Saint Bernard overview-Owner Should Know

Saint Bernard Overview

Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard Information

NameSaint Bernard
Other NameSt. Bernard, Alpine Mastiff, Bernhardiner, Saint
OriginItaly, Switzerland
Build TypeGiant
Life Cycle8-10 years
GroupWorking, Guardian Dog
CharacterSoft, Gentle, Careful, Friendly, Watchful, Calm
HeightMale: 28-40 inches
Female: 28-40 inches
WeightMale: 160-270 pounds
Female: 160-250 pounds
ColorReddish-Brown-Brindle, Yellow brownish, splash, Red & White and mild combinations
Average price1600 US$


Good with Kids★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Child Friendly★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Cat Friendly★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Dog Friendly★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Trainability★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Shedding★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Watchdog★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Intelligence★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Grooming★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Popularity★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Adaptability★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Steadfast, serious and solid dog, Saint Bernard is long and healthy breed. It is loyal and well devoted breed, eager to remain in the center of the attentions. They are happy when applied on work, otherwise get bored. They are self confident, sometimes independent and stubborn. They are quite sensible and understand the command of the master and cab be presented in competitive obedience shows. They are keen of making amusement but not a very playful to children, rather harmless and soft with children and acceptable temperament towards other pets. They drool at lot; new dog owners should keep this element in their mind.

Saint Bernard is healthy proportioned and tall breed of the dog. They are strong muscled and sturdy build dog with good combination of bone and flesh. They are capable to work in severe winters with deep snow on their way. The breed is available in both short and long coat types. One with short coat has dense hairs and hard skin, whereas long-coated dogs have hairs long and medium in range, straight slightly curvy. The gait is free, flawless with standing posture. Overall expression is quite alert, bold and clever.

The Saint Bernard breed is said to be the result of cross fertilization of old Tibetan Mastiff with some other breeds like Great Dane, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and Great Pyrenees. The breed has its history as old as 980 AD, and was firstly discovered by St. Bernard de Menthon. The development of this breed is mainly headed with monastic. The most used breed is of short haired dog as the long haired dogs were prone to get dirt and mud and icicles. Firstly these dogs were used at lodging for travelers (especially one kept by a monastic order) through dangerous Alpine pass connecting Italy and Switzerland. The dog was extensively used in seventeenth century to rescue peoples caught in snow slides on the mountains as well as working and carting dog. They were high degree sensitive and were able to smell the scent of victim dozens of feet below of snow and would dig, lay with victim to warm his body, usually Saint Bernard dogs worked in packs and one of them used to inform about the victims to Hospice, enabling a rescue team to recover humans under the heavy snow. The dog had some unknown sense called sixth sense by predicting unsuitable weather conditions like snow storms and snow slides at major scales. This was possibly due to its high ear sensitivity enabling is detect minute sounds below audible frequencies for human. This effective breed was registered with AKC in 1885 and is used as search and rescue dog in snowy mountains, watchdogs, carting and guard cum travel guide in snow filled mountains.


The breed is very effective in snowy areas and enjoys its fame as search and rescue detector. The history is filled with the adventures of rescuing 2000 humans trapped in the avalanches at Saint Bernard de Menthon Hospice. The working principal was searching in the form of packs for any trapped human. 

Currently these valuable gentle dogs are used mainly as rescue and working dogs in hilly area. As a family dog, they prove very effective housemate and family guard. In the puppyhood the dog looks clumsy with some ill-temperament and disturbing drives, the same behavior is projected in Beethoven movies shown during 1990s. With the growth and maturity, the Saint Bernard dogs tend to learn new things and develop quite positive attitude with happy nature and lively lifestyle. They love to play with children and remain caring towards their safeties. Finally, the Saint Bernard dogs are very agile and trustworthy friend of mankind.

The breeders could develop a variant of Saint Bernard dog, which is easily adoptable to house life after the boom of indiscrimination of the breed resulted due to Beethoven movie. Now it is important to work out the right puppy from reputed breeder to get matured temperament puppies. Human rescuer, Saint Bernard does not know aggression, so ensure your puppy is not aggressive to strangers.

The breed is heavy drooling and classified as non-clean breed, they shed round the year and are indiscipline in terms of good family mate, in a way they mess the utensils of foods badly. The need of committed training is felt; you need to socialize the dog to get familiar with house life and other pets.

Owner Should Know

  1. Saint Bernard dog is of large size, they are free and active outdoors, they are suited with open houses and fenced yards. They are not advised for apartment life.
  2. Grooming of their coat is a hard work, further they drool a lot, if you expect a clean dog then it is not right breed for you.
  3. They mature late, puppies are slightly challenging in adaption.
  4. They are polite to children and caring, but small toddlers should not be trusted without governance.
  5. The breed is snow borne and sensitive to heat, in hot weathers, you need to keep them cool.
  6. The breed is quiet and will only bark when it is much needed.
  7. The life span of the breed is small and averaged as 8 to 10 years of life.
  8. Seek for reputed and trustworthy breeder or suppliers to get healthy and well temperament puppies. Ensure puppies are clinically checked and are disease free.

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