Are you looking for a dog to share your life? Depending on your needs you may want to consider the Saint Bernard. Keep reading to find out vital information about this lovable breed!
The Saint Bernard is one of the oldest dogs there is, originating in the 900 A.D. period. They are primarily known as search and rescue dogs. Perhaps you’ve seen cartoons or shows that picture this dog with a barrel of medical provisions around its neck.
They are known for their heightened sense of smell and direction. This is what makes them useful for finding and helping those who are lost or injured. Because of their size (both males and females can grow to be around 200 pounds and 25 inches), they can also aid in moving an injured person to safety.
Saint Bernard dogs are large but they are also as gentle and friendly as any dog breed can be. Often they look downtrodden like Eeyore from the Winnie the Pooh stories but they are anything if not lovable and full of affection for their families. These pooches are loyal and make good watch dogs.
In a family setting, they get along with other household pets. Because of their gentle nature, they are also good pets for families with children. Hugs as often as possible are much appreciated by them.
Saint Bernard’s have long, rough coats or long smooth ones. Their color is normally white with tan, black, red or brindle (mixed brown or gray markings with darker patches) markings. Daily brushing prevents any tangles and also can cut down on the amount of overall shedding they do on the furniture. Do note that this animal is a heavy shedder by nature. Their coat is naturally water resistant so keep bathing to a minimum to avoid stripping oils.
If you own a Saint Bernard be aware of the potential health problems of the breed. They are prone to heart problems, Wobbler Syndrome (condition due to misalignment of vertebrae in the necks of dogs and horses characterized by a strange walking gait), skin disorders and bloating.
Saint Bernard’s are lovable but sometimes stubborn. They respond well to socialization in a gentle and patient manner. Along with that they have a fierce desire to please their masters. To that end, they are best behaved with a loving and present family. Staying away too long from home can result in increased anxiety in the animal. For those who have never owned an anxious animal, this can lead to destruction of furniture and other items in the house while you are away.
They do require outdoor exercise. For free running and training, a fenced in yard is best. Play sessions with the family are a great way for everyone to get exercise together. Be aware though that this breed is easily overheated.
Is your next dog a Saint Bernard? This information can be helpful to make that decision. Check out Animal-World’s Saint Bernard page!
Featured Image Credit: Vlad Rudkov, Unsplash