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The Saint Bernard: A True Gentle Giant

The Saint Bernard: A True Gentle Giant

Identified as one of the largest canine breeds, the Saint Bernard is a big dog with a big heart. It is a working dog that saves the day when it is called upon to do so. Here is a guide to everything you need to know about the beautiful and charming Saint Bernard.

Breed Snapshot

  • Size Large dog (54-82kg); 66 – 76cm in height
  • Coat Low shedding, long or short coat
  • Energy Moderate energy and should be walked daily for at least 30 minutes
  • Lifespan 8 – 10 years
  • Country of origin Alps of Italy and Switzerland
  • Breed type Large breed working dog that is widely used for search in rescue missions in the Alps. The Saint Bernard is an affectionate dog with a calm temperament
  • Other names “Saint” for short
  • Great breed for:  Apartment Living, Home with yard, Families with kids

About the Saint Bernard

If visions of a big dog carrying a cask of hot chocolate around its neck on a cold and snowy day pop into your mind when you think of the name Saint Bernard, you are not alone! This dog was first bred in the Alps region of Switzerland and Italy around the year 1050 as a rescue dog and has captivated the hearts of people ever since.

Saint Bernards are service dogs and they are popular mountain workers because of their ability to climb up steep and dangerous terrain and handle frigid cold temperatures. To this day, Saint Bernards work as part of search and rescue teams in the Alps, but they do not really carry casks of warm beverages as folklore indicates.

Saint Bernards are a friendly dog breed that loves their family, strangers, and other animals. They are gentle and very intelligent. If you want a large dog that loves to snuggle and get loved on, this may be the perfect breed for you.

What Do Saint Bernards Look Like?

Sporting a big and muscular body, Saint Bernards are true giants in the dog world. This is one of the largest breeds around and it features many physical characteristics that set it apart from other dogs. The Saint Bernard has a two-toned coat in white and brown and their fur is either long or short and it sheds twice per year.

People fall in love with Saint Bernards because of their large face and sad puppy dog eyes. Their facial skin is wrinkled, and they have droopy jowls that flop around when they run. Saint Bernards weigh in at 54-82kg and they stand at 66 – 76cm in height.

How Do I Groom My Saint Bernard?

The Saint Bernard is a low maintenance dog that is easy to groom. Their fur coat is either long or short and just needs to be brushed occasionally. Shedding season happens twice a year, so you should plan to brush your dog daily when this happens. You should also give them a bath whenever you detect doggy odors or when their coat gets dirty. Nail trimming is also a must as their nails can snag on things when they walk and run.


How Much Exercise Does My Saint Bernard Need?

Saint Bernards are working dogs that require plenty of exercise to stay fit and healthy. This dog loves to be outdoors and should be walked at least once a day for 30 minutes. Be sure to include your dog in outdoor family activities, such as hiking, so your dog can get even more exercise and have some fun spending time with you.

Why Are Saint Bernards So Special?

Saint Bernards are related to hound dogs and because of this, they can sniff out anything – including a hiker that needs to be rescued from a mountain. This breed has been used in search and rescue missions for centuries and is a tireless working dog. Today, Saint Bernards are mostly bred just for companionship, but you will be amazed at how intelligent they are. This is a gentle dog that is perfect for adults and kids alike.


How Do I Train My Saint Bernard?

A Saint Bernard requires obedience training from an early age, so they understand what is allowed and what is not. This is not an aggressive breed, but they do need to learn to be mannerly. This is a large dog that needs to be taught not to do things such as jump on people because this could lead to serious injury for you!

Saint Bernards love human interaction and are easy to train. They do well with positive reinforcement training because of the fact that they enjoy pleasing their human friends. Give your dog lots of love and he or she will be happy to do tricks and listen to commands.

Frequently Asked Questions About Saint Bernards

Are Saint Bernards Droolers?

Yes! Saint Bernards are one of the top 10 drooling breeds, so you should take this into consideration before bringing this dog into your home. Saint Bernards have deep floppy lips and drool happens because of this. Keep a cloth close by so you can wipe it up quickly.


What is the lifespan of a Saint Bernard?

Saint Bernard dogs have a shorter lifespan that many other breeds because of their size. You can expect you dog to live between 8 – 10 years as long as he or she is in good health and is fed a proper diet.


What health problems are Saint Bernards prone to?

An older Saint Bernard is susceptible to hip and joint problems, as is the case with many large dog breeds. Saint Bernards also have a deep chest cavity, which can lead to the sudden onset of bloat. In many cases, bloat is curable if you get your dog to a vet quickly.


Can a Saint Bernard be left home alone?

Whilst your Saint Bernard loves to spend a lot of time with you, yes, they can be left home alone while you are at work. Be sure to provide your dog with plenty of mentally stimulating toys so he or she does not get bored.


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