The Saint Bernard training information you will read here was developed
by a panel of renowned dog training experts whose
combined wisdom represents nearly 100 years of specialist
experience training dogs.
Here are a few of our experts:
has been featured in National TV and
Radio shows like Voice of America
and has been
dogs ever since he was 14 years old.
players, NFL players, professional
golfers, singers, wrestlers, governors, CEOs,
billionaire entrepreneurs, and many other celebrities
trust Ty because of his unique approach to training
He has trained dogs in 18 states
in the U.S.A and four other countries worldwide
and has spent several years working with high
level executive protection dogs who make wonderful
family pets, but potent guardians if called
is an internationally recognized Expert
Animal Communicator and Master
who has authored 6 books on Animal Communication
and has been featured in several TV
and Radio shows such as the
Wayne & Jayne Radio Show and Whole Life Radio
with Carmen & John LaMarca.
Her uncanny insight
into 'animal thought' comes from having intimately
worked with over 6,200 animals during the past
30 years, which is why we trust her profound
experience when she speaks.
Dr. Susan Lauten
Lauten has a Masters in Animal Nutrition
and a Ph.D in Biomedical Sciences.
Recently a guest of
Marty Becker on "Top Vets Talk Pets"
and interviewed by The Oregon Live,
she has authored several peer-reviewed articles
and veterinary nutrition reference book chapters.
With 5 years of experience teaching Veterinary
Nutrition at a Veterinary Teaching Hospital,
Dr. Lauten brings unequalled veterinary perspective
into how your dog should be cared for both medically
has a current practice which teaches nearly
200 young dog owners to train
their dogs in obedience and
Having spent over 40 years training
dogs, Sally has proven experience in helping
dogs to love and obey their owners and bond
deeply with them - while guiding owners to truly
appreciate the wonderful gift of friendship
this inevitably brings.
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Saint Bernard: Training, Personality, Health,
Grooming (St Bernard)
Group: AKC and KCGB Working
AKC Ranking: 39
Also Known As: St. Bernard, St.
Bernhardschund, Alpine Mastiff, Bernhardiner
About Saint Bernard
Country of Origin, History of Saint Bernards
The Saint Bernard is a descendent
of the Tibetan mastiffs taken to the Alps
by the Romans about 1000 AD. The Swiss monks
of St. Bernard de Menthon crossed the mastiffs
with Great Danes and Great Pyrenees. By the
middle of the 1600s its use as a rescue dog
was well established.
More than 2,000 people have been
saved by St. Bernards. The dogs work in teams to
search out and find lost or injured travelers and
lick them to get their circulation going and then
one dog lies next to them to give them warmth. Another
dog goes back to get a human rescue team and leads
them back to the traveler and other dog(s). St.
Bernard’s sense of smell is so great that
he can find a person even under many feet of snow.
The short-haired St. Bernard is
more often used for search and rescue as the long-haired
version has a problem with his long hair collecting
Breed Selector Tool - is the Saint Bernard the right breed for you?
Is the Saint Bernard the right breed for you and your family?
Find out by using our Free Dog Breed Selector Tool
Check Your Saint Bernard's Learning Style
Are you aware dogs also have a learning style that can greatly affect their ability to housetrain as well as be trained correctly. Evaluate your Saint Bernard's learning style and personality using our free Learning Style tool so that you are better able to provide him with the proper training methods.
Is your Saint Bernard dominating over you?
Does your Saint Bernard bark unnecessarily? Does your Saint Bernard come to you when you call? Download a FREE Report on Dog Dominance for you and your Saint Bernard and learn how to control your dog.
Do you make these mistakes with your Saint Bernard?
Are you inadvertently snow-balling bad behavior in your Saint Bernard? Evaluate your Dog Training Style from our Free Tool and learn how best to deal with your dog.
Saint Bernard Calorie Calculator
Do you know how many calories your Saint Bernard needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our Saint Bernard Calorie Calculator.
