Saint Bernard: The Ultimate Breed Guide 2020
The breed of Saint Bernard dog is one of the strongest yet adorable breeds in the pet world. They are well behaved and highly intelligent. The great history of Saint Bernard breed is quite inspiring. The Monks of Switzerland initially tamed this breed. They used to give hospitality to travelers who came to Switzerland’s Hospice land. And this giant yet adorable breed used to rescue or guide wandering people towards the ground.
The breed of Saint Bernard is popularly known as rescue or Guardian dogs/puppies because of their great history. The Guardian dogs are the owner of a great long and muscular body with a vigorous tail. The Saint Bernard Dogs are quite famous for their cute and astonishingly lovable wrinkled face. They own the attractive and one of the most expressive eyes with floppy ears. Despite their size, these dogs are one of the friendliest and lovable dogs.
Saint Bernard Dog Characteristics
Contrary to their size, the Bernard Dogs are one of the calmest and composed breeds to tame. They are lovable, patient, and highly intelligent. They are well-behaved and easy-going dogs who love to be around with family. They are mannered and generous dogs to train.
They are equally acceptable for the strangers yet meticulous and protective too. In short, we can say the breed of Saint Bernard is highly recommendable for you as a pet lover if you are thinking of adopting or buying a new member of your family. Now, let's find out some great traits of the Saint Bernard breed-
Saint Bernards are known for their great muscular body and giant yet adorable face. The average height of Male Saint Bernard is around 68.58-76cm and weighs around 63 to 81 kg. While on the other hand, the female dog of Saint Bernard breed varies 66-71 cm in height and weighs 54 to 63 kg.
In comparison to other dog breeds, the Saint Bernard dogs are one of the most longhaired dogs. Though, some Guardian Dogs may have short hair too. On the other hand, they have a great coat on their large body. The coat color varies in brown and white, red and white, or brindle and white. However, some Saint Bernard Dogs may have dark/black masks or spots over the eyes. They have great floppy ears with quite adorable dark eyes. The Saint Bernard Dogs love to drool because of their jowls. They have wrinkled expressive forehand, which makes them more delightful than any breed.
Last but not least, due to their large body, the Saint Bernard Dogs take little more time to get mature than any other breeds. They almost take a 2 to 3-year time span to reach the full and matured body.
Adaptability (3 out of 5)
Easy to adapt to urban Environment (3 out of 5)
The Saint Bernard dogs have one of the kindest and adorable nature. They are easy-going and well adaptable in any condition. They love to be around the family. They quickly acclimate the apartment's living environment. They do not like to be left alone or love to miss any fun activity with family members.
Suitable for New dog Owners (2 out of 5)
As a dog parent or an owner, you need to have some experience or some sound knowledge about the dogs. They require a regular diet and exercise routine, and as a new parent, sometimes it can be intricate for you to gently handle all these kinds of stuff. The Saint Bernard breed is quite large, and they require some day to day routines to follow. So, it would be quite right for you to go with another race in your first parenting.
A little less tolerate while alone (1 out 5)
The Guardian Dogs are easy-going and well-behaved dogs. They love to play and like to have some cuddles from their owners. But on the other hand, they are a little less tolerant while being left alone at home. They need a company of humans or other pets. Indeed, they do not like to live alone or spend time without anyone at home. In this case, they can mess up the things or may bark too.
Well suited for Winters (5 out of 5)
Due to their high and longhaired body and thick skin, they are little less impatient and tolerant in summers, but they enjoy the most when it comes to winters. They love to play and roam in cold weather. They like to go on a long walk on roads with their owners and see the world captured in the snow.
All-Around friendliness (4 out of 5)
Loveable with family (5 out of 5)
As we have mentioned earlier, that breed of Guardian dogs is one of the most loveable and friendliest breeds. Despite their large and giant body, they are affectionate and playful towards their family members; they are extra careful while playing with kids. And yes, they are intelligent enough while responding to the early training.
Affectionate with kids (5 out of 5)
The Saint Bernard breed is considered as one of the gentle and calm races who love to play around little kids. These dogs exactly know how to play with kids, and they are quite impressive towards showing their immense love towards the little members of the family. And the best part is that the kids also enjoy giant dogs' company due to their soft and haired body.
