Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The Saint Bernard breed is popularly known for its heritage of Saint Bernards rescuing people in the Alps with their trademark little barrel at their collar. These giants look intimidating but are gentle by nature.
The Saint Bernard's Behavior
Recommended for: pets and watch dogs
The Saint Bernard dog breed is gentle and kind by nature. Saint Bernards make excellent family pets because their loyalty and fondness of children. However, they should not be left unsupervised with young children who yet do not know how to treat pets properly.
Remember that breed only provides a general clue as to any individual dog's actual behavior. Make sure to get to know dogs well before bringing them into your home.
The Saint Bernard's Physical Characteristics
Here are some of the characteristics of the Saint Bernard breed as determined by the American Kennel Club's published breed standard.
* Size: males minimum of 27 ½ inches; females minimum of 25 ½ inche
* Coat: very dense, short haired, smooth lying, tough
* Color: white with red, red with white, with red in various shades
* Eyes: set more towards front, mid-size, dark brown, set deep
* Ears: mid-size, set high, drops to the side, lightly set ears
* Muzzle: short, does not taper, straight bridge
* Nose: substantial, broad, wide open nostrils, black
* Tail: broad base, powerful tip
The Saint Bernard's Origins and History
Country/Region of Origin: Switzerland
Original purpose: rescue, working
Name: Named after Great Saint Bernard Pass where a hospice raised the dogs. They were called Saint Dogs, Alpenmastiff, or Barry Dogs before the middle of the 1800's; also known as St. Bernardshund, Bernardhiner, Alpine Mastiff, and Saint Bernard.
Historical notes: Saint Bernard dogs were developed from the working dogs of Swiss farmers. Their tasks included herding, hunting, and watching over the farm and its animals. They have a long history of rescuing the lost in the Alps. They can still be found with the monks who first raised them centuries ago.