied version.
Dalmatians were originally bred to trot long distances next to coach cars and horses in England during the Distances up to 20 miles were common for this breed. For this translates into awesome running partner.