Facts about Saint Bernard Puppies

Are you unsure how to care for Saint Bernard puppies, or just want to learn more about this breed?

Maybe you are thinking about buying a dog and want to know if this is the right breed for you?

No matter what your situation may be, you will find the answers to your questions right here!



Saint Bernard Information and History

The breed, also known as the Alpine Mastiff, was developed by Swiss monks at the Hospice of Saint Bernard, a refuge for travelers crossing the mountain passes between Italy and Switzerland.

It's believed the breed originated from the same ancient mastiffs that also produced such breeds as Mastiff and Neapolitan Mastiff. The monks at the hospice probably developed the breed, as we know it today, by crossing those ancient mastiffs with some local dogs.

The first mention of the rescue work by these dogs dates back to the 17th century. Saint Bernards would seek out a lost and injured traveler and then would lick him and lie down next to him to keep the traveler warm. It's believed St. Bernards saved over 2,000 lives at the hospice.

The breed is famous for its excellent sense of smell and its ability to foretell the storms.

Today, in addition to search and rescue work, these dogs are also kept for companionship.

Physical Characteristics of Saint Bernard Puppies

The Saint Bernard is a large and powerful dog.

It has a large and square body with a long tail and large feet. The head is large and long with a short muzzle, medium-size drop ears, and a broad black nose.

It has a double coat with a short and dense undercoat, and a thick outer coat. The outer coat can be long or short and comes in brown, red, or brindle, with white markings at the chest, neck, feet and tip of tail.

    Height Weight
  Male 27.5+ inches 160 - 240 pounds
  Female 25.5+ inches 120 - 180 pounds


The Saint Bernard is an intelligent, gentle, playful, fun-loving, and friendly dog. It loves children and is equally friendly with its family and strangers.

Saint Bernards make good watchdogs and will bark at intruders, but they are not aggressive. Given their large size, barking may be all they need to do!

Like all large breeds, it may be difficult to handle if it's not properly trained.

As an owner, you will need to teach your pet certain things while he is still young and of manageable size.

Teach him not to jump at people (visit dog jumping on people to learn how).

Socializing your dog while he is still young will make handling him a lot easier when he grows up.

Best Owner / Living Conditions

This is a very large breed. Without proper training, it may be difficult to handle, especially if you live in an apartment. Be prepared to put your pet through socialization training.

Some Saint Bernard breeders will interview prospective owners to make sure this is the right breed for them.

Activity and Exercise

This is not a very active breed and does not require a lot of exercise. Still, a one or two long walks per day are required, especially if you live in an apartment.

Make sure not to over exercise a young puppy until his bones are strong.

Despite its large size, a St. Bernard can adjust to an apartment lifestyle as long as it gets enough exercise.


Despite its long coat and dense undercoat, the breed is not difficult to care for.

Like most breeds with a dense undercoat, this one sheds twice a year.

For best look, comb and brush at least 2 to 3 times a week (I recommend daily brushing during the shedding season) with a firm bristle brush. Bathe only when absolutely necessary.

Pay special attention to the eyes. They tend to water and need to checked and cleaned when necessary.

Health Concerns

Like all dog breeds, the Saint Bernard is susceptible to complications caused by parasites such as dog ticks, fleas, and puppy worms, including tapeworms, roundworms, and heartworms.

Other common health concerns include albinism, epilepsy, heart problems, hip dysplasia, and skin problems.

Another concern involves bloating. Try to feed your pet several smaller meals instead of one large one.

Visit dog health problems for more information about dog diseases and health problems.

To reduce the risk of the above and many other health problems, buy only from reputable Saint Bernard breeders (visit dog breeders to learn how to identify responsible dog breeders).

No matter how small the risk of health problems is, any puppy may get sick or injured. Many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, but there are many others that will not, and you may handle them on your own.

To save time and money, learn how to diagnose and treat dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for healthy Saint Bernard puppies is between 8 and 10 years.

Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?

If this is the breed you are interested in, and adoption appeals to you, consider contacting your local Saint Bernard rescue. There are thousands of pets waiting for a loving home and, yes, it's possible to adopt a purebred dog.

Puppy Training

Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? Then check this Saint Bernard Behavior and Obedience Training Guide.

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Saint Bernard Puppies » Dog Breeds

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