Originally the Saint Bernard dog breed was used to guard the grounds of Switzerland’s Hospice Saint Bernard as well as to help find and save lost and injured travelers.
There are TOP 10 interesting facts about Saint Bernard.
Like other dogs bred in the Alps—including Bernese mountain dogs and Entlebuch cattle dogs—the history of the breed is a somewhat mysterious. Many believe that they originate from molossers: mastiff-like dogs brought to Switzerland by the Romans roughly 2000 years ago. The large war dogs bred with local mountain dogs, creating the beginnings of the Saint Bernard line. Valley farms and Alpine dairies used the hefty dogs for guarding, herding, and drafting.
2) Loyal Breed
This is a dog that will fall madly in love with its family and then spend the rest of its life looking to make them happy. This dog loves people, and it loves to spend time with them. It’s a good dog for things like keeping company and training, because it is very easy to please. Once it falls in love with you, it will do anything for you, especially if you teach it to do something in particular. We adore this breed for this very reason.
3) Great with Kids
Saint Bernards are gentle giants. They’re calm and patient, with an eagerness to please. This easy-going temperament makes the dog a great choice for a family pet. They’re very intelligent, so training is easy, but it’s important to start at a young age while they’re still small and easy to control. Sometimes the large dogs are unaware of their size, making training essential in order to prevent them from bowling over guests and children.
4) Rescue Dogs
These big, beautiful dogs used to be used regularly as rescue dogs in the dangerous Alps. It was a job that was very dangerous for the dog as many of them lost their lives in the dangerous conditions such as avalanches, and it’s something that we have to appreciate about this breed. And while it’s often seen wearing what appears to be a small barrel of wine around its neck, this breed neither makes and provides cocktails or drinks them for a good time.
5) Long Walks
Go ahead and put this down on your pup’s personal profile, because it is the absolute truth. This is a breed that adores spending time on the leash engaging in long, leisurely walks with the family. This breed does like to exercise, even if it is not a dog that moves quickly all the time. You will find that your Saint Bernard is very happy to take long strolls around the neighborhood with you so that it can enjoy what life has to offer.
Saint Bernards have a lot of fur, but you don’t have to worry about frequent trips to the groomer. They have an oily, water-resistant coat, which originally warded off snow and ice when they resided in the mountains. It’s best not to over-wash them because soap will strip away necessary oils in their fur.
The Saint Bernard portrayed on television and in movies is a galloping troublemaker, taking out large objects and knocking over any person in his way. In reality, a full grown Saint Bernard is generally mellow and calm. Puppies are boisterous and often in trouble, but proper training will quickly correct bad behaviors.
Thanks to the Saint’s unusual head and jaw shape, their lips and loose skin hang down, meaning they drool more than other breeds. This behavior tends to get worse when the dogs are hungry, overheated, or excited. To minimize the puddles left in their wake, try to keep them cool and prepare food out of sight. Some devoted owners will even carry around a drool rag to clean their pooch's muzzle every once in a while.
9) Cold Weather
The Saint Bernard was mostly trained to search and rescue in the coldest parts of the world, and they’ve become pretty acclimated to the cold weather as a result. Does this mean southerners can’t have one of their own? The answer is not a solid no, but it is a consideration potential dog owners should make when getting a dog of their own such as this. Perhaps this is not the breed to consider if you live in a tropical location, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go with this breed as a whole. Even those who live in warmer climates can have this breed; it just requires that they keep the dog indoors where he or she is more comfortable. And those long walks they like might provide a bit of discomfort when the weather is particularly warm.
Although they appear unstoppable with their large, sturdy bodies, Saint Bernards are very sensitive to heat. Their life span is shorter than the majority of breeds, since they live an average of 10 years. Saint Bernard weight ranges between 120 and 180 pounds, but Benedictine, the largest Saint Bernard on record, weighed a whopping 336 pounds.