Dog friendly (4 out of 5)
Saint Bernard is one of the friendliest dogs who love the company of other pets. They love to play and share a great time with another pet. They easily accept another dog and live with them without creating any mess around. If you are also planning to add another pet member in your family with Saint Bernard being around, you can go without any hesitation.
Stranger Friendly (5 out of 5)
The Saint Bernard breed is very calm and composed with other persons too until they don’t notice any unfavorable activity around the guardian dog or have the intention to hurt the family members. They are so loveable and share great moments with unknown persons too. For instance, if you want to invite someone from the outside apart from your family, then you can easily do that because Saint Bernard will also greet the guest with his/her adorable smile and love.
Health and Grooming Needs (4 out of 5)
A significant amount of shedding (4 out of 5)
As we have discussed, the Guardian breed is known for its great physique, tall and long body, floppy ears with adorable eyes, and their coat or longhaired body. Indeed, if you want to bring a Bernard dog at your home, you need to adapt to his/her heavy shedding cycle. It would help if you made sure about the brushing because they will have at least two shedding periods in a year.
Accessible to groom (2 out of 5)
Due to their tremendous and large body size and long coat on their bodies, it becomes more intricate to groom the large Saint Bernard. It would be best if you did the brushing at least twice a week to maintain Guardian dogs' aesthetics. In short, they have moderate grooming needs and need to be cautiously done to avoid the coats in spreading around your bed.
Drooling (5 out of 5)
Due to their Jowls, they have the tendency of high drooling. We can say they love to drool, and this is one of the bad habits of Guardian Dogs. Although if you are a genuine or fascinated lover of Bernard, you will enjoy the thing, otherwise you need to be aware of the drooling habit of your Saint Barnard.
General Health (2 out of 5)
Due to their massive and giant body structure, Saint Bernards are more likely to have some diseases that can make your dog prone to illness. The bulky size and high meal diet can make their body less tolerant of illness. On the other hand, some genetic illnesses like hip and elbow dysplasia can trouble your dog in the future.
Weight gain (4 out of 5)
The dogs from Saint Bernard breed eat a lot. They love to fill their tummy by having some delicious dog meals all over the day. Though, the love of Guardian Dogs towards their meal can lead to potential weight gain and many painful health issues like joint and bone pain. So, it would be your responsibility as a parent to make sure about your dog's proper diet.
Trainability (4 out of 5)
Easy to train (3 out of 5)
Due to their giant size and weight, getting your Saint Bernard train in his/her early age becomes inevitable. Though they are calm and gentle enough to responsibly adapt the training, sometimes you may find the stubbornness traits in your Guardian Dog. In short, you need to be patient and gentle enough to train the rescue dogs.
Intelligence (4 out of 5)
The breed of Guardian Dogs is highly intelligent and independent thinkers. They know precisely how to behave and play around the kids and adults. They have the traits of quick analytical and sense power to understand the situation, which makes a great protector and the loveable breed.
Prey Drive (1 out of 5)
The breed of Saint Bernard is never recognized for their hunting abilities. They have been carrying the tag of friendly nature and immense love towards humans. As we have mentioned, they also greet strangers with love and affection. This trait makes them the most trustable dog among all.
Potential for Mouthiness (3 out of 5)
Due to the tendency of high drooling, your Saint Bernard can start to chew or bite. Perhaps, this habit of Mouthiness is common for all breeds of dogs. To make your dog understand this bad habit, you need to train your dog right from his/her childhood to get rid of this tendency of Mouthiness.
Saint Bernard’s physical needs (3 out of 5)
Energy level (3 out of 5)
On average, the breed of Saint Bernard is considered moderate in terms of their energy level. Though, it can vary from dog to dog and, most importantly, how well they are following their right playing and exercise schedule. The Guardian dogs and puppies are more relaxed and have a great tendency to play despite their great and giant structure.
Exercise need (3 out of 5)
As a good dog owner, you need to make sure that your dog is doing enough health routine exercise. Exercises and little play activity can quickly stop the potential weight gain threat and other severe issues like bone pain or lack of stamina that are much needed for the dogs to live happily.
Playfulness (4 out of 5)
The Saint Bernard dogs love to play. They are full of adventure and excitement. Contrary to their body sizes, they like to play around the kids for hours, and love to go on a long walk and vocational trips.
