Saint Bernard Dog Breed

The St. Bernard has a long history of servitude to mankind. Their origins are the Swiss valleys around the centuries old Hospice of St. Bernard, where the original dogs were used as guard dogs and companions for the community of monks living and working within the Hospice.

The Hospice was used as a way stop for travelers crossing the passes that linked the Swiss Alps with Italy. Because of the treacherous snows, wayfarers often became lost or disoriented or tragically died. Eventually some of the monks began to train these large and gentle dogs to go out on missions to save these passers-by. These dogs seemed to posses an inherent desire to seek out and locate the lost and the missing people, and also possessed the kind of coat that not only protected them from the fierce winds but did not cake with snow and ice.

The dogs worked in teams of four. Two would lie down with the victim and keep him warm, one would lick his face to try to keep him alive, and the other would go back to the Hospice to bring back human rescuers. Eventually they became known as the Hospice dogs, and this name was most common until the early 19th century, when they began to be called the Saint Bernard.

The actual origins of the breed are most likely a mingling of the Alpine dogs such as the Tibetan Mastiff and the large Roman war dogs brought to Switzerland by the Romans in the second century A.D. In the year 1350 the likeness of a Saint Bernard was placed on the Swiss Coat-of-Arms.

The typical picture in one’s mind of the Saint Bernard carrying the flask of whisky beneath his chin is not true, this most likely came from a painting of the Landseer Newfoundland done by Sir Edwin Landseer.

The Saint Bernard, like the Newfoundland, has an uncanny instinctive ability to seek out and find humans. This is a strong instinctive desire and those folks who train these dogs for that purpose don’t have a difficult job, since the strong instinct of the breed already pre-disposes the dog for the Search and Rescue function.

The Saint Bernard is gentle and yet protective. They have an imposing look about them, standing at a shoulder height of 25 to 27 inches, and can weigh as much as 200 pounds although the standard calls for an average weight of 150 pounds for an adult male. The body is massive, the coat is short and dense and resistant to cold winds and icy conditions. Their large feet are built to form a “snowshoe” effect in deep snow and their thick fur and loose neck allows for protection of the lungs and chest in cold conditions.

As a family dog they exhibit courage and loyalty, truly their nickname of the “saint” fits the breed well.

For more information on the Saint Bernard or a full list of dog breeds take a look at this Dog Training website.

Saint Bernard – Dog Breed Info

The Saint Bernard dog began as Swiss herding dogs far back into their ancestry. The Saint Bernard has been created specifically to rescue stranded travelers. This was accomplished by adding Newfoundland blood into the bloodline. Today, the very popular Saint Bernard is the result of that. A Saint Bernard is very gentle and very good with children. This beloved work dog is a popular breed because of its gentility with children. However, this breed is a good watch dog and an even better guard dog. This breed’s proven temperament shows true and one could not ask for a better guard than this loyal protector from the Swiss mountains.

Since its original purpose was to rescue travelers, it also is a very good rescue dog and not just in mountainous situations. This breed is very strong and can pull a full grown man up out of the snow. They can be trusted with infants and small children as well as adults. They tend to grow quite large, so a home with a large yard will be ideal for a Saint Bernard. Exercise is a must for this gentle giant. Walking and running are two types of exercise that they enjoy.

Keeping a Saint Bernard fit includes attention to the diet. They are big eaters and the right kind of food is ideal to balance them out. Care must be taken to brush out the coat, so that hair does not get matted or clumped in any way. The coat does shed, so regular brushing of the coat will keep the coat healthy and glossy, while removing all hair that is ready to fall out. This is essential for the comfort of a Saint Bernard. Having a big coat can be very uncomfortable in the summer months, so a haircut is recommended in hotter climates.

Treat them well, and they will lavish all the love and attention that you would want. This breed is also very protective and will not hesitate to bite if someone does something that will hurt them or whoever they are watching or protecting. The loyalty of this breed says a lot about their intelligence. They are a very intelligent breed and can do a bit of thinking beyond the set problem. This breed is known for their good hearts, intelligence and loyalty. Many stranded travelers owe this breed a word of thanks for the many rescues.

For more information on the Saint Bernard or a full list of dog breeds take a look at this Dog Training website.

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Saint Bernard Puppy And Dog Information

The Saint Bernard can even be kept in an apartment if walked often. They are better suited to a fenced in enclosure for exercise. They are said to be easy to train. It might be a good idea to obedience train early as this breed becomes very large and can be hard to handle even for the strongest person. They can get along well with other pets, especially if well socialized with them early on. They generally love children. As a reminder, never leave a child unsupervised with a puppy or dog.

