Saint Bernards – Big Friendly Giants

Standing up to 90cm tall, and weighing in anywhere between 65kg and 120kg, the Saint Bernard is one of the world’s largest breeds of dog. Despite their sheer body mass, this giant canine boasts a wonderfully gentle character, and loves nothing more than curling up to their family on the sofa.

Breed Standard

The Saint’s coat comes in two varieties: the rough and the smooth. Colours include orange, red brindle, and mahogany brindle, with patches of white, plus black shadings on the face and ears. This distinctive appearance is supported by a large, muscular frame that moves smoothly yet powerfully. The Kennel Club’s Breed Standard also states the dog should possess a steady temperament that combines intelligence and courage with kindness and benevolence.

Living with a Saint

This Alpine working dog adores human companionship, and is best suited to living indoors with a family that can devote plenty of time to their needs. Although the Saint Bernard does not require a huge amount of space, in spite of their size, apartment dwelling is not the ideal choice for this breed. This docile pooch needs a moderate amount of exercise, and eats no more than the average large dog. Neat freaks should perhaps avoid the Saint though, as they have a tendency to drool, carry mud and dirt into the house, and do their fair share of shedding.

Health Watch

Due to its giant size, the Saint sadly has a reduced life span of between 8 and 10 years. As with many pedigree dogs, the breed also suffers from certain health conditions, most notably hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism and bloat. It’s imperative to choose a reputable breeder when buying a puppy who can produce all the relevant medical certificates for both dame and sire. Be sure never to purchase a dog from a puppy farm or pet shop.