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Saint Bernard

Veterinarian Reviewed on June 2, 2010 by Dr. Janice Huntingford

Physical Characteristics

Saint Bernard.jpg

Breed Group:

The Saint Bernard is a member of the Working Group.


120-200 lb.


Male: 27.5 inches min.; female: 25 inches min.


The coat is white with red, red or brindle with white. White appears on noseband, collar, chest, feet, and tail tip.


The Saint Bernard can sport one of two types of dense coats. The short hair coat is smooth and tough. The long-medium length coat is rough and straight to slightly wavy.



The Saint Bernard wears an intelligent expression. This breed is loyal and willing to please.

Country of Origin:



This breed may have originated with the Roman Molossian dogs. Through Canine Evolution from 1660-1670, the breed developed. At St. Bernard Hospice in Switzerland, founded by Bernard of Menthon, monks noted this breed’s talent for locating lost people in deep snow. This breed worked in search and rescue for three centuries. They also had roles guarding and drafting. The most famous Saint Bernard is Barrie, credited with saving 40 lives.


Named for Bernard of Menthon. St. Bernhardshund, Alpine Mastiff. Sacred Dog (historic).


This breed is gentle and patient, but can be stubborn. The affectionate Saint Bernard is calm and friendly to strangers and other pets.



Be sure to train this breed while they are small and easy to manage. Always socialize with other humans.


Allow daily exercise such as moderate walks and short runs. Activities in cold weather are also good. Never let the dog become overheated.


Owners must take into account the adult dog’s tremendous size and weight. Problems can arise if the owner cannot control a misbehaving dog in public. Provide a safe environment with a fenced yard. Be aware that this breed may jump over or dig under a fence. Owners need to know the Saint Bernard does not tolerate heat well. Avoid keeping your pet in warm rooms or cars. Although this breed can be raised outside in temperate to cold weather, it should divide its time between house and yard. Keep this pet socialized with your family.


No breeders listed at this time.

List of dog breeds

Read also: Airedale Terrier
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Our Expert

Dr. Janice Huntingford
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan

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