Cheerful, loyal, happy, and loving—these are all words used to describe a Saint Bernard dog. Saint Bernard dogs are giant in size and have big, loving, and caring hearts for their humans.
Saint Bernard is always excited to participate in the family’s fun activities. They loves to be around children and play with them.
Now a common companion in many households, Saint Bernards was a famous search and rescue expert back in the day.
Let us dive right in and read all about these fun-loving friends, starting with dog breed information.
|Saint Bernard Dog Breed Information:|
|Dog Breed Group||Working dogs|
|Weight||110-200 lbs (50 - 91 kg)|
|Temperament||Calm, gentle, friendly, outgoing, playful, cheerful, intelligent, watchful|
|Alternate names and nicknames||Alpine Mastiff, Bernhardiner, St. Bernhardshund, St. Bernard, Saint|
|Tendency to Bark or Howl|
|Health and Grooming:|
|Amount Of Shedding|
Saint Bernard dogs are said to be the calmest and most fun-loving breed. It is now one of the world’s most famous pet dogs and is used as a watchdog or ‘nanny dog’ for children.
They are giant and very muscular. They can get big, up to 30 inches, and weigh up to 200 lbs. Despite their colossal size and muscular body, they do not eat much or exercise a lot.
Saint Bernards are of two different types, short-haired and long-haired. Both types can mainly be specified by their hair types. These varieties require the same care. Short-haired have more dense fur, whereas long-haired is designed for cold weather, giving a soft wave.
Their coats shed heavily in fall and summer. They are indoor dogs and are not too comfortable in the heat. They like to sleep in relatively colder surroundings.
More About Saint Bernard
Saint Bernards are known for their patience and calmness. Who knows, they might have gotten these traits from the hospice monks when they were used as guard and rescue dogs in the harsh winters of the treacherous Alpine Pass.
Sounds fascinating, isn’t it? Let us learn more about their history, personalities, temperaments, and everything else there is to know about these cute creatures.
Saint Bernard is a hero whose legendary stories are famous all around the globe. Italian archdeacon Bernard of Menthon founded a shelter hospice for pilgrims en route to Rome across winters 8,000 feet above sea level at treacherous Alpine passes between Italy and Switzerland.
They were first bred as guard dogs, but the hospice monks later realized their tremendous ability to search for lost travelers and rescue them.
Since then, many historians claim these breeds have saved around 2,000 stranded souls along the Saint Bernard Pass across centuries.
Myth alert: Saint Bernard didn’t carry casks of brandy around their necks in reality. This idea was circulated after a painting depicted in the 1820s made out of sheer creativity.
They have a giant body and a big head. The body is entirely muscular with furs. A mature adult Saint Bernard’s height ranges between 25 to 29 inches, and he can weigh between 110 and 200 pounds (50 to 91 kilograms).
A female’s height may vary between 25 and 28 inches, and she may weigh between 120 and 140 pounds (54 to 63 kilograms).
Saint Bernard dogs are one of the giant dogs. Their massive head is powerful, and they have a muzzle to sniff the air. They are very kind and love to be around people, but they do not demand consistent attention like other breeds.
They are known to be very protective towards their family members and stay careful and non harmful around kids. Despite their history as working dogs, they do not like too much exercise.
These dogs have a tendency to please, which results in effective, easy training. They quickly bond with others and like drooling.
They also have a good sense of smell and can act differently when they smell something unusual. They are good at predicting natural calamities like avalanches or storms because of their natural instincts.
Saint Bernard is a very calm and watchful breed. They go along with everyone around them, especially well-behaved children, and are very intelligent and wise.
They are not generally offensive until it is about the family’s safety. They usually do not like being left alone a lot or unattended, and that’s when they can sometimes be stubborn or like to bark more often.
They are attentive, alert, and a good watchdog, so pay attention if you hear them barking in the middle of the night.
This breed of dog takes longer than many other breeds to mature mentally. They generally act like puppies, even when they are 2 or 3 years old.
Health is an essential factor if you are looking to get a pet. All dog breeds are prone to diseases, and Saint Bernard is no exception.
It is not necessary that Saint Bernard will get any disease or all of the disease, but it is crucial to know the risk that may affect them in the future.
