20 Things Only Saint Bernard Owners Would Understand

When it comes to Saint Bernard’s, there are some things about these gentle giants that only those of you have owned one in the past, or present, would understand. Regardless of where you go, or of what you are doing, when you take your Saint Bernard along, you are definitely going to turn heads and be asked a ton of questions by those who are passing by.

In most cases, it is going to be the same question time and time again. While the breed was made famous thanks to the 1990s films, “Beethoven,” even before that time the dogs have held a pretty important role as being search and rescue animals.

The fact is, Saint Bernard’s can actually save lives, and if you think that is amazing, wait until you read the information found on this list! If you are interested in getting a dog, and considering the Saint Bernard, learning as much as you can about them is the first step.

Being informed about these dogs, how they act, and what they do, is the best way to know whether or not they are the right breed for your particular needs. Being informed when adopting a dog will ensure you get what you want and what you need for you and your family.

Here are 20 things only Saint Bernard Owners understand:

1. They Like to Take Their Time

The Saint Bernard is a rather large breed of dog, and while they are susceptible to quite a few health issues, this isn’t the reason they move so slow. While this may be part of the problem, owners understand that it isn’t the only reason. This type of dog just doesn’t want to spend its time rushing to do things.

As a result, this is the perfect breed of dog for anyone who is looking for a way to slow down, smell the roses and enjoy life and all it has to offer a bit more. In fact, if you are planning on moving to a retirement home, this is the perfect dog to take along as they will enjoy long walks, sleeping most of the day and just taking it easy. You will find this is definitely a match made in heaven!

Saint Bernard

2. Regardless of Size, They are Going to Think They will Fit in Your Lap

When full grown, a Saint Bernard can reach weights up to 260 pounds. This is more than most full-grown men. However, while these dogs are not only heavy, but also quite large at up to 35 inches tall (that’s just under three foot!), these beasts don’t realize they are so big.

In fact, thanks to their slow-moving ways, Saint Bernard’s love to think they are the size of a Yorkie or even smaller dog. As a result, they may try to climb in their lap – at any opportunity possible. The fact is, these dogs are extremely affectionate and as a result, they are going to want to by close to you as often as possible.

st. bernard

3. They’re Extremely Loyal

Once you make the decision to adopt a Saint Bernard, regardless of if you get them as a puppy, or as an older dog, they are going to fall madly in love with you. Once this happens, they are going to try to do everything to make you and their other people in the house happy.

This is one dog breed that absolutely loves people and getting to spend time with them. This is a great dog to get if you want one for company, or that is easy to train. The Saint Bernard is extremely easy to keep happy. After the dog has fallen in love with you, you can teach it to do virtually anything you desire.

4. You Will Have to Teach the Saint Bernard to Stay Down

When you bring home a Saint Bernard puppy, you are going to learn extremely quickly that the first thing you need to teach it is to not jump. While these dogs are somewhat small when they are puppies, and their excitement can get the best of them, just like any other puppy, you should make sure they don’t fall into this type of behavior or habit.

When they are bigger, they will be able to easily knock down anyone if they continue to jump. While they may not mean to cause harm, it is completely possible when the Saint Bernard is fully grown, and they continue to jump.

5. Rescuing People Was the Saint Bernard’s First Job

The Saint Bernard breed of dogs loves people. As a result, they made the ideal rescue dogs. Due to their size, ability to be trained and other features, this breed made the ideal dog for rescuing people in the Alps. This is an extremely dangerous job for the dog and there were many who have lost their lives.

This is just another reason to truly appreciate this breed and all they have to offer to humans today. While rescuing was the dog’s first job, and they aren’t really used for this purpose any longer, they still have it in their “blood.”

As a result, they are going to be great at making sure you and your family are safe, and while this dog isn’t particularly aggressive, they will let you know when something is wrong or “off.” As a result, you will have a great companion for their entire lives.

St. Bernard

6. They Love the Cold Weather

In the past, Saint Bernard’s were trained for search and rescue missions in some of the coldest locations on the planet. As a result, this breed is extremely used to the cold weather, and they actually love to spend time in it. With this in mind, it is important to keep in mind that they may not do great in southern climates.

