History of Saint Bernard
When we talk snow dog breeds, we talk of the Siberian Huskies and Akita. We seldom talk about Saint Bernard in this context. These are dogs which were originally found in the hilly, snowy regions of Switzerland. They got their name after serving a traveler’s hospice in Great St. Bernard Pass. It is also the name of the 11th century monk who established the hospice. He found these dogs had an ability to feel upcoming avalanches. Their abilities to search for bodies, made them even more useful. It was only then these dogs were added to the hospice.
Saint Bernard is big and bulky. These are the dogs on YouTube thumbnails claiming to feature dogs bigger than humans. For fact, they weigh in range of 150 -250 lbs., which is almost human. They need a lot of space. They prefer colder regions considering Swiss was their original habitat. It is believed to have descended from Mastiff, hence the name Alpine Mastiff. The kennel clubs classify them as working group of dogs. They can grow up to 90 cm in height and live up to 10 years.
These are the most adorable of dogs. It is a head turner in every part of the world. You are going to get stopped every few feet. Their fluffy coat comes in different set of colors – red and white, mahogany brindle and white. Saint Bernard is going to require moderate amount of grooming. They shed heavy twice a year. Their oily water resistant coat would mean, you shouldn’t bathe them too often. Excessive bathing gets rids of their natural oils. On the downside, you must carry a drool rag at all times. Their shape of the jaw results in loose skin around facial area. It makes them drool excessively. Be prepared to work with serious wetness.
They are the true high avalanche rescue dogs. They sense an upcoming avalanche. They can smell bodies buried under the ground, within 20 feet. They have a penchant for seeking out and finding people. They are the naturally gifted trailblazers with such sense of smell. The arched feet plus large paws helps dig snow. The story involving Saint Bernard carrying barrels of brandy is a myth. They instead wear packs with food and water. These working dogs doesn’t lack in charm and cheer. They have rescued thousands of people in the snow.
These are huge and monstrous animals. Don’t let their size intimidate you for they have a loving soul. They are not just good, but great with babies. It’s the kind of animal you would like running around your home. They are totally harmless and super friendly with just about anyone. When absolutely needed, they can act as guard animals too. They are eager to please and nicknamed the babysitter. They don’t involve too much training. The American Saint Bernard already has a mellowed down temperament.
If you live in a colder region and require a kid friendly dog, you are definitely looking for a Saint Bernard.