- SIZE: 9
- GROOMING:: 5
- EXERCISE NEEDS: 4
- GOOD WITH DOGS: 5
- WATCHDOG: 4
- BREED: Saint Bernard
- COLOR(S):White with red, red or brindle with white.
The Saint Bernard is a very large, strong, muscular, powerful dog. As long as the weight stays in proportion with the height, the taller the dog the more prized. This breed has been used as an avalanche and rescue dog in the snowy passes near the Hospice. This amazing servant of mankind has saved more than 2,000 people. It has a highly developed sense of smell and also seems to have a sixth sense about impending danger from storms and avalanches (perhaps it may hear very low frequency sounds that are beyond our ability to hear). There are two varieties: short-haired and long-haired; the short-haired variety is more often used for mountain work because it can tolerate cold temperatures while the long-haired variety\'s coat tends to collect icicles. This dog can find a person even under many feet of snow. Some of this breed\'s talents are: search & rescue, watchdogging and carting.
This breed is extremely gentle and friendly. It is very tolerant of children. It is slow moving, obedient, and patient. It is eager to please and extremely loyal to its family. Since this dog is so large, be sure to socialize it very well at a young age with people and other dogs. Training should be gentle and start at an early age while the dog is still a manageable size. Keep in mind that an unruly dog of this size presents a problem for even a strong adult if it is to be exercised in public areas on a leash, so take control from the onset. The Saint Bernard makes a good watchdog; even its size is a good deterrent. This breed tends to drool after drinking or eating. It has an excellent sense of smell.
Very dense, water-resistant, tough, without feeling rough to the touch. There are two types of coat: rough, and smooth. Both types of coats are easy to groom. Comb and brush with a firm bristle brush, and bathe only when necessary. This breed sheds twice a year.
Hip dysplasia, albinism, bone problems, heart defects, and a short life span. Epilepsy, skin allergies, laryngeal paralysis, temperament problems and osteosarcoma, a bone cancer which has been shown to be hereditary in this breed, are also health concerns. Finally, bloat is a threat to this breed due to their deep chests. Bloat is a health concern to most dogs, being the second largest killer of dogs. It is also known as gastric torsion or twisted stomach.
Daily short, regular walks are better than long sessions. Apartments should not be considered. A house with a large backyard is preferred. Saint Bernards need people in their life, and should not be left alone for long periods of time. They have a tendency to suffer from separation anxiety. An owner should be a patient, confident leader who prefers a lazy, friendly, slow-thinking pet that always wants to be with them. The best owner for this breed would be someone living in a rural or suburban home where neatness is not a major concern. This breed requires quite a lot of space.
Training: Saint Bernards must receive obedience training as a puppy because of their tremendous size as an adult. They must be trained to not pull on a leash when young. They should also be socialized as young as possible in order to ensure a good temperament. Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Medium. Problem Solving - High.