Living in tropical climates isn’t great for these dogs, as their coats have evolved to be in the snow and cold. If you do get them where it is warm, then you should plan to keep them inside most of the time, so the dog will remain comfortable.

7. They Eat Smaller Meals

Because the Saint Bernard breed is more prone to weight issues, including obesity, than other dogs, it is a good idea for owners only to give them two or three small meals per day.

While most long-time owners of this breed know this, it is something that others are not very aware of. As a result, many people opt to feed the dog a single, large meal during the day, not knowing they could be hurting their pet’s health. The fact is, this dog breed needs to have time to digest the food they eat.

Also, it is not wise to feed your Saint Bernard out of one of the tech-advanced continuous feeder bowls, as this can result in serious health concerns. The best way to feed your Saint Bernard is by keeping the meals smaller and making sure they are spread out throughout the day. This will ensure your dog has the best chance of great health throughout their life.

8. Saint Bernard’s Love to Take Long Walks

When you adopt this breed of dog, one of the first things you should note is that they love to take long walks. The longer, the better. They are great on the leash and will love taking a walk with you or with any member of your family. While the dog isn’t very fast, it is a breed that absolutely loves to exercise and will be great on long walks.

You can take it around the neighborhood, or even for further walks if you are planning one. Just don’t expect them to get in a hurry, as they are going to like to take the time to take in their surroundings.

9. You Have to Be Careful Not to Over-Bathe Your Saint Bernard

Your Saint Bernard is going to have a ton of fur. This is something that is going to be obvious from the very first moment you adopt them. However, even though they have quite a bit of fur, you don’t have to ever worry about having to take them to the groomer constantly.

Their coat has a natural, oily and water-resistant layer that was originally developed in order to help ward off the ice and snow when this breed was used for rescue missions in the snowy mountains. As a result, it is important that you don’t over-wash their fur, as all the soap is going to strip away the oil in their fur and may result in dry, itchy skin.

10. These Dogs are Great with Kids

The Saint Bernard dog is considered a gentle giant, and they definitely live up to their name. This breed is both patient and calm, and it has an eagerness to please. This is the type of easy-going temperament that is ideal for the dog to be around kids. In fact, the Saint Bernard is a great family pet.

This dog is extremely intelligent, which means that it is easy to train it, but it is important that you begin this training when the dog is still young, so they are still small and somewhat easier to control.

In many cases, the Saint Bernard grows quickly, and they aren’t aware of how large they really are. As a result, it is absolutely essential that you train them early, so they don’t knock down guests and hurt someone accidentally.

11. Your Saint Bernard is Going to Grow Quickly

When a Saint Bernard puppy is first born, they are extremely small, and will only weight about one and a half pounds. However, the adult dogs can reach a weight ranging from 180 to 260 pounds, which means your puppy has quite a bit of growing to do, and they are going to do it in a short period of time.

In fact, your pup will be fully grown in just three years, and during this time they are likely going to be consistently growing. However, the majority of this growth is going to occur during their first 12 months of life. When the dog gets to be three months old, they can weigh as much as 40 pounds.

From this point, they will gain anywhere between three and five pounds per week. This huge growth spurts resulted in the “Beethoven’s 2nd” crew to have to use more than 100 puppies to portray the dogs in the movie.

12. Drooling is Commonplace – Get Ready

Because of the unusual shape of the Saint Bernard’s jaw and head, their lips are extremely loose. As a result, the skin hangs down and this results in them drooling much more than many other dog breeds.

When the dog is hungry, expect the drooling to become worse. This is also the case if they get excited or if they become overheated. If you want to try and minimize the amount of drool your Saint Bernard leaves behind, there are a few things you can do.

You can try to keep your dog cool, and make sure their food is prepared without them seeing it. There are a number of devoted owners who will even take around a rag to clean up their pooch’s face every once in a while.

13. The Tend to Find the Worst Possible Places to Sleep

As mentioned before, the Saint Bernard is an extremely loyal dog. They love humans and want to be around them as much as possible. Unfortunately, this may lead to these lovable beasts falling asleep in the worst possible locations.

For example, you will likely find that your full-grown Saint Bernard is sleeping right in your path of cooking in the kitchen, or taking up the entire bathroom just to be close to you.

