How is a San Bernardo


  • Height at the cross: males at least 70 cm and females at least 65 cm.
  • Weight: from 60 to 90 kg
  • Cap: white and red or white and brown yellow
  • Average life: twelve years
  • Character: quiet, restful though jovial
  • Relationship with children: Excellent
  • Relationship with other dogs: to watch (dominant)
  • Aptitudes: guard and avalanche dog
  • Space needs: a great space indispensable
  • San Bernardo Food: 860 to 1200 g daily of dry whole food
  • Arrangement: weekly brushing
  • Maintenance cost: high

Is the Saint Bernard the right dog for you?

He Saint Bernard It is a noble and fascinating breed. He is an affectionate and affectionate companion who is extremely faithful and loyal to his owners and his family. In any case, you should take into account the pros and cons associated with the acquisition of any race (not just this one). You should understand the responsibilities associated with accepting this serious commitment and keep in mind that you will spend ten or more years with the dog of your choice.

He Saint Bernard It is an ideal pet, although it needs a lot of space. They are huge dogs that need enough space to stretch their large paws and gigantic body. Thus, they are not good candidates for life in a small apartment and, no doubt, they will feel more comfortable in a large house where they have space to walk freely. He Saint Bernard Current has nothing to do with their long-lived ancestor assets, although they need to exercise daily. Many of them enjoy quiet and entertaining walks, either with their owners or with other dogs with whom they share the home. When they are not exercising or playing, they enjoy while they spend a lot of time resting at their feet. Even so, they are not a very excitable race that requires constant attention. Frequently, they will feel just as happy if they are left alone to be entertained on their own. Anyway, with this we do not mean that you should leave your Saint Bernard for hours and day after day. All dogs need to pay attention and spend time with their owners, because if they do not become unsociable and suffer from separation anxiety.

If you make the decision to own a Saint Bernard, two of his first acquisitions should consist of a mop and a bunch of scraps or towels. Regardless of what they can tell you, the Saint Bernard drool They will leave their saliva on the tables, the floor or anything else they find in their way. If you have seen a Saint Bernard Shaking his head and tail excitedly, he will know exactly what I am talking about. It is a trail of involuntary destruction, so be warned.

Have the money to satisfy the voracious appetite of your Saint Bernard It is also another important thing to keep in mind. It is not uncommon for the adult dog to consume several kilos of food daily. Combine this with the expensive veterinary bills, the cost of grooming, training and any other necessary utensils and you will find that the investment you will have to make will be remarkable. Make sure you know where you are getting. Although it involves a lot of work and dedication, the satisfaction of being the owner of this giant and majestic breed far exceeds any negative aspect of the breed.

Once you have decided that the Saint Bernard It is the right breed for you, the next step is to find the type of dog that will best suit your needs and your expectations. Do you want an already grown dog or a puppy? Do you want a dog to have it simply as a pet, or one with which you can compete in beauty contests or in obedience tests or in any other type of tests? Maybe the acquisition of a rescue dog goes beyond what I had in mind.

Male or female?

Many aspiring dog owners often wonder which sex is better: male or female? In some races there are differences. In the case of Saint Bernard, both sexes are equally good and their choice will be limited to personal preferences. Obviously, if you choose a female, you will have taken into account the inconveniences that zeal represents (they have it twice a year). However, the duration of the heat depends on each specimen, and varies according to the lines, so ask the breeder what is the frequency and duration of the jealousy of his specimens. Anyway, if you decide on a female, you should have enough space to keep her separate from any male you might have at home.

If you have space and decide that you want to have two or more copies, it is advisable that all be of the same sex, unless you have facilities to have them separated. If you have animals as pets, it is highly recommended that they be neutered or spayed.


He Saint Bernard He should have a pleasant and extraverted temperament. They are excellent pets for children and are usually very protective of their masters and their property. However, there are variations in temperament and this should be taken into account when choosing your Saint Bernard. A large and aggressive dog (whatever type) is an extremely dangerous animal. Remember that the first task of this race, in the past, was to keep the hospice and, thus, became quite a defender and protector if it was challenged or threatened. The family should be able to fully trust their dog, although he will be willing to protect himself and his family in dangerous situations.

Aspects related to the health of your San Bernardo

Despite the many precautions you can take, it is inevitable that your dog can get sick at some point in his life. There are many different canine diseases that all breeds can suffer. The first step in preventing these diseases is to know those that the Saint Bernard It is susceptible to suffer. A Saint Bernard Well raised and well taken care of, you are less likely to develop diseases and other health problems than those who have been poorly raised and cared for. To a large extent, the Saint Bernard It is a very healthy breed considering its enormous size.

  • Swelling (Gastric Dilation)

This problem has proved fatal for many copies. Saint Bernard. Gastric dilation implies a large distension of the stomach caused by the accumulation of a cant> bases for food and water containers, to prevent the dog from having to bend its neck excessively to eat. Never offer water with food and always soak dry food before offering it.

  • Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is one of the most common congenital defects in large dogs. Dysplastic dogs have a malformed hip, which tends to cause lameness or to stagger or walk on the affected limb. Many Saint Bernard They are affected by this problem. A dog suffering from this disease usually develops arthritis in the hip joint due to the stress. The maintenance of the animal with an adequate weight and the control of the exercise that it does can prevent the problem from going further. Make sure that the breeder you have chosen has tested their specimens to rule out the existence of hip dysplasia before using them for breeding.

This problem affects the eyelid (usually the lower one) and causes it to turn inside the eye and irritate the cornea. It is usually more frequent in dogs that have a very large head. There may be watery eyes, infection and even a corneal ulcer.

The ectropion is the opposite of entropion and the lower eyelid is separated from the eyeball. This problem usually occurs in dogs that have loose facial skin, as is the case with Saint Bernard.

  • Heart disease

This problem is quite frequent in this breed. Symptoms are usually cough, shortness of breath, fainting, lethargy and sudden weakness in the legs. Fortunately, many heart problems can be treated with medication.

If you want to know more about the Saint Bernard We recommend the publication of the publishing house Hispano Europea San Bernardo Excellence Series:

Origin of the San Bernardo dog

The story of the St. Bernard dog begins in the "Great Mount of St. Bernhard", a hill between Switzerland and Italy of more than 2,473 meters above sea level. There was founded in the eleventh century a hospice for travelers and pilgrims, the same place where in the seventeenth century began to breed large and robust dogs, with the intention of protecting and monitoring the home.

Initially these dogs were guardians inside the hospice and monks protectors. However, in a short time the monks realized their dogs' abilities to find people lost and buried under the avalanches. Then, they began to raise and train them to rescue people.

The history of San Bernardo was documented since 1695 and in the hospice, specifically, in 1707, when they were written Chronicles about the dogs that managed to save the lives of those who had been lost and who thought they were in front of "the white death". There are many stories that explain the feats of the race, however, they were Napoleon Bonaparte's soldiers, around 1,800, who spread their fame throughout Europe. One of these dogs came to save so many lives that currently his taxidermized body is on display at the National Museum of Bern.

In 1887 the St. Bernard dog was recognized as a Swiss breed and became the "Swiss national dog".

Physical characteristics of San Bernardo

The St. Bernard dog is large, robust, muscular and harmonious. There are two varieties of this breed, the San Bernardo with short hair and the San Bernardo with long hair. Apart from the fur, both have the same physical and psychological characteristics.

The head of this dog is imposing, large and expressive. It is wide, strong and has well developed supraorbital arches. Naso-frontal depression (stop) is very pronounced. The snout is uniformly wide and with a straight nose. The nose must be black. The eyes of this great dog they are medium, moderately sunken and of kind expression. Your color can go from the dark brown to hazelnut. The ears are of high insertion, wide, medium, triangular, hanging and with the rounded end.

The body is robust, well proportioned and muscular. It has a rectangular profile, since its length is a little greater than the height at the cross. The upper line is straight and has a broad, powerful and firm back. The chest is moderately deep and the flanks are barely retracted. The tail of the San Bernardo has a broad and strong base. It must be long enough to reach the hock when hanging at rest.

The type of coat depends on whether it is the variety of short hair or long hair:

  • Short hair: They have a dense inner lanilla and a dense outer layer, smooth and well attached to the body.
  • Long hair. they have a more abundant inner lanilla and a smooth and medium length outer layer. On the hip and rump it can be somewhat wavy and the face and ears show short hair.

The color for both varieties is white with spots of reddish brown. The reddish color can range from more or less large spots to form a continuous mantle on the spine and flanks. Brown-yellowish spots and some traces of black on the body are also tolerated. The sill, the feet, the tip of the tail, the nose, the front band and the neck should be white.

There is no ideal weight, however, we do find race height:

  • Males: from 70 to 90 centimeters.
  • Females: from 65 to 80 centimeters.

Character of the Saint Bernard

The San Bernardo is a dog that has a character gentle, social and kind. Despite their large size, these kind giants are usually calm and not as playful as many dogs of other breeds. However, they demand constant company and can be overprotective with their relatives.

It is a dog patient, obedient and loyal, delivered to his family and especially kind. If they are abandoned in the garden or left alone for prolonged periods, they may develop aggressive behavior or behavior problems related to separation.

It is a dog that will need to live in a very large flat or a House with garden: Must have space to move freely. Contrary to what we may think, it does not require a high level of exercise, although it is convenient that exercise moderately and be active so as not to favor overweight, a health problem that can seriously harm the breed. We will also dedicate time to mentally stimulate so that it responds more positively to training and to any technique we want to teach you. For this, we can use intelligence toys, for example.

The feeding San Bernardo will be very important to take into account, especially in his puppy stage, since his bones and joints will bear a much greater weight than other breeds. Therefore, we recommend looking for a specific feed for giant-sized puppies and continue with adequate food according to their specific needs.

