Before becoming convinced that the Saint Bernard is the right dog for you, you need to realize that they are a “giant” dog. This means that they stand at a height of 25-27.5 inches at the shoulder (withers) and can weigh between 110-200 pounds. Their size dictates that they receive training and moderate exercise.
They come in red and white or brindle color with white markings on their chest, feet, nose, neck and tip of the tail. They typically have a dark color on the muzzle and ears.
Generally the short coated Saint Bernard is easier to groom than the rough coated but both require brushing 2-3 times a week. Bathing can be quite a chore and requires that they be brushed before and after to prevent matting.
There are some health considerations that you need to be aware of. They are prone to bloat which is common to the larger breed dogs. This condition creates a torsion of the stomach where the stomach twists on itself. This is extremely painful for the dog and can be fatal if not corrected immediately by a vet. This usually requires surgical intervention. Entropian can also occur with the Saint Bernard. This is a painful eye condition where the upper lid turns under and the lashes scrape against the eye. This condition can be corrected quite easily through a simple surgical procedure.
Like other giant dogs, joint problems can occur including hip dysplasia. Be sure that you talk with your breeder about this and see if they have had any problem with this with their dogs. Another problem is von Willebrand’s disease which is a bleeding disorder. Both people and dogs can have this disease and presents itself by a lack of von Willebrand factor leading to a problem with clotting.
The Saint Bernard is a wonderful breed even though massive in size. It is a friendly dog and makes a good family pet. One thing to keep in mind is that they are considered to have a “wet mouth” meaning, they drool! Typically though the drooling only occurs when exercising, drinking, or when they are excited. They do need to be part of the family and crave companionship.
Further information will appear on this page when I have puppies available for purchase.