Pet Health And Care >>  Dog Breed >>  Saint bernard dog  
Saint bernard dog

Saint bernard dog information and training saint bernard puppies

The Saint Bernard dog is one of the largest breeds of dogs and is highly regarded for its endeavor in noble causes such as mountain rescues.

These large dogs were originally bred from Tibetan mastiffs and were kept in Swiss monasteries to serve as guard dogs. Legend has it that these dogs were bred and kept in the monasteries for almost 400 years while no other breed of dog was allowed to even enter the monastery.

According to most literature found to document the existence of the Saint Bernard dog in olden times reference suggest the dog to be of a much smaller size than the ones we see today. While they were mainly bred to serve as rescue dogs, they were also very often employed as herding dogs or even livestock guardians.

Some people would train them specifically to help with hunting expeditions, although this was a rather rare occurrence. Around the timeline between 1816 and 1818, a number of avalanches in the Swiss Alps are said to have caused the death of a huge number of Saint Bernard dogs and it took a number of years of very careful breeding to get the animals to a decent population. The canine derives its name primarily from the Saint Bernard pass in the Western Alps between Switzerland and Italy which is widely known to be very treacherous.

Under its rather massive coat lies a very strong and muscular frame. The ears appear to be rather high set and hang down while the muzzle may look a bit stunted. The broad and powerful tail of the canine helps significantly in propelling as well as balancing the animal's body while climbing steep slopes. The coat comes in long haired or short haired variants, both of which are very thick and keep the animal warm in some of the coldest climates.

Saint Bernard training needs to take place while the animal is still a pup, not only because it is easier for them to adapt to the change of personality, but also because of the fact that they have not yet reached the pinnacle of size and strength that they will mature into. Their intelligence and loyalty make them very easy to train, but one must make sure that too much training is not imparted in a single session. Instead, allow the puppy to have a number of breaks during short sessions. One of the main drawbacks of the breed is the fact that their rapid growth may result in a deterioration of the bones unless the animal is fed the right kinds of food. The breed is also known to suffer from other medical conditions including hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia.

  Submitted on October 28, 2009  

Explore Pet Categories