Saint Bernard

History/Evolution:

The Saint Bernard is believed to have origins in the Molossian dogs brought to Switzerland by the Romans, but the dog’s most relevant history began in the mid-1600s. At that time, the original Saint Bernard was introduced to the Hospice, a refuge for travelers crossing the Swiss Alps. The dogs proved invaluable; guarding, carting, and locating and rescuing lost travelers and people trapped in avalanches. Saint Bernards saved more than 2,000 lives during their service in the Alps.


Size:

Giant, 130 to 180 pounds; females 251/2 inches and up; males 271/2 inches and up.

Color:

Red and white, with the red in varying shades.

Temperament:

Devoted, gentle, dignified, and patient. Willing to please, but can be stubborn. Protective nature should be controlled, not encouraged.

Energy level:

Medium to low.

Best owner:

Confident, strong owner who can provide a cool living environment.

Needs:

Daily exercise (to prevent obesity), outside time in a fenced yard (except when it’s hot), obedience training, weekly brushing, drool patrol.

Life expectancy:

8 to 10 years.