The Saint Bernard was orginally used to guard a Hospice in Switzerland call Saint Bernard, they also help to save lost or injuries travellers. This is large dog who at his happiest will be doing jobs, pulling carts or running around in the snow. There are short and long haired varieties.
These are big dogs, you will need a good sized garden for them to romp around in. They are gentle, intelligent and calm dogs. If you have the room, this could be the perfect breed for you.
A lot of large dogs don’t need a lot of exercise and these are no different, short walks and plenty of playtime is enough for these big guys. They would love a large garden to romp around in. Remember a bored dog is a unhappy, barking and destructive dog so make sure they aren’t left out in the Garden or alone for long periods.
They are devoted and loving with their families, they are gentle giants and great around kids of any age. They are massive though, so you would want to keep an eye on them around younger kids, they might get injured, only through love though!
They do not cope well with being left alone and are prone to suffering from separation anxiety, they are not dogs for people who work full time.
They are very friendly with strangers, they have been bred to be guardians, so they have no fear. If you were in trouble, they would be there to protect you. The sheer size of them would be enough to put most intruders off.
They are peaceful living and generally run around and play with other dogs. Cats and other small animals brought up in the household should also be fine. Small animals and neighbourhood cats however, will likely still be chased.
They are very intelligent and due to their independent nature are a little difficult to train. These are large powerful dogs, you will need to establish yourself as top dog early on, then you will have a lovely well trained companion for life. Try to keep training both interesting and fun for the best results and avoid being harsh with them, identifying their motivation reward early will get you the best results and it’s normally food.
They are fairly heavy shedders, more in Spring and Autumn, at least weekly brushing will help combat the hairs. The biggest problem is drooling, you will need a towel handy at all times. They do not cope well with hot conditions, these guys are snow lovers.
St Bernard Stats
The Saint Bernard is the original and renowned rescue dog of Switzerland. Since the middle of the 17th Century the Hospice du Grand St. Bernard has been home to large mountain dogs that first protected the monks and their belongings, and later were developed to help find and rescue lost travellers.
- Weight -50kg –91kg
- Size – 65cm – 90cm
- They live for 8-9 years