If you want to try and avoid these situations, it is a good idea to train them early to stay in certain areas of different rooms. You can designate this by placing a bed in the corner or another location where they are allowed to be.

14. When They Pass Gas – Prepare to Clear the Room

While everyone does it, no one does it quite like the Saint Bernard. This loveable giant loves to spend time with its people, and as a result, doesn’t have qualms of clearing the room by passing gas.

Keep in mind, fully grown, this beast can be well over 200 pounds. As a result, their farts are going to be quite massive and smellier than some grown men.

While it isn’t possible to completely prevent farts from your beloved Saint Bernard, you can alter their diet somewhat to help prevent as much gas as possible.

15. They Can Destroy a Toy in Just Seconds

If you love to play with your Saint Bernard, you will quickly discover that they can destroy a toy in just a few seconds. As a result, you need to keep quite a few on hand at all times. While they are known for destroying their toys, don’t think that this dog breed is aggressive and mean.

They are just extremely excited and can get a bit too excited which is when they are going to tear up their toys. Make sure to keep this in mind to keep your pup happy with plenty of toys. This will ensure that even if their toys are torn up, they still have plenty to spend their time doing.

16. If You are Traveling Make sure to Have Special Arrangements in Place

Saint Bernard’s are big. As a result, you will have to make special arrangements if you have plans to go somewhere with them. In most cases, this you will need to put your pup in the back of a truck, or another larger vehicle.

This is the only way that they and you will be able to travel comfortably. If you are traveling long distances, then you may need to rent a larger van or even a motor home. Keep in mind, these dogs are often as big as a grown person, so they will need plenty of room to move around.

17. They are Best In Groups

Saint Bernard’s are extremely social animals. They love to be with their “people,” and with other dogs. You should plan on having another Saint Bernard in your house if you are going to have to leave them for any length of time, even if it is just while you are at work.

They will be much happier if you leave them a friend or companion. As mentioned before, your Saint Bernard is going to do better in a “pack.” Regardless of if this is a pack of dogs, or a pack of people. They will be much happier in the long run if they have someone to spend their time with, even if this means sleeping throughout the day.

18. Saint Bernard’s Don’t Bark Often

Something you are going to quickly realize about Saint Bernard’s is that they don’t bark very often. As a result, if they do, you need to take notice, it likely means there is something seriously wrong.

This is true regardless of if the dog is inside or outside the home. Keep in mind, the Saint Bernard is a trusting animal. As a result, they are going to only bark if there is something really wrong.

Don’t ignore this action, as it is going to indicate a problem and may require you to take some type of action to ensure there is nothing serious going on around you. Also, get ready when they do bark. It is going to be loud and deep. If you aren’t ready, it may also take you by surprise.

19. You Will Have to Change their Water Often

As mentioned before, Stain Bernard’s drool – a lot. As a result, when they are drinking out of their water dish, this is going to get in their water. Throughout the day, it can be quite a bit of drool.

To ensure they remain hydrated, and to keep things from getting too icky, you should plan to change the water in their bowl several times a day.

By doing this, you will be able to ensure they have cool, clean water to drink, regardless of what time of day it is. If you don’t change their water at least a few times during the day, they may not get the hydration they need, and when you do go to change it, you are likely going to get a handful of slimy, disgusting drool.

20. Saint Bernard’s are Generally Always Happy

When it comes to happy dog breeds, you won’t find one that is happier than the Saint Bernard. Regardless of how long they are gone, or what you are doing while you are away, your pup (regardless of age) is always going to be happy to see you when you return. If you are looking for a dog that you can love and who will love you unconditionally in return, then you won’t be able to find a breed better than the Saint Bernard.

Summing it All Up

If you are considering what type of dog to get, or just want to learn something new about the Saint Bernard, the information here should prove to be quite helpful. Keep in mind, Saint Bernard’s aren’t the right type of dog for every family. However, they are a great option if you live in a colder climate, and have the time to spend with them.

Even if you don’t have an extremely active lifestyle, the Saint Bernard is still a great option. That is because they are happy, easy to train, great with kids and more. If you are on the market for a new dog, then this is one that should make your list. You won’t be disappointed with the huge companion you get when you adopt this type of dog.

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