Vital stats about Saint Bernard
History of Saint Bernard pure breed
The history of Saint Bernard has been related entwined with monks of Swiss land. In short, we can say, the story behind the dogs or roots are directly coming from the traditions and Monastery. It is widely believed that the Guardian or rescue dogs emerged during the time of the 11th century at the monastery-hospice of today's Switzerland. But the 1st verified appearance of Saint Bernard occurred 600 years after.
According to several pet experts, initially, the Saint Bernard dogs used to tame as a watchdog for the Monastery, but later, the monks discovered the life-saving or rescuing skills of Saint Bernard. And after that, the dogs were used as a rescuer for the wandering travelers around the swiss-hospice land. And these were immensely acknowledged for saving around two thousand lives.
With the advancement of time, the life-saving breed of Saint Bernard dog has become the most loveable and adorable companion of humans. They are immensely popular because of their relation with kids. Several movies made like Beethoven and Beethoven 2 show the heroic and generosity of adventurous Guardian Dogs.
History of Saint Bernard in Australia
It all started in 1857 when a man named Mr. J. Kay imported a giant male Saint Bernard Dog in Victoria. And by the time, after four decades, approx. thirty above Saint Bernard dogs came to Australia in 1901. But due to unidentified reasons, most of the puppies/dogs were not being registered, despite the formation of Saint Bernard Club in 1891.
However, with the advancement of time, some of Saint Bernard dogs were imported to Adelaide and New South Wales and gained popularity and prosperity.
Brief about the Saint Bernard purebred
The breed of Guardian Dogs is known for their heroics for the unknown travelers at the hills of Swiss-hospice. They are well suited for the winters and cold waves; that is why Monks used to tame them to rescue wandering monks amidst cold waves.
These dogs are sweet and gentle despite their valor personality. They are loving and protective enough from any threat. They are generally in-house dogs who love to live inside the house. A yard attached to a home or daily walk would be enough for them to maintain their formula of a happy life.
They eat a lot. Perhaps, due to the need for a large body but sometimes it also leads to the potential weight gain. However, their behavior is best suited to kids. They are calm and playful with kids. However, they are a little stubborn a few times. They do not have a very long-life span like other breeds. They generally live around 8 to 10 years.
Personality (the Saint Bernard's temperament)
The swiss-Hospice's breed of Saint Bernard is very welcoming and friendly. They are inherited with a very benevolent and steady temperament, and they are genuinely affectionate and loveable with little kids. They are genuinely attention seekers and love cuddles from their parents or owners.
Due to their large size and giant body structure, you need to make sure about your dog's training at an early age. They are more responding and willing to adapt to the training in their starting ages. And one of the best things about having a Saint Bernard is that you will never find them aggressive or angry until it's a matter of family protection.
The Saint Bernard health
Saint Bernard generally lives a very healthy life, but Saint Bernard also tends to have some health problems like all dog breeds. Though it doesn't mean that all Guardian Dogs will get infected with the issues, they have quite more chances to get those conditions. Some are like hip and elbow dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, etc.
So, you need to first see health clearance from animal health foundations like Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or Auburn University for Thrombopathia.
Some unfavorable events like infectious diseases or metabolic disorders are one of the reasons that can lead to brain issues or head injuries, poison exposure, or tumors. The Epilepsy diseases can also occur genetically to your dog. If your dog has some seizures, then soon consult the vet clinic. Epilepsy can be treated with medication, but it can't be cured.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy occurs due to heart muscles' weakness, and when they find a problem to act normally. And due to this, the heart becomes enlarged for the more complicated function. The dogs with this condition usually have signs of weight loss, weakness, heart failure, depression, sudden collapse, breathing difficulty, etc.
The difficulty in clear seeing would be the easy meaning of cataract. Though, it happens at an older age and can be treated through surgery.
It's a widespread condition among all dog breeds where the thigh bone doesn't place or fit appropriately to the hip joint. Its harrowing condition, some races have this issue on one, but some can have on both legs. As an owner, you need to be cautious and alert. The condition of hip dysplasia is genetic, and it can be more painful due to the various factors like injuries and diet.
