The Saint Bernard is a large, powerful working breed. This family favorite is a loving and loyal dog that requires space and regular exercise.
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Finding a Saint Bernard
- Large, strong, muscular build
- Large head
- Medium sized, dark brown eyes
- Coat: Two types; shorthaired and longhaired
- Medium-sized drop ears
- Coloring of white with red, brindle and brown-yellow
- May have dark mask
- Height: 25.5 - 27.5 inches
- Weight: 110-180 pounds
- Average lifespan: 8-11 years
- Gently, fun-loving and friendly, patient, obedient, intelligent, loyal
- Interaction with people: Good with children; playful and lively with family and strangers
- Training: Easily trained
- Cancers (including osteosarcoma)
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Ophthlamic disorders (including entropion and ectropion)
- Wobbler Syndrome (caused by malformed vertebrae)
While the listed ailments may be common in this breed, not all members of the breed suffer from these conditions. Responsible breeders screen for orthopedic and genetic diseases.
- OK for apartments
- Fairly inactive indoors
- Low tolerance for heat
- Needs long walks as an adult. Do not over exercise a growing pup.
- Average shedder
- Brush with a firm-bristle brush
- Keep eyes and ears clean
- Believed to have saved more than 2,000 people at Switzerland's famous hospice
- Depicted in 1820 in Edwin Landseer’s painting "Alpine Mastiffs Reanimating a Distressed Traveler"
- Come in short- and long-haired varieties
- Avalanche rescues involved two Saint Bernards: One would stay with the trapped traveler to keep him warm, while the other went to the hospice for help
- Originated in the 1600s in Switzerland
- Developed by monks at the Hospice of Saint Bernard in Switzerland
- Used as guards, for search-and-rescue, and drafting
- Likely descendents of Roman mastiffs
- Rescued travelers from snow avalanches
- Since 2004, it has been kept at the Hospice of Saint Bernard only during the summer, as a point of interest for tourists