Saint Bernard

Dog Breed Profile

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Saint Bernard History

The Saint Bernard is a very old breed of canine, originally bred as a sledding and rescue dog by the monks in the Swiss Alps. The monks developed the St. Bernard by crossing the Newfoundland and the Alpine Mastiff. The Saint Bernard was originally used as a working and draft dog by the monks in the Swiss Alps. The monks used the St. Bernard as a sledding and rescue dog, and they also used it to pull carts and barges. The first recorded reference to the St. Bernard was in 820 A.D., in a biography of St Bernard of Menthon. The dogs were first brought to the British isles in 1795, when the 5th Duke of Richmond brought a litter to England. The Duke’s son Philip brought another pair to Britain in 1802. The popularity of the St. Bernard grew rapidly in Britain during the Victorian era, and the 8th Duke of Buccleuch was one of the biggest proponents of the breed. The duke had over 600 St. Bernards in his country estate at Dalmeny. The duke also founded The Kennel Club in 1873, and was elected as its first president.

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Saint Bernard Physical Characteristics

The Saint Bernard is a large, stocky, heavy-boned, long-coated breed of domestic dog that originates in Switzerland. The breed is recognized worldwide for its giant size, its rough, weather-resistant double coat of hair, and its devotion to its human companions. The adult Saint Bernard can grow to be very large, anywhere from 71 to 110 lbs (32 to 50 kg), and stand 30 to 34 inches (76 to 86 cm) at the withers. The males are larger than females. The breed is renowned for their slobber, their huge size, their extremely thick coats, and for their gentle, patient, and kind temperament.

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Height Range

Male Height Range: 28 – 30 inches

Female Height Range: 26 – 28 inches

Weight Range

Male Weight Range: 140 – 180 lbs

Female Weight Range: 120 – 140 lbs

Saint Bernard Health

Description of breed health.


8-10 yrs

Saint Bernard Health Concerns

Distichiasis, Gastric Torsion, Elbow Dysplasia, Hip Dysplasia, Heart Problems, Wobbler’s Syndrome, Entropion, Pyotraumatic Dermatitis, Diabetes

Saint Bernard Temperament and Behaviour

The St Bernard is a gentle, calm, and patient breed of dog. They are very tolerant of children, other dogs and cats, but should be supervised around small household animals, such as rodents. They are highly intelligent and can learn quickly, which makes them highly trainable. They are good-natured and protective.

Saint Bernard Activity Requirements

Saint Bernard’s are large, muscular, and slow-moving. These gentle giants require a lot of love and attention, and they will not do well in homes with small children or in small yards. They are happiest when they are with their families. A daily walk is an excellent way to meet your St. Bernard’s exercise and socialization needs. They are large, so you’ll need to take extra precautions on walks. You’ll want to be especially careful on hot or humid days, when the temperature can make them tired. St. Bernard’s are a gentle, calm, and loyal breed. If you are looking for a companion who can be by your side through thick and thin, the St. Bernard may be just what you need.

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Kennel Club Recognition

American Kennel Club

Recognized by the American Kennel Club

Saint Bernard is part of the Working group.

Visit the American Kennel Club website.

The Kennel Club

Recognized by The Kennel Club

Saint Bernard is part of the Working group.

Visit the Kennel Club website.

Australian National Kennel Council

Recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council

Saint Bernard is part of the Utility group.

Visit the Australian National Kennel Council website.

Canadian Kennel Club

Recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club

Saint Bernard is part of the Working Dog group.

Visit the Canadian Kennel Club website.