Description of the Saint Bernard
The Saint Bernard is a very large, strong, muscular dog, with a powerful head. The lips of the Saint Bernard are slightly drooping, the high set ears fall in a triangle against the cheek. The coat of the Saint Bernard is either long or short. The hair is dense in both forms and lies against the body. The color is reddish brown with white markings on the chest, legs, nose, neck and tail tip. The tail is hanging, long and heavy.
The expression on a Saint Bernard’s face is intelligent and gentle. The feet are large with strong well arched toes, which make it easy for the Saint Bernard to step over snow and ice.
They have a highly developed smell and also seem to have a sixth sense that is sensitive to the imminent danger of storms and avalanches.
The current Saint Bernard dog is probably also the mastiff crossed and now much too heavy to be able to work as a rescue dog.
Character and temperament of the Saint Bernard
The Saint Bernard is an imposing dog, but despite its size it is very sensitive and has a good character. They are extremely gentle and friendly and very tolerant of children. But a certain degree of willfulness and a sometimes strong tendency to protect their territory must also be taken into account.
It is a highly intelligent dog breed and easy to train, however training should start early, while the dog is still of a manageable size. Keep in mind that an undisciplined dog of this size can be a leash problem, even for a strong adult.
The Saint Bernard is a good watchdog. Their size is a good deterrent.
Height and weight of the Saint Bernard
Height: 61-70 cm
Living conditions of the Saint Bernard
The Saint Bernard will do well in an apartment if he is sufficiently exercised. They are quite inactive indoors and a small small garden will suffice. They can live outdoors, but they prefer to be with their family. They do not tolerate hot weather, warm rooms, and cars. A long walk every day will keep the Saint Bernard in good shape. Saint Bernard puppies should not be given too much exercise at once until their bones are well formed and strong. Keep only short walks and short play times until the dog is about two years old.
Life expectancy of the Saint Bernard
Care of the Saint Bernard
Both coat types are easy to care for. Brush and comb with a stiff boar bristle brush. Bathe only when necessary. Use a mild soap for this, as shampoo can strip the coat of its oily, water-resistant properties. The eyes require special attention.
Origin of the Saint Bernard
The Saint Bernard is related to the Swiss mountain dogs.
This is a very old breed. It is said to have descended from the Tibetan mastiff, which was brought to the Alps by the Romans around the year 1000. Monks there probably crossed this mastiff with the Great Dane and Pyrenean Mountain Dog . Its use and popularity as a rescue dog began in the mid-seventeenth century. Saint Bernard was used as an avalanche and rescue dog in the snow passes near Hospice. More than 2,000 people have been rescued by the Saint Bernard dog. The dog Barry is famous, which is said to have saved 40 or more people’s lives. However, the keg of brandy (or rum) for the numb travelers is a fabrication.
Saint Bernards smell so excellent that she can find a person even under many meters of snow. This breed is also known for its ability to predict storms and avalanches, perhaps because it can hear very low frequency sounds that our human ear cannot.
Around 1830 the dogs of the hospice were crossed with long-haired mountain dogs, which resulted in a long-haired variant in addition to the original short-haired Saint Bernard. However, it turned out to be unsuitable for work in the snow because too many icicles formed on its long hair.
Since the end of the 19th century, the dog breed has been bred as a domestic dog. The first official standard dates back to 1887. The Saint Bernard has been popular in Europe and North America ever since.