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Name : Saint Bernard

Other Names : St. Barnhardshund, Alpine Mastiff, Bernhardiner, St. Bernard

Origin : Switzerland

Size Type : Giant Dog Breed

Breed Group : Working dog breeds

Life span : 8-10 years

Litter Size : 4-10

Temperament : Friendly, Patient, Eager to please

Height : 26"-30"

Weight : 100-250LBS

Colors : The Saint Bernard comes in 9 colors according to AKC standard: Brindle Grizzle, Brown & White, Mahogany & White, Orange & White, Red & White, Rust & White, White & Brown, White & Orange, White & Red.

Puppy Price : $500- $4000

Body type

Powerful, well in proportionate, strong and muscular. Intelligent expression and smooth movement making the St. Bernard a favorite for all.

Head- The head ties together the whole body, powerful and imposing. The face is made up of a broad, wide open nostril nose and always black lips. Ears are medium size, and sit rather high, they are medium sized, droopy and cover a portion of the head. The skull is square broad. Skin on the face is loose, especially around the mouth making the saint Bernard drool excessively.

Forequarters- Forequarters are well developed, they have gigantic paws that help them dig and move efficiently. The chest is broad and muscular.

Body- Neck is set high, very strong. The neck and collar bone is very muscular and rounded. Shoulders are sloping and broad being very muscular, the rest of the body is big and muscular. The backline is slightly dipped, yet still fairly even.

Hindquarters- The hindquarters are extremely strong and muscular. Thigh bone is thick and muscular, as well as the longer sized hock.


The Saint Bernard comes in two different coats, one short and one long. The long hair is long and wavy, but isn't ever curly. The short fur is smooth but still dense. They both are dense and well insulating. Both the long haired and short haired variations shed heavily twice a year. You will have to be ready to brush your saint up to 3 times a week, and even more frequently during the shedding season.

Most saint Bernards are easy to groom, but it can just be time consuming. St. Bernards keep themselves well kept and don't require many bathes. Frequent bathing can rip the hair of natural oils that keep the hair healthy. You must use dog shampoo to ensure you aren't ruining their shiny fur.


Good with Kids : 100 %
Cat Friendly : 100 %
Dog Friendly : 100 %
Trainability : 83 %
Shedding : 66 %
Watchdog : 83 %
Intelligence : 50 %
Grooming : 66 %
Popularity : 50 %
Adaptability : 66 %
Hypoallergenic : No
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Saint Bernard are a massive sized breed. Originating in the Switzerland mountains during the 16th century and possibly even sooner. This breed was raised by monks at the Switzerland Alps hospice where they were bred. Today they've expanded to reach all corners of the world. The St. Bernard was bred to guard the Hospice located in the Switzerland mountains. They were also widely used to help rescue and find victims of avalanches. His body closely resembles this purpose, big massive paws that are great at digging as well as a keen nose capable of finding victims buried under ten plus feet of snow. Size is the department that this breed doesn't lack in. The Saint Bernard has been known to reach up to 260 LBS and reach heights of 30 inches. They are a true gentle giant with a gigantic body frame, and an even bigger heart. The big heart makes them a great dog to have around children of all ages. They aren't overly energetic so they can be trusted around kids without the fear of them plowing them over. This breed is a great choice to have around your family and in your home. Any saint Bernard owner will tell you how easy they are to keep sufficiently exercised. This gentle giant requires minimal exercise and can tire easy. They thrive in cold environments and are less active in the warm summer months. There is a few drawbacks to this breed, the biggest is their short life spans sometimes only reaching 8-10 years old. They've also been known to have a lot of major health conditions that can really raise up your vet bill. You must really research any breeder of this breed, and make sure they have the health tested parents and have had proven breedings in the past. If you like to have stuff clean and in perfect order the saint Bernard isn't for you. They have been known to be one of the messiest dog breeds. They drool a lot and it can get everywhere! Also, those big paws are a safe haven for dirt and tracking in other dirty messes into your home. Shedding is a big problem with this breed as they shed a considerable amount especially during spring and fall months.


The Saint Bernard comes in 9 colors according to AKC standard: Brindle Grizzle, Brown & White, Mahogany & White, Orange & White, Red & White, Rust & White, White & Brown, White & Orange, White & Red. They are typically white under neath, on their feet and around the body, while rest of the place they are one of these colors listed above.

Health Problems

Health problems are a true problem to this breed. There gigantic size has led them to have problems with hip dysplasia a problem almost every large dog breed suffers from. They also have a few problems with eye conditions, especially heart failure and complications. All of these conditions are life threatening and typically a genetic defect. Many Saint Bernards face allergies as a less serious issue.

Through all these problems the St. Bernard is a fairly healthy dog, not ever dog will have these conditions these are just the most commonly seen in this breed. When choosing your puppy make sure you select a puppy from a breeder that health tests the parents.

Be aware of puppy mill breeders, and buying puppies from pet stores.


Saint Bernards don't take much exercise and are fairly easy to keep fit. This dog tires easy making them easier to train and satisfy. Exercise is needed to reduce the possibility of obesity, which can cause a long list of added health concerns.

A simple 20 minute walk is sufficent of this breed. Early training is a must, as this breed will never be aggressive. But having a 200 LBS dog running wild is asking for a disaster.

Puppies shouldn't be exercised to heavily at a young age as their developing bones can easily be hurt. You should wait till two years of age until excessive exercise is started.


The Saint Bernard is native to Switzerland along with several other large dog breeds originating in this area. The first Saint Bernards were of a shorthaired variety, the longharied version emerged later as breeders tried to improve their ability in the snow.

The St. Bernard was bred by monks that lived in a Hospice in the treacherous Alpine pass between Switzerland and neighboring Italy. This is where the they became popular as a rescue dog saving people from avalanches and snow storms near the Hospice. The dogs gigantic paws helped them clear feet of snow in little time. They also have a keen nose that helped them discover people under ten plus feet of snow. They've been recorded of rescuing over 2,000 people during this time. This breed was a prized possession by the monks of the Hospice. This hospice is where the St. Bernard really turned into a breed of it's own and reached its now set breed standard. The isolation of the Hospice helped create the breeds unique personality.

In the 1830, the monks attempted to improve the coat by crossing them with the heavy-coated Newfoundland. They did the opposite as the thick coat slowed them down as ice would build up on the longer coat.

During the 1800's this switz breed was took to different parts of Germany and England where breeding programs took different routes. Where they each individualized the Saint Bernard. The AKC recognized the Saint Bernard in 1885 where it quickly became a popular dog breed and used for many different jobs in America.

Today, the Saint Bernard is still popular and made famous again by the movie "Beethoven" and still an iconic figure in the Switzerland Hospice.
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