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Saint Bernard

SaintBernard

An Easygoing Dog

Devoted, Easygoing, Working Group

Saint Bernards are extraordinary pets. While it is interesting to learn about the breeding purpose of Saint Bernards, their genetics actually influence health, outward appearance and behavior. Some behaviors make the Saint Bernards and some can be quite irritating! 

Understanding their unique needs will help you keep them healthy and will create a stronger bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about where Saint Bernard came from, which health conditions are a risk to them and how to keep them feeling their best.

Breed Details

Height:25-32" Weight:120-200 lbs Lifespan:8-9 years

Size
5

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
2

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
3

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
3

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
1

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Saint Bernards can be sensitive to warm temperatures; avoid any prolonged exposure and be very alert to the signs of heat stress. As an adult they have a tendency to be lazy so you must ensure they receive adequate exercise by providing daily walks and ample room to play.

Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

Dental: Saint Bernards generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


Saint Bernards are a social and benevolent companion, content to snuggle. With sufficient exercise, early socialization and training, they make an excellent family pet.

Positive Traits:

• Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable

• Good with children and other pets

• Eager to please and responsive to training

• Brave and ready for adventure

• Devoted, loyal, and protective

• Intelligent, friendly, and easily won over

Negative Traits:

• Needs daily exercise

• Passes a lot of gas, sheds, and drools

• Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

• Doesn’t do well in the heat

• Prone to boredom and separation anxiety when left alone and will find trouble

• Takes up a lot of room due to her massive size





Whether you are considering adding a new Saint Bernard to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Saint Bernard will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Saint Bernard you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They're counting on you to be their health expert. 

Some health issues a Saint Bernard could encounter:

Bloat

Heart Disease

Eye Problems

Cataracts

Eyelid Abnormality

Distichiasis

The Saint Bernard originated in the Swiss and Italian Alps. They were originally employed by the Monks at the St. Bernard Pass to rescue travelers trapped in avalanches. The Saint Bernard can have a long or short coat that is very dense and designed to protect them from cold temperatures. 

The Saint Bernard is naturally friendly and welcoming, with a kind spirit. They are known to be very patient and tolerant of children. They are a giant breed that is slow moving but will swiftly defend family members if they are threatened. Saint Bernards thrive on affection from their family but are not overly demanding of attention. The Saint Bernard is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 8-9 years.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Saint Bernard shows signs of the following:

• Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

• Fainting, collapse, breathing issues, cough

• Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

• Cloudiness to eye lens

• Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

• Lameness with or without swelling

• General reluctance to run or play

• Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

• Matted fur, hairloss, sores

• Reddened, bumpy or painful calluses

• Easily overheated

• General listlessness, droopy facial expression, vomiting, diarrhea


  • Care

    Routine Care: Saint Bernards can be sensitive to warm temperatures; avoid any prolonged exposure and be very alert to the signs of heat stress. As an adult they have a tendency to be lazy so you must ensure they receive adequate exercise by providing daily walks and ample room to play.

    Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

    Dental: Saint Bernards generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    Saint Bernards are a social and benevolent companion, content to snuggle. With sufficient exercise, early socialization and training, they make an excellent family pet.

    Positive Traits:

    • Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable

    • Good with children and other pets

    • Eager to please and responsive to training

    • Brave and ready for adventure

    • Devoted, loyal, and protective

    • Intelligent, friendly, and easily won over

    Negative Traits:

    • Needs daily exercise

    • Passes a lot of gas, sheds, and drools

    • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

    • Doesn’t do well in the heat

    • Prone to boredom and separation anxiety when left alone and will find trouble

    • Takes up a lot of room due to her massive size





  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Saint Bernard to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Saint Bernard will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Saint Bernard you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They're counting on you to be their health expert. 

    Some health issues a Saint Bernard could encounter:

    Bloat

    Heart Disease

    Eye Problems

    Cataracts

    Eyelid Abnormality

    Distichiasis

  • History

    The Saint Bernard originated in the Swiss and Italian Alps. They were originally employed by the Monks at the St. Bernard Pass to rescue travelers trapped in avalanches. The Saint Bernard can have a long or short coat that is very dense and designed to protect them from cold temperatures. 

    The Saint Bernard is naturally friendly and welcoming, with a kind spirit. They are known to be very patient and tolerant of children. They are a giant breed that is slow moving but will swiftly defend family members if they are threatened. Saint Bernards thrive on affection from their family but are not overly demanding of attention. The Saint Bernard is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 8-9 years.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Saint Bernard shows signs of the following:

    • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

    • Fainting, collapse, breathing issues, cough

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    • Lameness with or without swelling

    • General reluctance to run or play

    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

    • Matted fur, hairloss, sores

    • Reddened, bumpy or painful calluses

    • Easily overheated

    • General listlessness, droopy facial expression, vomiting, diarrhea


Saint Bernard Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Saint Bernard breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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