Saint Bernard

The Saint Bernard was developed during the 1600s. The dog first appeared at the hospice of Saint Bernard in Switzerland, hence the breed’s name. The hospice was a refuge center for travelers who crossed the snowy path between Switzerland and Italy. The monks of the hospice utilized the Saint Bernards as watchdogs and companions, and the dogs were also used to pull carts and to track down and rescue lost travelers from the snowdrifts and avalanche sites. The American Kennel Club recognized the Saint Bernard as a member of the working group in 1885.

The Saint Bernard is a large, tall dog that is powerful and strong. Saint Bernards have large, broad heads and large muzzles. They have medium-sized, floppy ears that sit high atop the head. Their coats come in two varieties: Short and smooth, or long-haired and wavy. Grooming Saint Bernards may be time-consuming. They need to be brushed several times a week to reduce shedding and prevent hair from tangling. They also develop tear stains around their eyes. Their ears should be checked regularly. Personality: The Saint Bernard is a sweet and easygoing dog breed. They are gentle giants and are very affectionate towards their families. Saint Bernards love children and are very patient, but they are not necessarily playful. They can be clumsy at times and are not very clean - they slobber, grunt and drool. They have moderate exercise needs that can be met with several walks a day. Because of their size they are not well-suited for apartment life. Saint Bernards can also be stubborn and independent and sometimes hard to train. They are protective of their families, but are usually mellow and friendly toward other dogs and strangers. The calm, easygoing Saint Bernard is gentle and patient around children, although it is not particularly playful.

Saint Bernard image
Breed Type
Pure
Origin
Europe
Function
Life Span
8-10 Years
Hypoallergenic
No
Other Names
Alpine mastiff, Bernhardiner, Barnhardshund, St. Bernard, Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard Build Information

Size
Giant
Length (Male)
22-27 in.
Length (Female)
22-24 in.
Weight
> 65 lbs
Litter Size
5 - 10 Puppies
Tail Dock or Crop
No
Preferred Climate
Cold

The giant and powerful Saint Bernard stands at an average height of 25.5 to 27.5 inches at the shoulder and tips the scale at 130 to 180 pounds. A Saint Bernard’s muscular body may be clad in a longhaired or shorthaired coat. The coat color may be brown, red, brindle, mahogany, orange or rust, and a black mask and white markings are always present. The earflaps hang downward, and the tail hangs downward when the dog is relaxed. When the dog is active, the tail is carried horizontally, and the tip of the tail may curl upward. The Saint Bernard is a large, tall dog that is powerful and strong. Saint Bernards have large, broad heads and large muzzles.

They have medium-sized, floppy ears that sit high atop the head.

Their coats come in two varieties: Short and smooth, or long-haired and wavy. Grooming Saint Bernards may be time-consuming. They need to be brushed several times a week to reduce shedding and prevent hair from tangling. They also develop tear stains around their eyes. Their ears should be checked regularly.

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level
Energy Level
Independant
Good to Other Pets
Dominating or Submissive?
Guardian Skills
Barking
Aggressiveness Level

The Saint Bernard is a dog that is well suited to family life. It gets along with children, other dogs and cats. With its territorial nature and wariness toward strangers, the Saint Bernard is a protective watchdog. Saint Bernards are gentle, affectionate and patient. They are calm and require only a daily walk to satisfy their exercise needs. A Saint Bernard can exhibit a stubborn streak, but it is eager to please its owner. Early and consistent socialization is important to prevent a Saint Bernard from becoming too shy and distrustful of strangers. The Saint Bernard is a sweet and easygoing dog breed.

They are gentle giants and are very affectionate towards their families.

Saint Bernards love children and are very patient, but they are not necessarily playful. They can be clumsy at times and are not very clean - they slobber, grunt and drool. They have moderate exercise needs that can be met with several walks a day. Because of their size they are not well-suited for apartment life. Saint Bernards can also be stubborn and independent and sometimes hard to train. They are protective of their families, but are usually mellow and friendly toward other dogs and strangers. The calm, easygoing Saint Bernard is gentle and patient around children, although it is not particularly playful.

Appearance

Colors
Mahogany Red Red-Black Brindle Tan
Shedding
Constant
Grooming
Medium Maintenance
Coat Type
Rough

A Saint Bernard’s coat sheds heavily twice a year. During these times, daily brushing will help to keep the shed accumulation in the home under control. At other times, brushing the coat once or twice a week will remove the dead hairs and help to maintain skin and coat health. The ears should be checked weekly and cleaned if they appear dirty to prevent ear infections. Brush a Saint Bernard’s teeth three times a week to reduce the chances of developing periodontal disease.

Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Moderately easy to train
Hunting Companion
No
Jolly for Jogging
Yes
Sighting Capabilities
No
Ideal for Tracking
No
Retrieving Skills
No
Pointing Breed
No
Herding Skills
No
Dutiful Watchdog
Yes
Security Guard Capable
No
Police Performer
No
Wet Water rescues
No
Assist Disable Owners
No
Dog Sledding
No
Able to Perform Dog Carting
Yes
Agile/Zippy
No
Fun with Lure Coursing
No
Obedient
No
Possible Schutzhund Work
No
Trainable for Tricks
No
  • For a loving, gentle giant that will safeguard the family, the mellow Saint Bernard is eager to please
  • The Saint Bernard originated in Switzerland
  • The Saint Bernard is also called an Alpine mastiff, a Bernhardiner and a Barnhardshund
  • The Saint Bernard is a loving family companion and effective watchdog
  • The Saint Bernard stands 25,5 to 27,5 inches tall and weighs 130 to 180 pounds
  • The Saint Bernard has a low energy level
  • The Saint Bernard requires moderate grooming
  • The average lifespan for a Saint Bernard is 7 to 10 years

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Common Health Conditions in Saint Bernards

Saint Bernards live short average lifespans of 7 to 10 years. Some of the known genetic health problems that have been noted in this breed include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, Wobbler syndrome, entropion, cardiomyopathy, osteochondrosis, osteosarcoma and hypothyroidism. Saint Bernards are also prone to gastric torsion, or bloat.

Saint Bernard Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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