Saint Bernard

cathSankt Bernard

Huge working dog that earned saint status


Saint Bernard was created in Switzerland. The big dogs were used to pull carts and crank wheels at the Saint Bernhard Hospice in the 17th century, which functioned as a sanctuary for travelers passing between Switzerland and Italy.

The Hospice's monks quickly discovered that these dogs could be used to locate lost passengers. These dogs were capable of finding a lost human, licking his face, and lying next to him to keep him warm. Over three centuries, the dog's role in search and rescue won them the saviour reputation, as they saved over 2,000 lives.

Harsh weather, sickness, and inbreeding nearly killed out the breed in the early 1800s. Fortunately, some of the remaining dogs were mixed with Newfoundlanders, giving birth to the first long-haired St. Bernard, which arrived in England around 1810 and in America around 1880.


The Saint Bernard is a big dog with a strong head and enormous skull. Short and deep in the nose, it has a wrinkled forehead and lower eyelids that do not entirely close, creating an angular crease.

It has high, triangular ears with a rounded contour. It has a low-hanging tail and a straight back. The St. Bernard has broad paws.

St. Bernards can have two types of coats, short-haired and long-haired. The short-haired coat is smooth, while the long-haired is straight or slightly wavy.

Coat colors are usually white with red, and red or with white markings. The chest, paws, tail tip, noseband and neck are usually white, and the dog may have a dark mask and ears.

An adult Saint Bernard can grow to be 61-70cm tall and weigh 50-91 kg.

The lifespan of St. Bernard is 8-10 years.


Despite his size, the St. Bernard is a calm relaxed dog. It is gentle, patient and protective and devoted to its family.

Although this dog is eager to please his owners, he is not really playful. He is stubborn, but gets along well with other pets.

St. Bernard is tolerant of children. It moves slowly but is obedient and eager to please. Early training is recommended for this dog because it is very intelligent and easy to train. As it will grow to be a large dog, it is best for it to have an early understanding of who the pack leader is.

This dog has a keen sense of smell. It is well-known for being able to forecast bad weather, storms, and avalanches.

Exercise and care needs

Saint Bernards need regular short to moderate walks. They can live in a house with a yard or even in an apartment as long as they get enough exercise. This dog enjoys being inactive indoors, and can even live outdoors. However, it prefers to be with his family..

Weekly brushing is recommended for both the short and long coats. Daily brushing may be necessary if there is more shedding. This dog needs a bath three to four times a year.

Ear cleaning after a bath is necessary. There should be no water in the ear canal. Dry, clean ears will keep ear infections away.

The nails of the Saint Bernard must be kept short and neat. Nail trimmers are especially useful as they are easier to use and most dogs seem to prefer them.

The Saint Bernard drools, especially after meals or after drinking water. It has a low tolerance for hot weather. It also snores and wheezes.

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