Saint Bernard, Breed of the Week
Today’s breed of the week is the Saint Bernard. I do my best to get photos of every dog I highlight here, but I only have one awful photo of a Saint Bernard.
He’s a handsome boy with an unusual name, and he looked like his fur was shaved for summer, so skinny looking for a large dog. A very large dog. How many of y’all remember this ancient movie? How many of you had it on VHS?
I don’t recall many famous Saint Bernards. There’s Nana, from Disney’s Peter Pan, raising those kids on her own, poor, sweet thing. Help me out – what other famous Saint Bernards are there?
So why would someone want a Saint Bernard as a pet? Or why not? Right off the bat I’ll say that all that fur probably means there are very few south of the Mason-Dixon line. And the slobber would be a deterrent for me. I give blood, clean massive boo-boos, change the worst diapers – but drool and slobber give me the heebie jeebies. It’s a thing. Just me.
Tell Me More
But these dogs are GORGEOUS. So let’s get to know them and maybe I can be convinced. Turning to the AKC Breed page:
Originally used to locate freezing and helpless travelers during snowstorms, the St. Bernard now uses his intelligence and strength in conformation and obedience competitions, cart pulling and weight pulling. Although powerful and muscular in build, Saints possess a gentle and dignified temperament. Their coats can be long or short and range in color from deep brown to brown-yellow. White markings are required.
Oh. They can have a short coat. Well that’s a plus if one lives in the Deep South. It goes on to say that either type sheds and will need regular grooming. It also says that they all drool. All.
Pros and Cons
Stepping into the pros and cons, if you head to the Dog Breed Info page, you can see a short haired version. Handsome creature.
- Gentle and friendly – this dog is great with kids
- Patient, loyal, eager to please
- Strong sense of smell – this is why, in part, they’re used to locate avalanche victims
- Intelligent and easily trained
- A great family dog, wanting nothing better than to be with its family
- Health – the Saint Bernard has a number of health issues, but I don’t know that that should deter one from owning a Saint Bernard
- Slobber – every time this dog eats or drinks, it will slobber – I’m sure there are effective ways to work with that
- Size – working to socialize the Saint Bernard from a young age is vital, especially training it not to jump up on people – they are very large, strong dogs, people
- Shedding – if a shedding dog is an issue for you, steer clear of the Saint Bernard
If I lived in Minnesota I’d be strongly tempted to have a Saint Bernard. Our 100+ degree summers here in Oklahoma would keep me from having one here, even though my dogs spend the majority of their day in the air conditioning. Poor babies.
This post is gently recycled, and I’ve since met another Saint Bernard. Only one. It was at the Westminster dog show two years ago. The same dog show which will be happening this Monday in New York City. Color me jealous for not being there. And as you can see, this dog has the short coat.
Well of COURSE It Would Like a Jones Chew
What treats do I think the Saint Bernard would like? Well, our giveaway this month includes a Pumper, or pork heart, and I think this dog would be the right size to take care of it. Any of the giant bones from Jones Natural Chews would be great for gnawing and dental care. I think it would probably enjoy a large Windee, too, as well as a good sized Bully Stick. No Steer Sticks for this large dog!
So tell me – is the Saint Bernard the dog for you?
Spreading the good chews …