Saint Bernards: Saint Bernards are giant, strong, muscular dogs. Their massive heads are powerful. Their muzzles are short, wider than they are long. Their teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. Their noses are broad, with wide open nostrils, and like the lips, are black in color. Their medium sized eyes are set somewhat to the sides and are dark in color. Their medium sized ears are set high, dropping and standing slightly away from the head. Their legs are muscular. Their feet are large with strong well-arched toes. Their long tails are broad and powerful at the base held low when the dog is relaxed. There are three types of coat: rough, smooth, and smuff (smooth with ridge of hair along their backs, but all are very dense and come in white with markings in tan, red, mahogany, brindle, and black, in various combinations. Their and ears are usually black. In rough-coated Saint Bernards, their hair is slightly longer and there is feathering on the thighs and legs.
Saint Bernards are extremely gentle and friendly and very tolerant of children. Sometimes slow moving, patient, and obedient, Saint Bernards are extremely loyal, eager and willing to please. Be sure to socialize this breed very well at a young age with people and other animals. Saint Bernards are highly intelligent and easy to train, however training should begin early, while the dog is still a manageable size. Saint Bernards are good watchdogs. Even their size is a good deterrent. Saint Bernards have a highly developed sense of smell and also seem to have a sixth sense about impending danger from storms and avalanches.
Saint Bernards were founded in 980 AD by St. Bernard de Menthon and bred by the monks most likely from crossing the ancient Tibetan Mastiff with the Great Pyrenees. The first Saint Bernards were of the short haired variety, as the long-haired variety's coat tended to collect icicles. They were used by the Hospice, a refuge for travelers through the dangerous Alpine pass between Switzerland and Italy. In the middle of the seventeenth century Saint Bernards became popular as rescue dogs working to save people from avalanches in the snowy passes near the Hospice. The dogs are able to smell a person under manyfeet of snow. They have saved thousands of people searching out and finding lost or injured travelers. The dogs would work in packs looking for the victims. When found they would lick and lay down with them in order to keep them warm. While one or more Saint Bernards would lay with the body(s), other Saint Bernards would head back to the Hospice to alert them that they found the humans. A full rescue team would then be sent out. Saint Bernards have also been known to be able to predict storms and avalanches. This may be possible because of the dog's ability to hear very low frequency sounds which humans cannot. The Saint Bernard was recognized by the AKC in 1885. Some of the Saint Bernard's talents are search and rescue, guard dog, watchdog and carting.
The Saint Bernard Size:
Height: 25.5-27.5 inches
Weight: 110-200 lbs