The St Bernard is one of the largest, most loyal and loving dogs around. Named after a Swiss monk who founded a hospice to care for travelers in the perilous mountain roads of the Alps, the St Bernard shares the monk’s saintly reputation for saving lives. Previously know as the Alpine Mastiff, this dog breed is popular today as a house pet. Great with children and friendly to all these dogs need good training from a young age to make sure they behave well when they are full grown.
The St Bernard is a descendant of the ancient Roman Molossian dog, whose ancestry is also evident in other modern dog breeds such as the Great Dane. The St Bernard rose to fame for their life-saving abilities in the 17th Century. Monks at St. Bernard’s Hospice, a refuge centre in the Swiss Alps, noticed the gentle giant’s expertise in finding lost travellers, and providing them with warming cuddles and kisses. They spend less time on mountains now but are just as dependable and affectionate toward their owners which makes them a popular pet.
St Bernards can live around 8-10 years.
Slow and steady
These big teddy bear like dogs may look like they need lots of exercise but St Bernard puppies shouldn’t be walked too much when they’re young. Short walks and short playtimes are plenty until their bones are fully grown at around 2 years. After that, the more exercise the better.
St Bernards are extremely kind and gentle but there’s no getting away from their size. Training them well while they’re still small is important. It’s best to teach them not to jump up on onto laps or pull on their lead and this will help avoid injuries and misbehaviour when they’re full grown.
St Bernards are very obedient so are easy to train at a young age but it’s essential to do this while they’re small.
Early training means St Bernards can be housebroken quickly and with ease.
Where to find St Bernards
St Bernard Groups
Adopt a St Bernard
Bursting to own a St Bernard of your very own? Find an approved St Bernard breeder below.
Kennel Club Assured Breeders
Do you own a St Bernard?
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