Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard

INTRODUCTION

Originally, the St. Bernard dog breed guarded the grounds of the St. Bernard Hospice in Switzerland, as well as helping to find and save lost and injured travellers. They are affectionate with almost everyone they meet, and people who don’t mind drooling will find them affectionate companions. They are also versatile and excel in the show ring and in obedience trials, drafting (pulling a cart or wagon), and weight pulling competitions.AniMall24 recommends a large, roomy crate to give your big Saint Bernard a place to rest and relax.You should also pick up a de-shedder dog for your high shedding puppy!

HIGHLIGHTS

The Saint Bernard is a giant-sized breed and, although it is usually quiet indoors, it is not the most suitable for flats. If you consider yourself a neat freak, the Saint Bernard is not the breed for you. They drool and their paws get muddy. St. Bernards tend to take longer to mature mentally, which makes the puppy very large. Although Saint Bernards make wonderful family pets, they are not recommended for homes with small children, as they may unintentionally knock them over and hurt them.Originally bred to withstand the cold temperatures of the Alps, Saint Bernards do not do well in the heat.Saint Bernards are not known for barking for no reason.Saint Bernards are a short-lived breed, usually 8 to 10 years.Saint Bernards should not live outdoors away from their family. All dogs do best when they are at home with the family they love, and the Saint Bernard is no exception. Although their coat and build make them an obvious choice for outdoor living, their temperament and inability to withstand the heat make them a poor choice. Thanks to the popularity of films such as Beethoven, which features a large St. Bernard, many irresponsible breeders and puppy mills produce these gentle giants. To ensure you have a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill or pet shop. Look for a reputable breeder who tests their breeding dogs to make sure they are free of genetic diseases that can be passed on to the puppies and that they have a healthy temperament.

HISTORY

The St. Bernard originated in Switzerland along with other breeds, such as the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Entlebuch Cattle Dog, the Appenzell Cattle Dog and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. They were probably created when the native dogs of the Alps interbred with mastiff-type dogs that arrived with the Roman army at the time of Emperor Augustus. In the first millennium AD, the dogs of Switzerland and the Alps were grouped together and were known simply as Talhund” (valley dog) or “Bauernhund” (farm dog).The St. Bernard Pass is a well-known and treacherous Alpine pass which is about 2,000 metres above sea level and can only be travelled between July and September. Archdeacon Bernard of Menthon reached this pass, which would eventually be named after him, in 962 AD, and founded his hospice there, which helped travellers who were overcome by the treacherous crossing of this treacherous pass. It is not clear when the dogs were first used in the hospice, but in 1695 a painting was made of short-haired, well-built dogs that closely resembled today’s Saint Bernards. The first written mention of the breed in the monastery records dates from 1703. The dogs were probably originally used by the monks of the hospice to guard the grounds. When the monks went in search of lost travellers, they may have taken the dogs with them for protection and discovered by chance that they were excellent trackers with the ability to locate helpless travellers. The isolation of the monastery probably contributed to the improvement of the dogs into a breed capable of withstanding the harsh winters and with the physical characteristics necessary for their search and rescue work.The Hospice staff was occasionally replenished with dogs from the lower valleys, many of which were puppies of the Hospice dogs that were not needed at the time of their birth. In 1830, the monks tried to improve the coat of their dogs by crossing them with the coarse-haired Newfoundland. This was a mistake. The long-haired pups were inferior because ice built up in their longer coats. During the three centuries that the hospice has been on record, St. Bernards saved more than 2,000 travellers. In the 1800s, the hospice dogs had no formal name, although they were well known. Between 1800 and 1810, a workhouse dog named Barry was credited with 40 finds and became one of the most famous dogs in history. The English referred to them as sacred dogs and imported many of them to England in an effort to revitalise their own breed of mastiffs. In Germany, the name Alpendog was suggested for the breed in the 1820s. In 1833, a man named Daniel Wilson suggested that the breed be called the St. Bernard Dog, and that is what it eventually became when the Swiss Kennel Club recognised the breed in 1880, and as the breed became known in other countries, the type of St. Bernard began to change. The St. Bernards of other countries became leaner and taller as a result of crossbreeding. In 1887, the International Congress in Zurich drew up the first breed standard and all countries except England accepted it, and in the United States, a St. Bernard named Plinlimmon became well known in 1883. Plinlimmon was owned by an actor and became the most awarded Saint Bernard show dog of his time. His owner took him all over the country, showing him in theatres. In 1888 the Saint Bernard Club of America (SBCA) was founded, which accepted the breed standard drawn up by the Swiss. Saint Bernards rank 39th out of 155 breeds and varieties registered by the American Kennel Club and today, Saint Bernards can be seen in homes, on the big screen and at dog shows. There are still St. Bernards at the St. Bernard Hospice in Switzerland. They no longer seek out travellers in need, but are living representatives of hospice history.

Breed Characteristics:
Adaptability:
3/5
All Around Friendliness:
5/5
Health And Grooming Needs:
4/5
Trainability:
4/5
Physical Needs:
2/5
Vital Stats:
Dog Breed Group: Working Dogs
Height: 2 feet, 2 inches to 2 feet, 6 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 120 to 180 pounds
Life Span: 8 to 10 years

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