Saint Bernard

Temperament:

Gentle, Alert, Calm
Size: Large
Height: 65-90 cm
Weight: 54-81 kg
Lifespan: 8-10 years
Coat: Medium Hair
Colors: Brownish Yellow, Red White, Reddish Brown Brindle, Reddish Brown Splash, Reddish Brown Mantle
FCI Group: Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs

He has loyal eyes, cuddly fur, is strong as a bear and above all brave: the St. Bernard is considered a true friend and rescuer in distress. The most famous among them was called Barry. He lived in Switzerland and is shrouded in legend. He is said to have saved 40 people from icy death in the Swiss High Alps.

Saint Bernard
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Characteristics

As big as the body of the St. Bernard, so big is probably also his heart. Good-naturedness and exceptional love of children make the giant a popular family dog. He feels especially comfortable in families with small children. He is a balanced and calm dog, which almost nothing can upset.

The gentle giant is very sensitive. That is why he needs close contact with people. Life in the kennel is torture for the affectionate dog. Reliability, alertness and a moderate protective instinct make him a reliable watchdog. He is not aggressive. With his imposing appearance, however, this is not necessary.

Nevertheless, its power should not be underestimated, even when living with the family. He is playful and cuddly. Therefore, a well-intentioned little "nudge" can quickly cause a toddler to fall. In order to direct his strength in the right direction, he needs consistent training. This is because the Swiss is known as a "stubborn" dog. Firmly integrated into the family, he proves to be a loyal and obedient companion.

To always have fun with the dog, the consistent education is a basic requirement. A colossus that is stubborn and listlessly follows instructions is no fun. You should also keep in mind that a Saint Bernard can be stronger than a well-trained man.

The intimate and deep bond with the owner is the basis of education. However, in no case coercion or harshness. Even as a puppy, he should be raised with consistency. Young St. Bernards are often lively and really challenge to be led. The dog can be trained well despite this.

The Saint Bernard has a height at the withers up to a proud 90 cm. His body weight reaches an average of 80 kg. Thus, he is one of the heaviest and largest dog breeds in the world. The strong body with its large head and massive neck give it its imposing appearance. This may seem a bit scary at first sight. However, only until the giant shows his gentle nature.

Today, the compatible St. Bernard is longhaired as well as stockhaired. The hair of the original breed dog was stockhaarig or short-haired. In the meantime, there are also long-haired. The short haired version has a dense, smooth and close fitting top coat. The long haired version has medium length and straight top coat. Above the hips, the hair can be slightly wavy.

The coat is white with gradations. These can be reddish brown or reddish brown with white. Markings in white are expressly desired. Markings are found on the chest, nose, paws, neck and the tip of the tail. The white ruff as well as a dark mask make the image of the dog giant perfect.

Coat care:

Little
Medium
Intensive

Shedding:

Little
Medium
Intensive

Energy level:

Little
Medium
High

Trainability:

Little
Medium
Good

Children suitable:

Less
With supervision
Perfect

The right food

If you buy a St. Bernard, it will probably be a puppy. Feeding the St. Bernard puppy is relatively simple. The little colossus should initially 3 - 4 times per day be fed. Later he needs as a young dog 2 times a day Food. The easiest way is to choose ready-made food. This provides the dog with all the necessary minerals and vitamins.

Additional administration of dietary supplements is not recommended. This easily leads to over-supply in the diet. In the worst case, this then leads to diseases. Since St. Bernards are quite happy-go-lucky, a food with a rather low protein content is clearly preferable. This is because the dogs should not be additionally stimulated. Slow development is more gentle on the bones and joints of dogs.

The amount of food required is quite different for each individual. It is important for large breeds to keep the dogs rather slim. Overweight leads to permanent damage to the skeleton and ligamentous apparatus of growing dogs. If you are unsure about the diet, your breeder will certainly help you with advice.

Adult St. Bernard can be fed once a day. However, feeding twice a day is preferable. Thus, the dog is not burdened with a one-time large amount of food. Fresh water must be available to the dog at all times.

