Bloomington, 30 September 2016 | 06:55 PM America/Chicago October 1 is National Fire Pup Day and also National Black Dog Day! Scroll over the image above to meet some of our black arson dogs. Here are some other fun facts: Dominant gene – black is the most common color of Labrador retriever. Mattie was the world’s first operational arson dog – the black lab began training in May 1986 and became operational in August 1986. Mattie retired in 1997 after 11 years of service with the Connecticut State Police. The first State Farm Arson Dog training class took place in February 1993. In that class, 4 of the 5 dogs trained were black Labs. Since 1993 State Farm has funded the acquisition and training of arson dogs, placing more than 360 teams with police and fire departments across North America. There are currently 91 active teams in the State Farm arson dog program. Of those teams, 49 of the dogs are black Labs.