Saint Bernard – The Big and Friendly Rescue Dog

The Saint Bernard is a breed of dog; Famous for redeeming snowbound travelers in the Swiss Alps and also the very first breed entered into the Swiss Stud Book in 1884. The breed standard was finally approved in 1887, since that time the St. Bernard has been a Swiss national dog. The dog is also known as St. Barnhardshund, Alpine Mastiff, and Bernhardiner. This working dog is recognized as the heaviest breed by the American Kennel Club.

The Saint Bernard is a very large, strong, muscular dog usually weighs from 110 – 200 (50 to 91kg) pounds. Males should be at least 27.5 inches high at the shoulders and Females 25.5 inches high. The coat is typically a red color with white, or sometimes a mahogany brindle with white. Black shading is usually found on the face and ears. Saint Bernards have very large heads and are prone to drooling due to their large saggy lips. There is no such thing as a dry mouth Saint. Large feet with strong, arched toes make these dogs more sure-footed on ice-covered and snowy surfaces. The dogs have a keen sense of smell and can find someone even if he is buried deep in the snow. They also seem to have a sixth sense about impending danger from storms and avalanches.

Saint Bernards are divided into two categories: short-haired and long-haired. The original St. Bernard is short-haired; the long haired variety appeared in the mid-nineteenth century. The short hair variety also known as stockhaarig has a thinner smooth coat and are more often used for mountain work because it can tolerate cold temperatures. The other variety is the long hair; the more common of the two tends to collect icicles. Both long-haired and short-haired Saint Bernards shed and need regular grooming.

Saint Bernard puppies need early obedience and household rules training for their tendency to physically grow quickly. Saints generally are slow to mature mentally, and training should be guided with a gentle, but firm with a good deal of patience and consistency. They require plenty of exercise and balanced diet to remain healthy.

Saint Bernards are gentle and calm dogs and make great pets. They are patient, friendly, and tolerant with children. Despite their large size they are amazingly gentle, obedient, loyal, and reliable and loved as gentle family dogs with big hearts and friendly temperaments. They make good watchdogs and are very intimidating to strangers. A good example of these dogs is Barry; the Saint Bernard saved the lives of many lost people in the snowy Alps. He lived from 1800-1814 and is known for his many rescues.

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