The Saint Bernard is the perfect description of a gentle giant. These immense dogs, weighing between 120-180 pounds, may appear intimidating, but anyone that knows them can tell you that they wouldn’t hurt a fly. These big dogs are affectionate to just about everyone they meet, making them great family dogs. The only hurdle that a family would need to overcome with having one of these dogs around is the messiness that they bring with them. The Saint Bernard will drool, shed, and track plenty of mud into the house.
This doggo originated in Switzerland and was initially used in the mountains for guarding the Hospice Saint Bernard. The Hospice was a place of refuge for travelers that were passing through the Saint Bernard pass in Switzerland. It was quickly discovered that the Saint Bernard dog had a wonderful talent for locating lost travelers and assisting in the rescue. Until this day, the Saint Bernard has held on to their protective instincts and will always be ready to protect the people they love. They will not be aggressive, but their heavy bark will come into play if they feel as though there is a threat.
Given their history in the cold regions of Switzerland, the Saint Bernard thrives in the cold. Their heavy coats and large size make it difficult for them to cope with the heat, and they can easily succumb to heatstroke. For this reason, they must drink plenty of water during the summer months and stay indoors during the hotter parts of the day. Staying at home should never be too much of an issue for these pups. They are even-tempered when indoors and love to lounge around the house. The Saint Bernard is not packed with energy like many other dogs, they are happy with a stroll around the block followed by a relaxing afternoon in the air-conditioned house.
The Saint Bernard makes an incredible family pet, but unfortunately, they will only live between 8-10 years. Their large size certainly weighs them down, especially into their later years when their joints are not as strong as when they were younger. That being said, if a loving companion is what you are looking for, then this breed may be the perfect fit. You can be sure that they will be unconditionally loyal, and they will enjoy nothing more than spending time with the family.
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