You will need a daily brushing to keep your fur clean and tangle free and an occasional bath, which can be placed between the month and three months. It will also be necessary to clean the remains of slime and dirt of the belfos, remove the legañas, generally check the presence of parasites, check the ear canal or clean the teeth.

Finally it should be noted that the San Bernardo has a high maintenance cost, not only for the amount of food needed, but also for the consequences of having a giant-sized dog, such as your personal belongings, the price of the hairdresser or space.

San Bernardo Education

The San Bernardo is an intelligent dog that shows ease of training. It is generally easy to socialize a puppy of the San Bernardo breed, both with people and with other dogs and other pets. When they are well socialized, the San Bernardo are excellent companions of children and, in fact, they are known as "nanny dogs". It will also be important to start training them at an early age and initiate them in basic dog orders.

However, socialization should not be overlooked, since these are very large and powerful animals. If they are mistreated or are not given adequate socialization, they can develop fearful or aggressive behaviors, which can lead to a real danger Given the size of these dogs.

These dogs respond very well to canine training when the trainer takes into account their abilities and possibilities. They are not dogs as fast or agile as Belgian shepherds or boxers, but they can learn many things and perform perfectly in many tasks. We remember that the San Bernardo is a dog that can also perform tasks such as rescue, in any case, all kinds of advanced training must be carried out by a professional.

San Bernardo Health

The San Bernardo dog is susceptible to various health problems that should be kept in mind to prevent or detect them promptly. Here we explain the most common diseases of San Bernardo:

  • Heat stroke: usually occurs in summer, when the dog is not able to properly regulate body temperature and may be caused by excessive heat, lack of water, intense exercise, etc.
  • Overweight and obesity: the San Bernardo is a dog that will gain weight easily if we neglect their rations. As a consequence, a considerable increase in weight will affect bones and joints, weakening the dog and favoring other health problems.
  • Hip dysplasia: it is a hereditary disease typical of large or giant breeds and may also be caused by a calcium deficiency. In addition, overweight, hormonal alterations or intense physical exercise can favor its appearance.
  • Elbow dysplasia: it has a genetic origin but may appear to be poorly fed. It consists of a bone tissue that is altered and develops improperly, causing osteoarthritis.
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy: it consists of a degeneration of the musculature of the heart due to the contraction of muscle fibers, which gradually become thinner and in turn cause the thickening of the ventricular and atrial cavities.
  • Wobbler syndrome: this cervical disease causes neurological deficits and disability.
  • Gastric torsion: due to its morphology it is susceptible to suffer from this health problem, which if not treated urgently can be fatal. Although it is not possible to prevent 100% torsion, avoiding offering food before walking can be a good way to avoid it.

Go to veterinarian every 6 or 12 monthsFollowing the vaccination schedule and deworming our dog internally and externally will be some of the measures to be taken to avoid or detect any of these health problems. If we take good care of our San Bernardo we can enjoy a happy dog between 8 and 11 years.

San Bernardo Behavior

The San Bernardo is a very large dog and, above all, very calm That will surprise all household members. Is faithful Y loyal to those who take care of it, although it will need a lot of space to run and play. For this reason, it is also necessary to take him for long walks, since otherwise he could begin to behave improperly. But otherwise, this magnificent animal will love spending time resting watching TV with you 🙂.

The cost of the veterinarian, of his care and feeding can be very high, but if you decide to have a San Bernardo as a companion animal, you will find in him an excellent four-legged friend.

Living with:

The San Bernardo is a social being. Nothing makes you happier than participating in family activities. On the contrary, this dog gives himself to loneliness if he feels he is left behind from any fun. Since San Bernardo is so great, training is prevalent, and the earlier the better.

The breed is known to be stubborn at times. However, once the Saint Bernard understands what is expected of him, if instinct to please will take away any stubbornness.

The adult San Bernardo moves twice a year, in spring and autumn. Regular brushing will help minimize shedding.

While the dog needs to eat enough food to maintain a healthy weight, do not overfeed the St. Bernard. Excess weight can strain joints and worsen hip and elbow problems. The pound per pound of food required for San Bernardo may be less than the other races because of its temperament since it is more placid and needs less exercise than the other races.

As is the case with other very large races, the San Bernardo lives a relatively short life. Their life expectancy is generally 8 to 10 years.

The San Bernardo is powerful, it is a giant sized dog with deep roots in myths and legends. Although it was traditionally thought that it had its origins in the hospice monasteries in the Swiss Alps in the eleventh century, the first appearance of dogs found in the monastery or anywhere else probably occurred up to 600 years later.

Experts believe that this first monastery dog ​​was used as watchdogs. Not long after, his life-saving abilities became apparent. In the following three centuries, the San Bernardo was credited with saving more than 2,000 lives.

Today the San Bernardos are known not only for their historical feats, but also for their love and devotion to the company of human beings, especially children. Two popular films for children of 1990, Beethoven and Beethoven 2, confirmed this feature by telling the story of the adventure of an adorable St. Bernard with his family from an American suburb.