Saint Bernards are large and muscular dogs. Their famous features include a powerful head and a broad nose. Their coat can be short or long. The Saints are devoted family dogs, and are gentle and patient with children.
The breed is known for their brave rescue missions in the Swiss mountains where they saved more than 2,000 lives over three centuries.
Saint Bernards were originally bred in 1660 and 1670 in Italy and Switzerland, and started being utilized as rescue dogs in the Swiss mountains. Monks at St. Bernard Hospice noticed that the dogs had a knack for finding their path in hazardous conditions and locating lost travelers. The dogs would warm up missing persons by licking their face and laying next to them.
In 1810 England saw its first Saint Bernards, and called them “sacred dogs.”
These gentle giants are friendly, sweet, and good with children. They are loyal, obedient, and slow in their movements. Eager to learn, this breed should be socialized very early while their size makes them easy to handle. Even though they are affectionate and friendly dogs, it’s vital to train them from a young age. Even something as simple as a playful jump can turn into an accident with a dog as large as a St. Bernard.
- Height: 25.5 – 27.5 inches
- Weight: 110 – 200 pounds
- Lifespan: 8 – 10 years
- Grooming: Weekly coat brushing
Care & Health
The Saint Bernard requires a moderate but consistent level of activity. This big guy is not a fan of heat, and does best in colder climates. Their coat, long and short, requires a weekly brushing. This sweet giant will drool all over you so if you love being squeaky clean this is probably not the dog for you.
Possible health problems include hip dysplasia, heart problems, tumors, skin problems, and ectropion.
Your Love Match
The perfect pet parent of a Saint Bernard:
- Accepting of slobber
- Physically strong
- Located in a cooler climate