Breeding group : Working
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GENERALBreed group: Working Type: Pure Breed
Talent: Carting, Search & rescue, Watchdog
PHYSICALSize: Large Weight: 110 200 lbs Fur length: Ears: Flappy Fur type: Straight
Fur Color: 3 Colors, Black & White, Brown & White
ATTRIBUTESLife Expectancy: Short (under 10 years) Rarity: Common Availability: Easily available
Climate: Not good for warm climate
This is a very ancient breed of the mastiff type that came across the Alps with the Roman conquerors. The St. Bernard was bred around the year 1,000 by St Bernard Monks that founded a refuge for travelers crossing the dangerous alpine passes between Switzerland and Italy. It was observed that the dogs at the St. Bernard monastery had an unusual ability to sense about impending danger from storms and avalanches. The outstanding sense of smell of the St Bernard enables him to scent a person buried in as much as 3 meters of snow.
The coat of the Saint Bernard is typically white with tan, red in various shades with white or brindle patches in various combinations on a white ground.
The Saint Bernard breed comes in both a rough or longhaired and smooth or shorthaired varieties. The rough coat variety is straight or slightly wavy and tends to collect icicles. The smooth coat is harsh to the touch and is more often used for mountain work because it does not collect icicles. Both varieties of coat are very dense and are weather resistant.
The Saint Bernard dog breeds are extremely patient and friendly by nature. They are very gentle and tolerant with children and other animals and make a great family pet. They are obedient, highly intelligent, and thoughtful. The Saint Bernard is a very large and strong dog, but displays an easygoing and mature demeanor.
The Saint Bernard is a healthy breed but some are prone to such health issues as Wobbler's syndrome, called CVI (cervical vertebral instability that affects large breed, fast-growing dogs), heart problems, skin disorders, hip dysplasia and bloating (twisted stomachs should be watched for, it is best to feed them two or three small meals a day instead of one large meal.). They are also subject to rage syndrome and they have no tolerance for hot weather or warm rooms. It is best to keep the puppy activity to a fair minimum until their bones are well formed and strong. Both types of Saint Bernard coats are easy to groom, they require daily brushing with a firm bristle brush. Bathing should only be done when necessary using a mild soap (shampoo may strip the coat of its essential water-resistant oils).
Highly intelligent and easy to train the Saint Bernard must be socialized at a young age with other people while the dog is still a manageable size, later they may display stubbornness. Eager to please their owner the Saint Bernard does well with a gentle, patient, firm, and consistent training. They thrive on high amounts of affection and attention. Some of the Saint Bernard's talents are search and rescue (he requires no training for this work), watchdogging, herding and carting.
Despite of his massive size the Saint Bernard is suitable for apartment dweller provided they are given regular outdoor exercise. They are relatively inactive indoors and they will enjoy a securely fenced medium yard. A long walk each day and outdoors play sessions are advised for the St. Bernard.