Breed Profile: Saint Bernard

St. Bernard puppies

Saint Bernard puppies are pretty gosh darn cute.
And there are many positives traints that make them rewarding to live with. They are loyal, good with children, and naturally protective.

Saint Bernards have been prominately featured in movies for over a decade; as a result they have enjoyed increasing popularity with people who are attracted to their looks but don’t necessarily know much about the breed. Unfortunatley, this means they have also become more common in shelters.

Taz, available in Negaunee, MI Shelter

Taz is an example of yet another purebred  Saint that has ended up in a shelter; he is available for adoption in Negaunee, MI.
Using Petfinder, or one of the breed specific rescue sites will also help you connect with a Saint in need of a home:

What to know about St. Bernards when considering adding one to your life:

It is hard to remember when looking at those cute, chubby puppies, but these are dogs that get big. Very, very big, at 25-28 inches and 130-180 pounds. They also tend to drool. And shed. They need to be brushed, even if you get the short haired variety rather than the long haired variety.

I don’t think though, that the size or the drool or the hair is the most common reason that Saints end up given up by owners. Saints are often portrayed in popular media as easy going, goofy dogs that don’t require much from owners except food and water. And this simply isn’t true.

Saints Working Agility

Like all big dogs, in order to bring out the best in a Saint, it needs to be trained and socilized from a young age. These dogs were bred to be independent, working dogs. They can be a little stubborn. They can be aggresive — as any untrained, unsocilized dog can be — if not properly handled from a young age.

Any large dog that is independent and bred to work needs exercise, training, and activity. I think that this is what people don’t realize when adding a cute little Bernard puppy to their life…it requires an intelligent owner who will work with him, train him, socilize him, teach him boundaries and help him find activities to take part in.

Working Draft Saint Bernards

If you are someone who is active, who enjoys training, you might enjoy working with a Saint. If you have considered becomming active in draft pulling, or draft competitions, then Saints are certainly worth taking a look at.

Saints like to have a job; remember, they were bred to work. They seem to have a natural affinity for watching over children and protecting. This can be a challenging breed but they are fun to work with. Very loving and devoted to their family, this is a breed that is happy to be with people.

For those who enjoy a big, loving dog, who don’t mind some grooming, and who enjoy working with an eager pupil, the Saint Bernard is definatly a breed worth considering. They deserve to be seen more often in obdience circles.

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