Saint Bernard care

Regular combing and brushing is sufficient as coat care. Whereas with the long-haired variants this is somewhat more elaborate than in short-haired dogs. This is especially true during the shedding period. When brushing, you also check at the same time whether ticks or fleas have crept in.

The view into the Hundeohren and careful cleaning are also part of the care. Also a check of the dog's teeth for Tartar should be performed regularly. In addition, you should pay particular attention to the Eye care to recognize possible diseases in time and to avoid problems. For the four-legged friend, this care is also at the same time an opportunity to get close contact with you.

It actually goes without saying that such a large dog should only be kept if you have a House with spacious garden have. Saint Bernards do not belong in small rented apartments in the city. This people-oriented giant also needs close proximity to family. He would only waste away if kept in a kennel.

However, you should also note that the breed to a strong salivation tends. Drool stains on clothes, furniture and your couch are an inevitable part of life with St. Bernard. Frequent stair climbing and excessively slippery floors should be avoided. Because here the giant can slip. Joints and muscles should also not be stressed by stairs if possible. This is particularly important during their growth phase. But this can also become important again in old age.

If you have a lot of space, time and also the money (keeping such a big dog is not cheap), the Saint Bernard will be a faithful and friendly companion for you. He surprises his owners with pronounced helpfulness and sensitivity. Whereby the bringing of schnapps rather does not belong to it. The story of the famous schnapps barrel that St. Bernards wore around their necks and gave to avalanche victims to warm them up is a fairy tale.

Suitable accessories

Saint Bernards are rather leisurely dogs that don't think very highly of any dog sports. They should still get enough exercise. On average, they should be walked three times a day for longer periods. For this you need a dog collar and a leash. However, not a standard one. Due to the strong neck, the St. Bernard needs an extra large collar. Also the leash should be more stable than usual.

Especially in warm temperatures, the St. Bernard has little desire for effort. Jumping around or chasing a ball non-stop is not his thing. This is usually quickly too much for him. Accordingly, the need for accessories of this kind is limited. With his thick fur no wonder.

Moderate temperatures, on the other hand, he likes. Then the walk can also quietly last a little longer. And when there is snow, the giants become incredibly agile, playful and eager to move. So use the winter to really romp around with your dog.

Saint Bernard history

Origin & History

The St. Bernard is also known as St. Bernard dog. He is one of the dog breeds that probably most people know. The Swiss national dog with the barrel on his neck that rescues avalanche victims. He actually has a lot to do with rescuing avalanche victims. St. Bernard dogs lived as working dogs in a hospice in the Alps, on the Great St. Bernard.

It is documented that the most famous representative of the breed saved more than 40 people from death in the snow. "Barry" was the name of this rescue dog. It means "little bear" in Swiss. However, he saved lives without the typical liquor barrel. St. Bernards like the famous Barry really existed. At that time, they established the legendary reputation of the dog breed.

However, the first St. Bernards weighed no more than 50 kg at most. But that was 200 years ago. The old St. Bernards were linnets compared to today's giants. They would not be admitted to dog shows today as St. Bernards.

In the meantime, the dogs became more and more colossal. This has serious consequences for their health. The FCI standard recognizes 90 cm as the maximum size for males, but draws no upper limit. This is disastrous for the future of the old breed.

The "Swiss Dog Stud Book" was opened in 1884. The first entry was of course the St. Bernard. Thus, the St. Bernard was officially recognized as a dog breed in 1887. Since then, it has been considered the Swiss national dog. Shortly after, in Germany, in 1891, the first special club for the St. Bernard was founded. Since then, it has been the largest worldwide club for St. Bernards.

Against an erroneous development in the race dog breed friends of the Bernhardiner engage themselves in the meantime. In Switzerland, there is the Barry Foundation, which was founded for the "preservation of the original St. Bernard dogs of the Great St. Bernard".

The Barry Foundation runs Barryland at the dogs' former place of work. This shows the true history of these fantastic dogs. But also the real St. Bernards are successfully bred here.