Initially, the Saint Bernard dog sheltered the grounds of Switzerland’s Hospice and helped find and save missing and wounded travelers.
Nowadays, Saint Bernards benefit from the luxuries of family lifestyle in several houses worldwide. They love almost anyone they meet, and those that do not mind a little drool may find them to be affectionate companions.
Saint Bernard came from Switzerland with many other dog breeds, such as the Entlebuch Cattle Dog, Greater Swiss-Mountain Dog, and Appenzell Cattle Dog. The Saint Bernard Pass is a treacherous and well-known alpine pass about eight-thousand feet above sea level. Nowadays, the history of the great Roman road is visible, proof of Napoleon’s crossing. In the USA, a Saint Bernard called Plinlimmon was famous in 1883. Plinlimmon belonged to an actor and had become the top winning Saint Bernard show dog of the time. The owner took the dog across the nation, showing at movie theaters.
Saint Bernards have different colors of white with red or red and white. The red may come in various shades, from brindle patches and white marks to brownish-yellow. The white appears on the upper body, near the neck, all-around nose (nose-band), on the feet and tip of the tail. Male Saint Bernards stand about 28-30 inches at the shoulder and weigh about 140-180 lbs; females are 26-28 inches and weigh about 120-140 lbs.
In keeping with their history as hospice dogs, Saints are welcoming and friendly. Saints have warm and steady personalities and are careful and kind with children. However, they like attention and are demanding of it like several dog breeds. Due to their larger size, it’s vital to start training Saints while very young, when they are still very easily manageable. They are intelligent and ready to please, however stubborn sometimes. They are not aggressive, except in protecting a loved one.
Susceptible to Diseases
Saints are usually healthier; however, they are vulnerable to many health issues like other dog breeds. Only some Saints can get all or any of these diseases:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Congestive cardiomyopathy
- Allergic reactions
- Gastric dilation
Care and Grooming
Saint Bernards can have long and short hair; however, both coats require similar care. Brushing once in a week helps remove dust and shed hair while keeping the dog looking good. Any knots might be resolved using a metal comb. Brushing has to be a regular activity through the shedding season that occurs twice yearly. The periodic bath helps keep the Saint smelling good and looking fresh. Like all breeds, the nails must be cut routinely, as long nails might hurt the dog and result in problems while running and walking.