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St Bernard

All About St Bernards


Description of a St Bernard

The Saint Bernard is a massive dog by any standard. They are very noble looking and tend to be very calm but muscular and amazingly athletic. The breed has either a rough or smooth coat with the rough coat being coarser and slightly longer than the smooth. They can be many different color variations but most have a black mask and dark muzzle and a white body with patches of red, mahogany, orange, mahogany or orange brindle or black. The head is very broad and the ears are folded forward against the sides of the face. The tail is long and curves upwards and is usually feathered to some degree. The rough coated variety will tend to have more feathering on the legs, belly and tail. The feet are broad and arched and ideal for walking through snow. The chest is deep and the body is very solid looking but not overly heavy for the frame. Taller St. Bernards are preferred over the shorter, stockier size.

Temperament of a St Bernard

The breed is known for its loyal and loving manner, and is excellent with children of all ages and pets, both dogs and non-canine, provided it has been socialized. They are not known to be great guard dogs but are natural watchdogs and their very size is often enough to keep strangers away. They are easy to train but do have a somewhat laid back personality that is quickly bored with too many repetitions of commands. It is not an extremely playful breed once they mature but still love to run and be around people whenever the family is home. They are very sure-footed dogs that are ideal for long, ambling walks and staying outdoors during the day when people are away from the house. They rarely engage in destructive behaviors provided they have regular, frequent attention and quality time with the family. This breed does drool, some more noticeably than others.

Grooming & Shedding of a St Bernard

The St. Bernard is an average shedder throughout the year but will also shed very heavily in the spring and fall when the undercoat is shed. Outside of these times brushing two or three times a week with a pin brush or stiff bristle brush will usually suffice, but during the shed they will need daily grooming. The eyes are prone to tearing so they will need to be cleaned regularly to prevent staining of the hair.

History of the St Bernard

The breed is very ancient and likely descended from the Roman Molosser and the Tibetan Mastiff breeds. Many experts believe that Great Danes and Great Pyrenees were also included in the early bloodlines. In area of the Swiss Alps the early St. Bernards were used a herding dog and for farm protection. Later on in the 1800s the breed became known as the Hospice Dog for its amazing ability to find travelers stranded in the snow and bring them back to the hospices set up along the mountain passes. It is estimated that over 2,000 lives have been saved through the amazing sense of smell and athletic ability of the St. Bernard.

Health Issues with a St Bernard

  • Major Concerns: hip dysplasia, gastric torsion (bloat), entropion, ectropion, distichiasis, elbow dysplasia, osteosarcoma
  • Minor Concerns: OCD (growth), diabetes, cardiomyopathy, pyotraumatic dermatitis
  • Occasionally seen: epilepsy
  • Suggested tests: heart, elbow, hip, eye

Characteristics of the St Bernard

Height 25.5-27.5 inches ( 61-70 cm)
Weight 110-200 pounds (50-91 kg)
Lifespan 8-10 years
Exercise Medium to low
Apartment Yes – with frequent exercise
Families Yes
Young Children Yes
Need exercise space Yes – must be kept out of extreme heat

Signs specifically designed for the St Bernard

Hand made Dog signs for your Vehicles & Homes or just to Raise Awareness.

These quirky dogs signs really do work.
They seem to amuse the reader and make them stop and think for a moment keeping your loyal companion & best friend safer

FOR DOGS SAKE!® Keep 'em Safer
20% of profits from each sign goes to shelters.

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