This breed is internationally known as the Molossoid as it is the descendant of Molosser dogs, but was brought to the Alps by the ancient Romans. St Bernard has always been known to save lives and the most famous among all was Barry who saved 40 to 100 lives. This breed dates back to 1707, with found in many ancient paintings. Saint Bernard Hospice was where this dog has originated. The St. Bernards that existed earlier was different from those that exists today due to multiple cross-breedings. As it was dying in severe cold and flood in 1816 to 1818, it had to be crossed with Newfoundlands in the 1850s.
Saint Bernard is a good hearted and intelligent dog. In spite of its huge size, it is quiet in nature and makes a loyal pet. It desires human companionship all the time. Being protective towards its family, it guards the home all the time. With early training and socialization, it becomes an amiable indoor dog.
- Activity level: 2/5 (likes to take it easy)
- Intelligence level: 4/5 (fast learner)
- Curiosity: 4/5 (very curious)
- Friendliness: 4/5 (friendly with all)
- Vocal: 2.5/5 (barks when it senses any danger)
It can be identified due to its large shape. Being a working dog, it has a strong build and wide structure. A full-grown male attains a height of 28-30 inches and a female stands up to 26-28 inches on maturity. It comes in both, long and short coat and is available in multiple colours and shades of red and white.
- Fur: It features two types of coats, one wavy and long-haired, and another silky, thick and short haired. Coming in shades like brindle-white and brownish-yellow, it looks attractive.
- Eyes: It has the most innocent small eyes which are round and black.
- Body Structure: A mature Saint Bernard possesses a large and heavy body. Its big head and wide jowl fits well with the big body and give it a uniform shape.
- Facial Features: It has a broad face with small eyes which gives it a serious look.
- Weight: A male dog of this breed weighs between 140-180 pounds while a female weights between 120-140 pounds.
St. Bernards are prone to several health issues like hereditary Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, epilepsy resulting in frequent seizures and heart diseases like Dilated Cardiomyopathy that could be dangerous to their health. Diagnostic tests such as X-Ray Screening, DNA Testing and regular heart check-ups and Cardio-tests can be helpful to detect the diseases at an early stage.
As it a high shedder, it needs three times of brushing in a week. It doesn’t need frequent bathing, but when bathed it must be kept indoors instead of outdoors. Brushing its teeth twice or thrice in a week and trimming its nails once or twice in a month is a must for its dental hygiene and skin health. Five to six cups of dry foods dividing in two shifts per day is sufficient to keep it healthy and active.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
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