One of the essential and primary reasons for having the Elbow Dysplasia is the different growth rates of three pairs of bones that finally makes the dog's elbow cause joint laxity. This condition can be turned into worsening pain. And your dog may need the surgical option to cure the Elbow Dysplasia.
How to care for the Saint Bernard Dog?
One of the best ways to keep your dog healthier and out of illness is to share some quality time with the dog. Make your dog/puppy happy by spending some considerable time, a long walk, and an adventure trip timely. It would be best if you made sure that your Guardian Dog is not feeling alone or bored. Make sure that your dog is happy and comfortable around you.
Now, let’s check out some common ways to care for your dogs-
Feeding for Saint Bernard Dog (best feed for them)
Saint Bernard is known for its Hearty diets. They love to eat, and this habit of Guardian dog sometimes leads to potential weight gain. On an average basis, you need to serve your dog 5 to 6 cups of excellent quality (dry) food in a day. It would help if you served the dog smaller meals at regular intervals rather than giving a large in a once. However, some standard parameters mentioned below can assist you in making a healthy meal for your dog-
Some best Saint Bernard dog foods-
Saint Bernard Food Schedule
For 3 to 6 months old Puppy- You may feed them with milk until they reach six months of age or serve meals 3times a day after they arrive at 3 weeks age (1/3 cups).
For 6 to 12 months old Puppy- after six months, they become a little more mature, and you should feed them twice a day.
For 1 to 8 years old or above- At this age, your dog needs to have a meal twice a day (1/2 cup).
Coat Color and Grooming
The Saint Bernard breed dogs have both short and long coats. They also show different coating shades like red and white and white and brown or brindle. The longhaired coat dogs look pretty amazing because of their wavy hairs, but at the same time, you need to take note of the shedding cycle.
Make sure you are using high-quality nail trimming equipment because it can lead to injury otherwise. Do at least once or twice nail trimming of your Guardian Dog.
The Saint Bernard dogs have long coats on their body. So, it would be better to do at least 2-3 times brushing in a week to avoid extra shedding.
Bath and dental hygiene
Your Saint Bernard doesn’t need a frequent bath as other breeds need. So, give your dog a bath based on his/her cleanliness and make sure you are doing 2-3 times brushing of teeth in a week.
Children and Other Pets (How they behave with other pets and children)
The Saint Bernard breed dogs are known for their love and affection towards the kids. They enjoy the most when they play or roam around the kids. On the other hand, kids also love Guardian dogs due to their long, wavy coats and adorable faces.
Saint Bernard Rescue Groups
The ultimate bond of companionship between humans and dogs has been nurturing over the centuries. But still, you can find out plenty of cases of dog abuse and violence. The inadaptability with animals and less information about the dog while buying the dog leads to animal abuses. If you find any Saint Bernard in agony or ill condition, you can contact any of these listed groups.
The Saint Bernard club of New South Wales is one of the most productive groups that is ensuring the welfare and rescuing of the Saint Bernard Pure breed in the country.
Saint Bernard Breed Organizations
It provides complete information about rescue organizations, breed clubs, associations, and a lot of details regarding Saint Bernardfor sale or about the breed.
The Australian National Kennel Council is the foremost working body in all over Australia. It affiliates the local or state organizations that are working for the welfare of dogs in the country. Some of the prevalent and known body and clubs are-
So, there were associations or clubs working under the affiliation of the Australian National Kennel Council. Now, let's understand the working structure of ANKC-
The Australian National Kennel Council is the supreme body that maintains registries for purebreds in the country. The council also governs and recognises the approved conformation shows, canine events, and dog trails of dogs across the country. Last but not least, the Australian National Kennel Council is also the representative of the Australian Kennel club at the International level as the respective member of the Fédération CynologiqueInternationale.
The main story of the Australian National Kennel council was started in 1949 when the 1st congregation was held in Sydney Royal Easter show about the formation of the Australian National Kennel Council. But after almost a decade, a draft was made and presented in the Royal Easter show, which was later approved and led to the formation of the Australian National Kennel Council in the same year.
True love with zero malice and hatred is one of the greatest things you can get by having a dog. A Saint Bernard is not only a great watcher of the family but a faithful companion for your kids. It would be great for you to go for the adoption or buy a Saint Bernard Puppy from identified breeders to bring your loyal companion at home.