*Approximate Adult Size. The approximate adult size (two years old or older) of the Saint Bernard is 24 to 28 inches to the withers (highest point of the shoulder) and 110 to 200 pounds.

*Special Health Considerations. Most dog breeds have certain inherited health problems associated with that specific breed and the Saint Bernard is no exception. Be on the look out for heart defects, bone problems, arthritis, hot spots, Canine Hip Dysplasia (genetic based looseness in the hip joint that can lead to arthritis pain and lameness) and bloat (Gastric Dilation-Volvulus, the second leading killer of dogs, can kill within the hour, this space is too limited for a complete explanation but you should read up on this). Feeding more then once a day and avoiding exercise right after meals may help guard against bloat. This disease list is an informative guideline only. Other diseases may also be significant threats, please contact your veterinarian for a complete list.

She should visit the veterinarian several times in the first year for shots, boosters and check up. Then, as an adult, she should visit the veterinarian yearly for shots and check up. As she gets older, six years and on, she should visit the veterinarian twice a year for check ups and shots. Remember; avoid feeding your dog sweets.

*Grooming. The Saint Bernard has a dense, short-haired, tough and smooth coat. She should be brushed regularly. Brushing will help her maintain a clean and healthy coat, help you keep a closer eye on her health and strengthen your emotional bond with her.

Her teeth should be brushed at least twice a week with toothpaste and toothbrush designed for dogs. Brushing removes the accumulation of plaque and tartar which can cause cavities (rarely) and periodontal disease. Dog periodontal disease can lead to pain, loss of teeth, bad breath and other serious disease.

Her toenails may need to be examined for growth and clipped regularly. The toenails of the rear feet grow slower than the toenails of the front feet.

*Life Span. The Saint Bernard can live between 8 and 10 years with proper nutrition, medical care and excellent living conditions.

*History. The Saint Bernard comes from Switzerland where they were used for locating lost people. They were first registered by the American Kennel Association in 1885.

Some Registries:
* Saint Bernard Club of America
*UKC United Kennel Club
*NKC National Kennel Club
*CKC Continental Kennel Club
*APRI Americas Pet Registry Inc.
*AKC American Kennel Club
*FCI Federation Cynologique Internationale
*NZKC New Zealand Kennel Club
*KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
*ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
*ACR = American Canine Registry

Litter Size: 6 to 8 Saint Bernard puppies

Category: Working Group

Terms To Describe: Powerful, intelligent, gentle, tolerant, faithful, kind, affectionate, mellow, lazy

*SPECIAL GOOD POINTS
Very good watch dog.
Easy to train.
Tolerant and good with children.

*SPECIAL BAD POINTS
Not a good guard dog.
Do not like hot weather.
Can be a drooler.

*Other Names Known By: St. Bernhardshund

*Every dog is an individual so not everything in this information may be correct for your dog. This information is meant as a good faith guideline only.

Mitch Endick is a short article writer, editor and website developer for the popular pet site petpages.com. www.petpages.com is a pet information site with free pet ads, dog classifieds, and puppy for sale info. Petpages.com also offers information on cats, fish, reptiles, birds, ferrets, rabbits, mice and even pet bugs.

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The Best Saint Bernard Information And Tips

The Saint Bernard can even be kept in an apartment if walked often. They are better suited to a fenced in enclosure for exercise. They are said to be easy to train. It might be a good idea to obedience train early as this breed becomes very large and can be hard to handle even for the strongest person. They can get along well with other pets, especially if well socialized with them early on. They generally love children. As a reminder, never leave a child unsupervised with a puppy or dog.

Approximate Adult Size

The approximate adult size (two years old or older) of the Saint Bernard is 24 to 28 inches to the withers (highest point of the shoulder) and 110 to 200 pounds.

Special Health Considerations

Most dog breeds have certain inherited health problems associated with that specific breed and the Saint Bernard is no exception. Be on the look out for heart defects, bone problems, arthritis, hot spots, Canine Hip Dysplasia (genetic based looseness in the hip joint that can lead to arthritis pain and lameness) and bloat (Gastric Dilation-Volvulus, the second leading killer of dogs, can kill within the hour, this space is too limited for a complete explanation but you should read up on this). Feeding more then once a day and avoiding exercise right after meals may help guard against bloat. This disease list is an informative guideline only. Other diseases may also be significant threats, please contact your veterinarian for a complete list.

She should visit the veterinarian several times in the first year for shots, boosters and check up. Then, as an adult, she should visit the veterinarian yearly for shots and check up. As she gets older, six years and on, she should visit the veterinarian twice a year for check ups and shots. Remember; avoid feeding your dog sweets.

