The Saint Bernard is extremely gentle in spite of its massive size. They are slow-moving, and usually tolerant. They want to please and are extremely loyal to their family. They need to be trained at an early age in order to manage their size and strength.
The Saint Bernard was originally bred to guard the grounds of the Hospice Saint Bernard in Switzerland in addition to saving injured and lost travelers. They are a kind, intelligent, and good-natured dog. Despite their large size, they are a great family companion and a quiet indoor dog. While they do well indoors, they do need a large yard for them to stretch out. Saint Bernard’s do not generally need a lot of exercise and are great to cuddle with while watching television or reading.
They are a people-oriented breed and do not well if left alone for long periods of time. They are not aggressive but they will bark if they feel the need to. Their size alone, though, is enough to scare off a would-be burglar. Saint Bernard’s are patient and gentle with children but could accidentally knock over small children with just a swipe of their tail.
Major Health Concerns: The Saint Bernard may suffer from cervical vertebral instability (CVI or wobbler’s syndrome), common in large breed, fast growing dogs. They may also have hip dysplasia and are prone to bloat.
Interesting Fact: Saint Bernard’s are strikingly similar to the English Mastiff and Newfoundland. This can be attributed to a common shared ancestry with the Alpine Mastiff and the Tibetan Mastiff.
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