Let us know about the diseases that Saint Bernard is prone to.
Saint Bernard is prone to bloating, which causes abdomen swelling, pain, and excess salivation. Two or three small meals are preferable to one large meal, as it decreases the risk of bloating.
Elbow And Hip Dysplasia
Like many other large breeds, Saint Bernard faces the threat of elbow and hip dysplasia, which is mostly genetic, but it may also happen from a high-calorie diet or jumping or falling on slick floors.
Some dogs show symptoms like lameness or a pain in the rear legs, but they are mostly unnoticeable initially.
They love colder conditions, and their life expectancy is said to increase when provided with a suitable and ideal environment.
If left outdoors in the heat or warmer temperatures, their insulating double coat may get them sick, and they may be subject to heatstroke.
Here is a list of the common health issues that these dogs suffer from:
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
- Addison’s disease
- Eye problems
- Immunity problems
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
If taken good care of and provided with suitable conditions, these beautiful dogs may live well up to their lifespan of 8 to 10 years.
Saint Bernard is easy to care for and relatively easygoing. They will be how you want them to be. Training them at a young age is important, or they may cause havoc in the house.
They are much of indoor pets but won’t mind a stroll in the yard. Make sure you always provide some shade and fresh water for them. As excess heat may result in heatstroke.
They don’t require much activity; just take them for a walk in the morning or evening when the weather is mild, and then give them a bone to play with at home.
Train them at a young age with a no-anger attitude. Make them familiar with the sounds of home and its surroundings. Introduce them to your friends and family so that they adapt well.
They can be a perfect companion for your family with proper care and affection.
A daily routine of their meal should include 5 to 6 cups of dry food distributed into two to three meals.
Saint Bernards are prone to obesity and bloating. Do not leave the food available all day. Give them small meals twice a day. It is essential to measure their weight regularly.
Each dog eats according to their size, activity, and metabolism. Continuous weight measurements and regular checkups help in keeping them fit in the long run.
Coat Color And Grooming
Saint Bernards are found in two different coat types, short-haired and long-haired. Short-haired dogs have more dense fur but are smooth, whereas long-haired dogs are designed for cold weather, giving a soft wave but not being curly or shaggy.
They are in various shades of white with a contrast of red shades, with brown or whitish patches mostly around the neck, collar, tails, and legs. Both of these varieties of coats require the same care.
Saint Bernard doesn’t need frequent baths, once every three months is enough. Comb your saint three times a week with combs available in pet stores, especially for saints.
For dental hygiene, brushing these giants three times a week is recommended. Daily brushing is even better, preventing gum disease, bacteria, and bad breath.
Trim nails twice a month if your dog isn’t wearing them down on their own. It prevents your clothes, floors, and furnishings from being torn and you from getting scratched.
They drool too much and bring mud and dirt when they enter the home. So, always be ready to clean some of those.
Yes, Saint Bernard is known to be great with kids. However, they sometimes forget their giant size, which may pose a risk to toddlers.
Saint Bernard is relatively protective of his family. Intruders often stay away from them because they look incredibly giant. They are very loyal and make helpful watch dogs.
Yes, they can live in apartments, but there should be a lift as they don’t like walking up the stairs. An apartment should generally be bigger and meet its exercise needs.
They do not bark a lot unnecessarily, so barking may not be an issue.
Saint Bernard is a perfect example of a loyal, affectionate, calm, and protective dog, if there is one. Keeping your family safe and happy is what they like. We learned about their history, personality, what they like to do, and what they can’t adjust to, and we also got to know what is just a myth that has been evolving around them for years.
If you believe you are ready for so much drooling and love, go, get a Saint, and let us know how it is going along.
Hi, I’m Walter,
I live in Oklahoma City, USA, and have extensive dog caring and grooming expertise. In addition, I provide dog training tips and tricks through my blogs in Canine Weekly. I have a Dog Behavior and Training diploma and have previously worked as a Dog Trainer at ROC Animal Training and Behavior and Tip Top K9 of OKC Dog Training.
Apart from writing on Canine Weekly, I share my views on Twitter and Linkedin.