The Saint Bernard is often associated with the Swiss Mountain dog because his origin comes from the Swiss Alps where his reputation was that of a hospice dog.
The Saint Bernard has the fine reputation worldwide as "the dog that rescues people". This reputation came as a result of rescues at way-stations for travelers in the St. Bernard Pass which was located over 8000 feet high in the mountains of Europe.
The Saint Bernard, the pass and the hospice, acquired their name from Bernard de Menthon, a monk, in the 11th century.
The great story of Barry, the Saint Bernard, who rescued 40 travelers from treacherous conditions, reminds us of how amazing and remarkable the Saint Bernard dog really is.
"The Saint" is the affectionate name for the Saint Bernard. Anyone who sees "The Saint" falls in love with the big cumbersome canine.
These dogs are usually 150-180 pounds. for the males, with a height of 27.5 inches.
The females are usually 25 inches tall with a weight of 130-160. The Saint Bernard comes in two varieties, long haired and short haired.
They can be tan and white or brindle with white. When you see "The Saint" you think of power immediately.
The skull is huge. A broad muzzle, big floppy ears, and even a few wrinkles add to his character. "The Saint" just looks like a great big lovable bundle of powerful delight.
As for the temperament of the Saint Bernard; they can be very sensitive. Most experts recommend buying a "Saint" from a reputable owner/breeder, rather than the pet-store variety, because of their sensitivity.
If not raised properly, fed properly and exercised properly when growing, the temperament can be difficult. Many experts advise that you think twice before purchasing a Saint Bernard.
You have to consider the food costs, the grooming costs, the time and space for exercise. You will even need a car that will be comfortable for your "Saint".
He also likes to drool. Even if your "Saint" has a slight bad temperament, the good attributes far outweigh the "less than good" qualities. The Saint Bernard loves children, but may be scary to some, because in his enthusiasm, he can easily knock a small child down.
This breed is definitely a people-pleaser, but training should start early; the longer you wait to train, the more set in his ways, the "Saint" will become. Proper nutrition is essential for the "Saint" to stay healthy.
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Also, osteosarcoma or bone cancer is often found in "The Saint". Unfortunately, you will only be able to enjoy your St. Bernard for eight years. If you are lucky maybe ten years will be the life span.
Just make sure your dog gets lots of love, proper and enough exercise, and the right food and grooming. You will then find that you have brought out the best qualities in this beautiful, noble, loyal companion.