SAINT BERNARD DOG

The Saint Bernard carries the holiness and name of the archdeacon Bernard of Menthon, founder of the Swiss Alp Hospice, where it has saved more than 2,000 lives throughout the last centuries.
 
The Saint Bernard is a large, balanced and muscular dog, with an impressive and powerful head. The skull is sturdy and wide, with noticeable wrinkles; the muzzle is short, without narrowing; the nose is wide and the angles well marked; black colored; ears high inserted, light and triangular, with a rounded tip and highly developed auditory channel; the eyes are medium sized, inserted more at the front than the sides, somewhat deep, dark brown colored and with a sweet expression. The neck is high inserted and very strong, with a pronounced (but not exaggerated dewlap). The chest is moderate depth with well chiseled ribs, without reaching the elbows; the back is very wide, strong and firm (a sunken or overly long back is a serious flaw); well developed and muscular limbs, moderate hind angulations (not cow like or too angled); the hinds should not be straight; strong tarsus; straight forelegs, elbows not protruding. The tail wide, very heavy and long, the last vertebrae should reach at least the hock level (never erect or curled over the back). The coat can be short or long. The withers height: the male between 70 to 90 cm; the female from65 to 86 cm. Dogs with a larger size will not be penalized if their general appearance is harmonic, according to the FCI. The KC does not establish a size, but balance altogether. Color: white with brownish red spots. Black shading at the head is sought.
 
WHO IS IT RIGHT FOR             
Saint Bernard puppies should not be canonized until they have been properly educated. The breed can live at home perfectly, although it can be outside most of the time as well.
A giant saint, the Saint Bernard is a blessing for the appropriate owners. It loves the family life and is happy in the company of children. Bad weather doesn’t bother it, or having to live mostly outdoors, although it is very obedient an reliable inside the house. Although it is a clean animal, it is slobbery, so the owner has been warned. Usually it is not too extroverted, but a slow and deep thinker. A very balanced animal, excellent guardian, with an splendid character.
The Saint Bernard puppies should not be cannonized until they have been properly educated. The breed can live at home perfectly, although it can also be outside most of the time.
 
DEVELOPMENT             
This 1.5 kg baby will gain around 12.5 kg per month during the next few months. The size of the litters is usually large, although sometimes they are more reduced. The size of the puppies is usually below half a kilo. The Saint Bernard grows at a noticeable pace, especially during the first year, when it can gain 12.5 kg in one months. Growth might be irregular, resulting in a disproportionate looking dog temporarily. The owner should be a breed connoisseur and collaborate closely with the veterinarian during the first year. It has been proven to best to provide a high quality diet in restricted amounts. If you allow the puppy to eat at will, or if a lower quality feed is used, there are often growth complications, as well as in excess supplementing. The best system for a good growth is obviously good breeding. It is advised to seek calmly and insist on hereditary disease free certifications. The character is rarely a problem, but it is enough to say that an uncontrollable Saint Bernard is a 100kg problem. With due education, the Saint Bernard should become a brave, devoted and gentle dog.
 
HEALTH
Giant breeds grow quickly and many times with problems. The owner should never overfeed or feed supplements to the puppy. The diet influences a lot in the dog’s skeletal development.
The Saint Bernard is a fast growing giant breed, for which it is prone to a large variety of bone problems. Hip dysplasia is a very serious problem – the owner should only purchase a puppy from dysplasia free lines - . Pituitary abnormalities are frequent, in part due to the fact that it is an acromegalic breed; this often results in bone growth problems, skin excess and diabetes mellitus. Stomach torsions and cancer (especially in bones, osteosarcomas) are quite frequent. Entropion, ectropion and distichiasis are less serious problems. Hemophilia B and epilepsy are not frequent but happen. 
 
Despite the Saint Bernard’s relatively low popularity, the buyer should be careful when choosing a puppy. Make sure that the parents and grandparents are tested for the many congenital problems documented in the breed. Your hours of research can add years of life to your puppy.