The history of the saint bernard is kinda a mystery. It is believed, that they were developed from mastiff like dogs that were brought to switzerland by the romas approximately 2000 years ago. They crossed with local mountain dogs, which was the begining of the Saint Bernard.
2) Keg of Whiskey
Saint Bernards are famous as a rescue dog with a tiny keg of whiskey around their neck. But the truth is, that the st. Bernard were never armed with this keg on their neck, it is a big myth. This myth started because of the famous St. Bernard which was drawn with the keg.
They might not have the keg of whiskey, but they were really working in the harsh terrain of swiss alps. Their original purpose was to guard and be a companions for monks in the Alps, but after a while they became the most famous rescue dogs. And not only they are great at finding human bodies under the snow, it is believed that they could predict incoming avalanches and they are definitely good at clearing snowy paths.
There was one Saint Bernard that was especially good at rescuing. His name was Barry and it is believed that he saved approximately 100 people. Once he found dying 12 years old boy and he carryied him back to safety. Sadly, he was probably killed by a soldier who mistaken him with a wolf.
5) Fast growth
When the St. Bernard puppy is born, they are between 1 – 2 pounds heavy and they have a lot of growing ahead, since the adult dog might weight up to 180 pounds. And the growth is very quick, when they are 3 months old, they already weigh around 40 pounds. After that they are gaining up to 5 pounds every single week.
6) Gentle Giants
Dont be fooled by the large size of the Saint Bernard, this dog is very gentle, calm and patient. That is why they are often times nicknamed as gentle giants. Thanks to this, they make wonderful companions for families, even with children.
There are many famous Saint Bernards, but the most popular is definitely the movie star Beethoven. It is a movie from the 1992 and it tells a story about a family which adopted an active and mischevious St. Bernard.
Saint Bernard has loose skin hanging down from their lips. This is causing, that they are drooling much more than an average dog. Of course, this gets even worse, when they are hungry or when they drink.
9) Napoleon Bonaparte
Saint Bernards were not only rescue and guard dogs. In their interesting history, they also helped the famous Napoleon when he was crossing a mountain pass in the Alps. They were supported in this task by a group fo dedicated Saint Bernard dogs. And thanks to this support, Napoleon could cross the Alps without any bigger danger.
As with almost all giant dog breeds, St. Bernards are very prone to some health problems. The most common is the deterioration of bones, which is caused by the rapid growth we talked earlier. They are also prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, some eye disorders, skin allergies and epilepsy.
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