A General Appearance of
The St. Bernard is a very massive,
muscular dog with an imposingly large head and equally
large paws. His toes are highly arched so that he
can walk well in snow and ice. His weight should
be in proportion to his size. The St. Bernard’s
muzzle is short, his ears are rather high set and
hang down. The nose is very wide causing the dark
brown eyes to be widely set. His look is of intelligence,
wisdom, and the ability to deal with dangerous situations
– “Just relax; I’ve got it under
All four of the Saint Bernard’s
legs are well-muscled. His chest is moderately deep
but does not reach below his elbows. Add to that
a broad back and broad, muscular shoulders and you
get a powerhouse of a dog. Even his tail is broad
and powerful as it helps to propel and balance him
when he is climbing.
The base coat color is white,
but it is well marked in tan, red, mahogany, brindle,
and black. The face and ears usually have shadings
St. Bernards have two different
coat types: rough (Long-haired) and smooth (Short-haired).
Both coats are dense and warm. The Shorth-haired
or Smooth-coated St. Bernard’s coat lies smoothly
over his body. The thighs are slightly bushy and
the tail appears bushy. The Rough or Long-haired
coat is longer than the smooth coat and slightly
wavy. With the rough coat there is feathering on
the legs and tail.
Male: at least 27.5 inches
Female: at least 25.5 inches
The taller the dog, the more he
is valued as long as the weight is in proportion
to the height.
110 – 200 lbs
Temperament of the Dog
The Saint Bernard is extremely
gentle, caring, and sensitive to people’s
needs and desires. Desirous to please, he is loyal
The St. Bernard makes a great
family companion. He is very tolerant of children.
HIs instincts provide a natural watchdog warning
of anything or anyone approaching, but he is not
aggressive. However, his size would deter most would-be
intruders. He is a “couch potato” but
have plenty of energy and stamina when motivated.
Be sure to provide plenty of socialization
for the St. Bernard as a puppy. Make sure he meets
all types of people and is exposed to a wide variety
of experiences and noises.
The St. Bernard is very intelligent
and learns easily and quickly. Because they get
so large, they should start obedience training as
young as possible. Remember that an unruly 175-pound
dog on a leash can present a number of problems,
especially in public. Make sure, as the owner, you
control the dog and the dog does not control you
from the beginning.
Saint Bernards are sure-footed
in snow and ice. Their sense of smell is such that
they can find people buried under many feet of snow.
They also have a sixth sense about impending danger,
especially storms and avalanches.
Because St. Bernards have jowls,
they drool after they eat or drink.
Better suited to an indoor
or outdoor lifestyle?
Saint Bernards love the outdoors
but they need time inside with their family. Because
of their thick coats, they prefer cool climates.
They cannot handle warm rooms or cars or hot weather.
Air conditioning is a must if they are in a climate
with warm summers.
Are they suited to homes
St. Bernards love children. Their
gentleness and sensitivity to people make them a
wonderful family pet. They can be boisterous when
young and, because of their size, can knock youngsters
down, but they would never hurt a family member
How Active is the Breed?
The St. Bernard is rather boisterous
when young but settles down by age 2. He continues
to have energy and stamina throughout his life,
but is calmer indoors than outdoors as an adult.
He enjoys both mental and physical stimulation.
How Much Exercise Does
the Dog Need at every stage of its Life?
Until he is two years old, a St.
Bernard needs several short walks or short play
times a day. His bones and muscles are still forming.
After two years of age, he can survive on one to
two long walks a day and a play time in a dog park
or fenced yard a couple of times a week. Therefore,
he can live in an apartment or a house with a small,
Both types of coats are easy to
care for – brush with firm bristle brush twice
a week. Do not bathe unless absolutely necessary
as it strips the oil from the coat. They shed heavily
twice a year.
Pay attention to their eyes as
they get watery and goopy and need frequent cleaning
and may need drops to keep them free of allergens
Generally, Saint Bernards are
a healthy breed. As a large dog, they have a tendency
toward bloat and torsion of the stomach so should
be fed 2-3 small meals a day. Also, as a large dog,
they can have hip and elbow dysplasia. Other problems
include “wobbler” syndrome, heart problems,
skin problems, and extropion.
Life Span: As one of the largest
dogs, St. Bernards have a fairly short life span
of 8 – 10 years.
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National Breed Clubs
British – English St. Bernard
Club – www.englishsaintbernardclub.org
US – Saint Bernard Club of America –
Other Recognition: CKC,
FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI,
Rescue Link: www.saintbernardclub.org/rescue.htm
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