Grooming

The Saint Bernard has a dense, short-haired, tough and smooth coat. She should be brushed regularly. Brushing will help her maintain a clean and healthy coat, help you keep a closer eye on her health and strengthen your emotional bond with her.
Her teeth should be brushed at least twice a week with toothpaste and toothbrush designed for dogs. Brushing removes the accumulation of plaque and tartar which can cause cavities (rarely) and periodontal disease. Dog periodontal disease can lead to pain, loss of teeth, bad breath and other serious disease.

Her toenails may need to be examined for growth and clipped regularly. The toenails of the rear feet grow slower than the toenails of the front feet.

Life Span

The Saint Bernard can live between 8 and 10 years with proper nutrition, medical care and excellent living conditions.

History

The Saint Bernard comes from Switzerland where they were used for locating lost people. They were first registered by the American Kennel Association in 1885.

Some Registries

* Saint Bernard Club of America
* UKC United Kennel Club
* NKC National Kennel Club
* CKC Continental Kennel Club
* APRI Americas Pet Registry Inc.
* AKC American Kennel Club
* FCI Federation Cynologique Internationale
* NZKC New Zealand Kennel Club
* KCGB Kennel Club of Great Britain
* ANKC Australian National Kennel Club
* ACR American Canine Registry

Litter Size

6 to 8 Saint Bernard puppies

Category

Working Group

Terms To Describe

Powerful, intelligent, gentle, tolerant, faithful, kind, affectionate, mellow, lazy

SPECIAL GOOD POINTS

* Very good watch dog.
* Easy to train.
* Tolerant and good with children.

SPECIAL BAD POINTS

* Not a good guard dog.
* Do not like hot weather.
* Can be a drooler.

Other Names Known By

St. Bernhardshund

Every dog is an individual so not everything in this information may be correct for your dog. This information is meant as a good faith guideline only.

For more information on the Saint Bernard or a full list of dog breeds take a look at this Dog Training website.

Find More Saint Articles

How to Train a Saint Bernard

Beethoven, the famous movie dog that captured every family’s hearts is a Saint Bernard. The Saint Bernard is an enormous dog with a shaggy coat that varies in length.

They have endearing saggy faces with adorable droopy eyes. Adult Saint Bernards are laid-back and they seem to follow you around, constantly wanting to accompany you.

The Saint Bernard breed is not for everybody. Owning one is a commitment and the breed is for absolute animal lovers because they can be very high maintenance. People who have trained and managed their Saint Bernards properly will have very rewarding experiences with the canine.

Saint Bernards are dependable and loyal creatures. They are great family dogs and thrive in human companionship. They don’t want to be left alone. Saint Bernards are miserable without their owners. A large family will be most beneficial for this breed because there will always be people around.

As pups, Saint Bernards are more expressive with their excitement. They are very active and awfully charming. They are large clumsy puppies and they will often use their girth to get their way.

The key to having a manageable Saint Bernard is through socializing, training and curbing unpleasant behavior as early as possible. While they are still young they must be socialized with members of the family. Gradually, they will develop sense of familiarity with his ‘pack’.

The next thing, and maybe the most important, is obedience and house training your young Saints. It is imperative that owners should potty train them. Give the dog a designated area to eliminate their wastes.

Detect the signs they display when they have the urge to go. Immediately place them to the designated area and stay with them until they finish the deed. Do this consistently until they get used to the idea. Always shower them with vocal praises like ‘Good Dog!’ or show some physical affection after every successful endeavor.

Obedience training is not an option for Saint Bernards; it is a necessity. Basic commands like sit, stand, heel, and come must be implemented to make them manageable. Curb bad behavior by consistently and firmly saying ‘No!’ when disagreeable deeds are done. Be assertive but never harsh. Compliance must be lavishly praised. Saint Bernards are very intelligent and they will catch up in no time.

When they grow up to their gigantic sizes, they will be easier to manage because the early training had conditioned their minds. The vet will surely thank your determination.

Saint Bernards need regular exercise to keep them fit. They tend to be lazy on their own but they won’t shy away from physical work out if they are accompanied by their owners. Grooming must also be done regularly. Brush their coats frequently to cope with their shedding.

Saint Bernards drool a lot and you must learn to embrace this. It is in their nature.

Spread their feedings into two to three small meals a day. They prone to bloat and may cause serious health problems if not dealt accordingly. Always feed them high-grade dog food which tends to provide better nutrition for your Saint.

Overall, Saint Bernards are devoted and loving dogs. Dealing with them needs patience and determination and when done, as it should be, they are a joy to be around. Their companionship and dependability is worthwhile.

**Attention Readers** To quicky curb all sorts of dog and puppy problems, click the link to claim your free dog training video on how to How to Train a Saint Bernard… or send a completely blank email to trainmybaddog@aweber.com

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