Saint Bernard breed profile
Training and intelligence
Although Saint Bernards are intelligent, they can be slow in their responses, so be patient. Start training while the dog is a young puppy, because he will grow fast and soon be huge. Perhaps the most important behaviour to work on is walking on the lead without pulling, as no human will win a tug-of-war instigated by a Saint Bernard dog. Their strength can be channelled into cart pulling activities.
The Saint Bernard dog is steadfast and loyal. Despite his great size he is gentle. This breed is generally excellent around children, and adores playing with them, although as with all big dogs supervision is necessary to ensure no problems result from the sheer bulk of a Saint Bernard.
Attitude towards strange dogs and people
While a Saint Bernard is not the most outgoing breed, they are certainly not aggressive. They are generally tolerant and accepting of strange people or dogs, however this dog will defend you if he perceives that you are in danger. This is a giant breed, and just the appearnce of a Saint Bernard will put off potential intruders. They are not habitual barkers, but will use their judgement.
Grooming and shedding
There are two coat types in Saint Bernards - the rough and the smooth. Obviously, the longer the coat the more grooming will be necassary. Occasional bathing will be necessary, and this will be a big task - there is a lot of Saint Bernard to wash!
Saint Bernards enjoy their sleep and relaxation, although they are playful companions. A good daily walk keep him happy, and it is esential that exercise is restricted up to the age of two years while the large skeleton and muscles grow and settle.
Need for company
A Saint Bernard really needs company and attention. He will bond with his people and will need to spend a lot of time with them.
The height guidelines given here is a minimum - 25.5" for bitches, and 27.5" for dogs. Saint Bernards can grow up to 36" though. This breed does a lot of growing in a short time, and great care must be taken in feeding and exercising them in the vital early months and years. Saint Bernards are quite quiet, but they can produce a considerable amount of drool.