There is a lot that can be said about the Saint Bernard, most of all the impressive nature of its size. This is a big dog, and there is no mistaking one of these. People without dogs might not really recognize certain breeds off the top of their head, but this breed is not one of them. This is a breed that absolutely no one has any difficultly recognizing thanks to its large and very impressive stature. The thing about these dogs, however, is that they are so much scarier in appearance than they are in personality. It’s easy for someone not familiar with the breed to assume that it’s one with aggressive tendencies. After all, aren’t bigger dogs scarier than smaller dogs? Well, certainly; but only if you’re afraid of size. You might really consider being more terrified of a Chihuahua than a Saint Bernard, to be honest. These are large dogs, yes, but they are exceptionally gentle, and they are known for being very patient and wonderful with small children. So what else don’t you know about the Saint Bernard? Well, if you’ve never had one of your own, you might find a few of the most basic facts about this beautiful breed a bit startling. Read on to find out a few things you might not previously have known about the lovely and majestic Saint Bernard breed; you might just end up surprised.
They’re Slow Moving
These are large dogs and they’re prone to a number of health problems, but that’s not why they are slow moving. I mean, it could partially be why they are slow moving, but it’s not the only reason. This is a dog that simply does not have the desire to spend its time rushing through life. It might be a good dog for those who need to slow down and enjoy the little things a bit more. In fact, it would be a great dog to adopt at retirement and take to live with you in a house on the beach somewhere long walks are entirely possible and completely enjoyable.
This is a dog that will fall madly in love with its family and then spend the rest of its life looking to make them happy. This dog loves people, and it loves to spend time with them. It’s a good dog for things like keeping company and training, because it is very easy to please. Once it falls in love with you, it will do anything for you, especially if you teach it to do something in particular. We adore this breed for this very reason.
You Have to Teach it Not to Jump
One of the first things that you should teach the Saint Bernard as a puppy is not to jump on people. They’re actually relatively small when they are young, and this means that they are going to make it a habit to let their excitement get the best of them. Don’t let the dog fall into habits such as these since they will need to calm down and refrain from jumping as they get bigger. It might not intend to harm a person, but as this dog rapidly grows, it could accidentally cause serious injury jumping up on someone in excitement. This is especially true if the dog jumps on a person with a smaller stature.
They Were Rescue Dogs
These big, beautiful dogs used to be used regularly as rescue dogs in the dangerous Alps. It was a job that was very dangerous for the dog as many of them lost their lives in the dangerous conditions such as avalanches, and it’s something that we have to appreciate about this breed. And while it’s often seen wearing what appears to be a small barrel of wine around its neck, this breed neither makes and provides cocktails or drinks them for a good time.
They Like Cold Weather
The Saint Bernard was mostly trained to search and rescue in the coldest parts of the world, and they’ve become pretty acclimated to the cold weather as a result. Does this mean southerners can’t have one of their own? The answer is not a solid no, but it is a consideration potential dog owners should make when getting a dog of their own such as this. Perhaps this is not the breed to consider if you live in a tropical location, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go with this breed as a whole. Even those who live in warmer climates can have this breed; it just requires that they keep the dog indoors where he or she is more comfortable. And those long walks they like might provide a bit of discomfort when the weather is particularly warm.
They Eat Small Meals
Because the Saint Bernard is prone to obesity and weight issues, it’s best to provide two or three small meals a day to this breed. This is something that many people are unaware of, and they like to feed their dog one big meal a day. But this is a mistake. Your dog needs time to digest its food and then eat again. Additionally, it’s never a good idea to feed the Saint Bernard out of a continuous feeder as it might really start to see significant health problems if this is the case. Keep his meals small and spread out throughout the day if you want to ensure that your dog has the best chance of good health.
They Love Long Walks
Go ahead and put this down on your pup’s personal profile, because it is the absolute truth. This is a breed that adores spending time on the leash engaging in long, leisurely walks with the family. This breed does like to exercise, even if it is not a dog that moves quickly all the time. You will find that your Saint Bernard is very happy to take long strolls around the neighborhood with you so that it can enjoy what life has to offer.
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images