Saint Bernard

April 12, 2012

The Saint Bernard is a wonderful dog. You may think because they are so big that they might not be for you. Well think again, because these dogs are absolutely wonderful. They love playing and are really sweet even with their large size. They can be gentle around your kids and they make wonderful watch dogs for your home. You will not be able to miss their bark anywhere.

The Saint Bernard is very famous for the movies you may have seen them in such as Cujo and Beethoven. The Saint Bernard became more popular after people saw them in movies, especially Beethoven as this showed the loving side to the breed. A Saint Bernard is a loving dog for any kind of family.

So if you are thinking about getting one than you might want to make sure your house if big enough and also make sure things are put up so they do not knock them over when walking past. Also make sure to not let them live outside alone, as they prefer to be indoors with the family. They do need lots of love and attention to feel like they are part of the family instead of just a pet.

Exercise for this dog is simple. Take them outside with you while you do yard work or simply take them for a walk with you down the road. They are easy to please and they love pleasing their own family.

So hopefully, after reading up on this wonderful dog it will make you go get your own for your family. Saint Bernard’s may be big but remember to not let their size fool you. They may be big on the outside but they have an even bigger heart on the inside.

Information

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Appearance

When you hear about the Saint Bernard then you are going to think of a very large dog that is strong, muscular, and one that has a very powerful head. The Saint Bernard has very large feet that have well arched toes, which helps them walk when there is snow and ice outside. Their ears are pretty large and floppy. They hang down on the sides of their head. They have a long and straight tail that is covered with hair. The tail hangs down behind them.

There are two types of coats for this breed, the rough, and the smooth coat. Both of the coats come in white with markings of brindle, black, mahogany, red, tan and it is all in various colors. The face and ears are normally shaded with black, which gives an expression of being smart and gentle.

With the rough coated Saint Bernard’s their hair is a little longer and there is feathering of the hair on their thighs and also their legs. On their face, you will see a mask like over their eyes and down their face. This is what they call the mask on a dog.

The height for a Saint Bernard is between 25½ inches to 27½ inches. The weight for the Saint Bernard is between 110 pounds to 200 pounds in weight. Females are normally smaller than the males are. These dogs can get bigger than the measurements above. So make sure to have plenty of room in your home.

Personality

The Saint Bernard is a dog that is loyal, friendly, loveable, and just down right sweet. They love to please their family no matter what it takes. Saint Bernard’s are slow movers and patient. They do well with children, but make sure to socialize them when they are young with other people. The Saint Bernard is pretty good with training and learning new tasks. Make sure to teach them when they are little to be on a leash for when you take them out in public. They do make a good watch dog for your home. Who would want to come up to this giant dog?

The Saint Bernard does drool after they drink or eat so watch out for droop piles. The Saint Bernard is pretty good in apartment life as long as they are taken out enough for exercise. You can provide them with a home outside, but they would much rather be inside with their family. Try not to leave them in hot weather, warm rooms, or in cars. They have low patience for this.

Care

The Saint Bernard is a dog that is loyal, friendly, loveable, and just down right sweet. They love to please their family no matter what it takes. Saint Bernard’s are slow movers and patient. They do well with children, but make sure to socialize them when they are young with other people. The Saint Bernard is pretty good with training and learning new tasks. Make sure to teach them when they are little to be on a leash for when you take them out in public. They do make a good watch dog for your home. Who would want to come up to this giant dog?

The Saint Bernard does drool after they drink or eat so watch out for droop piles. The Saint Bernard is pretty good in apartment life as long as they are taken out enough for exercise. You can provide them with a home outside, but they would much rather be inside with their family. Try not to leave them in hot weather, warm rooms, or in cars. They have low patience for this.

History

In many parts of Europe over a thousand years ago, there were tribes known as the Celtics and the Germanic. The Roman army troops had to fight ferocious and fearsome dogs after they defeated their owners. Some of these dogs were left in Switzerland and bred with some of the native breeds. For the families they became watch dogs and working dogs on the farms but many were guardians. These dogs were not known as Saint Bernard’s they were the evolution for the breed to go through.

Bernard of Menthon, a monk, established a hospice in the Alps of Switzerland in 1050 AD. 8,000 feet above sea level, it was located close to the Alpine Pass near the Swiss/Italian border. This was also the main route across the Alps leading to Rome. They used this pass to go into Europe. This was a dangerous route. Not only was it dangerous from weather, exposed rocks, and unmarked paths but there were bandits as well. Carrying supplies meant they also carried money and their goods they sold elsewhere made them easy targets. 1707 was the earliest written reference of any dogs being at the hospice because earlier records were destroyed by fire near the end of the 16th century. Many say the dogs were first used at the hospice between 1550 and 1775. The monks were given dogs to protect them and the hospice from bandits during their travels. The hospice was sheltered for travelers who were caught in storms, avalanches, or just became lost. The monks would regularly go out and hunt for the lost or injured.

The dogs were given to them became good companions during the night and the storms while searching. They could cover rocks and boulders of this region with great nimbleness. These dogs could also carry their supplies for them, which aided the monks in what they could carry without wearing themselves down. With their keen sense of smell, they could locate victims of avalanches under 20 feet of snow. These dogs made a huge contribution to rescue work in the Alpine mountains in the 18th and 19th century. These dogs were not out on their own, the monks traveled with them enduring the same conditions as their dogs.

In the 1800’s, the breeding program suffered serious setbacks as dogs were lost in storms and the dogs suffered a serious outbreak of distemper. Because of these problems, inbreeding came into play weakening this breed. In 1830, the Monks used the Newfoundland to bring back the bloodline of this breed. This is where the long hair came in. But, while adding vigor to the bloodline the Saint Bernard type was not lost. The bad thing was the long hair would absorb and freeze up from the snow and ice and the dogs could not move from all the weight.

Dedicated breeders and the Saint Bernard Club of America worked very hard to correct all the problems from the past very successfully.

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