Saint Bernard: Dog Breed Information

St. Bernard is a heroic dog, a born rescuer, best friend, and companion. It is difficult to find a pet endowed with so many positive qualities like this huge furry dog. Having got a St. Bernard, you will always be completely safe. However, it should be borne in mind that this pet is not suitable for apartment maintenance.

History of the Breed

The history of the origin of the breed is rooted in the distant past. Large mountain dogs have long lived in the Alps, where they have been rescuing travelers for many years. The first written records of such dogs date back to the beginning of the 18th century. And the first drawings depicting dogs similar to today’s St. Bernards date back to the 17th century.

The breed owes its name to the Bernardine order, the monk Bernard de Menton, who in the 18th century. founded a mountain monastery in the Swiss Alps. Today this monastery is a legendary camp for travelers walking along dangerous snowy trails. Mountain dogs, which were bred in the monastery from the moment of its foundation, not only rescued people in trouble, but also guarded the monasteries and lands, and endured heavy burdens. Today St. Bernards still work for the benefit of people in treacherous mountain conditions.

The first St. Bernard breed standard was published in 1887.


St. Bernard is a large dog with a stately and noble appearance. Height at withers up to 90 cm, weight on average from 70 kg. St. Bernards have a dense build, large bones, a massive body of a slightly stretched format, a wide chest, strong limbs, and a strong neck with a collar. The head is voluminous and wide, with a pronounced transition from the forehead to the muzzle, the convex forehead is covered with wrinkles. The jaws of St. Bernard are strong and powerful, with a scissor bite, pincer, or firm undershot (no retreat). The upper lips are pendulous. The eyes are medium in size, slightly sunken, dark brown in color. Hanging ears, medium size.

As for the coat, St. Bernards are short-haired or long-haired. The coat is thick and dense. The classic color is white with reddish markings. Other colors: red with brindle, brownish-yellow. Blackening and any shades of red are allowed.


Despite their harsh appearance, these giants of the canine world are quite calm and very obedient. They lend themselves well to training, responsibly carry out the commands of the owner, they are not characterized by the manifestation of aggression without an extreme reason. With a gentle disposition, St. Bernards are strongly attached to the owner and family members. Plus, these dignified friends of man are incredibly outgoing and friendly. They treat children well and, treating them carefully and carefully, act as natural-born nannies. If you decide to have a St. Bernard, be sure that your child will be completely safe with him.

St. Bernard will find a common language with other pets as easily as with people. And if both pets met each other at an early age and grew up together, nothing will ever destroy their friendship.

Possessing a good-natured temperament on the one hand, on the other, St. Bernard is a reliable guard and watchman, under whose protection the most valuable things can be entrusted. Do not worry, in the event of thieves appearing, it is unlikely that it will come to a fight: usually, one formidable look of a furry guard is enough for the criminal to abandon his intentions. In addition, the main weapon of St. Bernard is low barking, this balanced dog starts up teeth only as a last resort.

It is no secret that St. Bernards are involved in a huge number of rescue operations. It is impossible to count how many times they pulled people out of the avalanches, saved the lives of climbers, explorers, and just travelers. It seems that the desire to serve man is in the blood of this dog. With such a noble and loyal friend, no trouble.

St. Bernard is a reliable guard, best friend, and real pride of its owner!


Kind and majestic St. Bernards may have diseases of the joints and ligaments, the cardiovascular system. They are also prone to being overweight and need special nutrition.

The life span of St. Bernard is about 10 years.


St. Bernard is not the best choice for keeping in an apartment. This dog loves space and coolness. Feels bad in a city apartment. But a country house with its own yard is ideal conditions. St. Bernards are suitable for keeping in the yard. However, from time to time they need to be launched into the house so that they can lie down in a warm place and chat with family members. Thanks to the thick undercoat, St. Bernard calmly tolerates cold, does not overheat, because the outer layer of wool does not allow cold or heat to pass through.

Prone to being overweight, St. Bernard needs a strictly balanced diet and a special diet that supports healthy joints and ligaments.

These dogs need long walks for proper bone and joint formation, but they do not always have to be active. St. Bernards prefer quiet walks with their beloved owner in the park, away from the much hustle and bustle. But in their measured life there should be a place for games. The dog will be happy to keep the company on skiing trips, but at a pace, that is comfortable for him.

As a rule, the dog’s claws are sharpened naturally during walks, but their condition must be monitored and, as necessary, seek the help of a nail clipper. Do not forget about regular home check-ups and preventive check-ups with a doctor, as well as routine vaccinations and treatments for parasites.

Interesting Facts

  • St. Bernards are known as natural-born rescuers with a keen sense of smell. They can find a person even under a 6-meter layer of snow.
  • Thanks to arched limbs and massive paws, St. Bernards stand perfectly in the snow and can quickly dig it out.
  • St. Bernards feel the approach of avalanches.
  • St. Bernard is able to feel a person 3 km away in a headwind.
  • Over the past 200 years, St. Bernards have saved 2,000 lives.
  • Having pulled a man out from under the snow, St. Bernard warms him up with his warmth and licks his face so that the saved lucky man regains consciousness and does not fall asleep.
  • Barry, the most famous St. Bernard, heroically saved 41 people in his 12 years of life.
Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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