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St. Bernard

General Description

Known as a classic example of a gentle giant, the Saint Bernard is calm, patient and sweet with adults, and especially children. However St. Bernards, like all very large dogs, must be well socialized with people and other dogs in order to prevent fearfulness and any possible aggression or territoriality.

Hereditary Illnesses

The Saint Bernard can develop certain health problems including hip and elbow dysplasia, cardiomyopathy, cancers such as osteosarcoma (bone cancer), eye problems such as entropion and ectropion, osteochondrosis (an orthopaedic problem), hypothyroidism, and gastric torsion (bloat).

Character and Temperament

Lively, Friendly, Watchful, Gentle, Calm


How much exercise do they need? As a giant dog breed with a quick growth rate, St Bernard's can suffer from bone problems and so only a relatively small amount of exercise is recommended - up to an hour a day for adult dogs.


Go over your St. Bernard's body with a large slicker brush to work free any small mats that remain. Hold the brush parallel to your dog's body, and work it through his coat in long, smooth strokes in the direction of hair growth. Use a grooming rake to remove loose and dead hair from your St. Bernard's undercoat.


The name "St. Bernard" originates from the Great St. Bernard Hospice, a traveller's hospice on the often treacherous Great St. Bernard Pass in the Western Alps, between Switzerland and Italy. The pass, the lodge, and the dogs are named for Bernard of Menthon, the 11th-century Italian monk who established the station.


From birth, St. Bernards gain weight at an average rate of 25lbs per month.


Average Dog Size


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Average Life Expectancy


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