St. Bernards

Awww, How Cute!

 Nothing is cuter than a puppy and St. Bernard pups are adorable, roly poly, balls of fur.  Watching a baby Bernard lumber across the lawn takes your heart away and their small size when around 6 weeks old (small for a large dog) makes them feel like furry teddy bears!

When choosing a puppy; any puppy, it is important to look at the health of the puppy and if at all possible, the parents.  A healthy puppy will have clear eyes.  St. Bernard's are breeds known to have problems with their eyes as they age because of the breeding done to give them that "sad" look, with the triangular shaped eyes.  Making sure that the Bernard puppy has clear, bright eyes is a must.  Most have brown eyes, however I recently met a little girl Bernard with violet colored eyes. 

Puppies should have strong looking teeth and a wet, discharge free nose.  They should not have any smell coming from their ears and their breath, if eating a healthy diet will smell somewhat like graham crackers (it's weird but true)!  They should have sturdy legs and a roly body.  Puppies can be somewhat clumsy when running but they should not fall constantly and should be alert when being spoken to.  I pick the mellower puppies as their personalities show through at even this young of an age.  The "stinker" who keeps pulling at your shoe strings will be the "stinker" that eats your shoes or chews your furniture too.  Nothing is wrong with a high energy pup; you just will need to give him/her lots of exercise to get rid of their extra energy.

 

Big Packages Come in Little Surprises!

 St. Bernard's, as cute as they are as puppies, do become giants when they reach adulthood.  This is a breed that grows quickly too.  Therefore, it is very important to feed your Bernard a high quality food and give him/her lots of exercise.  St. Bernard's are prone to hip dysplasia and other bone problems, giving them a life span of only 10 years. 

St. Bernard's are droolers too.  If you are a person that likes a dog that keeps neat and clean and leaves the house that way too, then a St. Bernard is not for you.

Puppies need to be crate trained early on to keep them from having accidents in the house.  Otherwise, they will think nothing of laying in feces and messes they leave in your laundry room or bathroom.  Crates teach dogs to keep their living quarters clean.  I recently visited a neighbor that was selling 7 puppies and kept in a large penned in area.  These puppies were laying in their piles of waste and as cute as they were, I wasn't about to cuddle with one!

 

Socialize and Love Them

 St. Bernard's need a lot of socialization as puppies.  They are not known watchdogs or protectors but their size and bark will impede strangers or at least make them hesitate in approaching you.

A St. Bernard needs to be socialized around children most importantly.  If not, they may have a difficult time determining the difference between a child and a small animal.  St. Bernard's are very strong and can even give a knowledgeable owner a difficult time in controlling him/her physically so it is important they you train and teach your Bernard obedience from a young age.

These dogs are loving, beautiful and enormous dogs!  If deciding to own a St. Bernard, you will need to commit the amount of time necessary to socialize, crate train and teach your puppy obedience.  Grooming is also necessary as they have thick coats of fur.

Any dog, when given love, exercise and exposure will grow into a wonderful pet.  Make sure that you research specific breeds before making a choice.

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Comments 13 comments

Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

They are cute when they are puppies. I don't think I would get one, because they drool. But they are sweet dogs.


ljrc1961 profile image

ljrc1961 7 years ago from Michigan Author

The drooling is more than I can endure; too bad they don't stay as puppies.


hinckles koma profile image

hinckles koma 7 years ago from nyc

I wanted a blood hound, but the Bernard will be just fine. koma.


ljrc1961 profile image

ljrc1961 7 years ago from Michigan Author

Did you get a bernard? They are adorable


SuzQ 6 years ago

We recently had to euthanize our Saint and he has is so missed. The drooling is really not as bad as believed to be. It's taken care of with temperature regulation. The drool is nothing compared to the hip dysplasia that they can develop. They are wonderful members of the family.


ISOBELL 6 years ago

My first Saint I had to have put to sleep. I rescued him but it was too late, he had a nasty life before me leaving him with a head injury. He loved me but anyone with a dominate personality he wanted to kill. After six months I had to have him put down because he just got worse biting my daughter in the stomach, going after my husband and son in law. No one could get near me. I now have a six month old Saint and she is wonderful. I got her when she was six weeks and She loves everyone, the drool is ok and I don't care to sweep every morning. She is worth it.


ljrc1961 profile image

ljrc1961 5 years ago from Michigan Author

SuzQ and Isobell; we just never know what we will encounter when we adopt or buy a pet, do we? I now have a Newfie mix and she has had a series of health issues; Newfs are in the same family as saints. I guess our love of dogs will keep us taking these pets in. Bless you and all dog lovers out there.


Alison 4 years ago

Question:

I have an almost 4 year old Alaskan, St. Bernese. Her mother was a St. Bernard pure bred and her father was a Bernese Mtn. dog mixed with an alaskan malamute. She is adorable, loving and GREAT with our family (3 kids all older than 9). HOWEVER, she is awful with small children. She becomes anxious, often shaking with excitement. What is troubling is her size in comparison with a small child and the look that she gets in her eyes. I feel like she can't be trusted and would maybe even bite. This is causing MUCH concern now that we live in a neighborhood with children all around. I am very concerned if she would "get out" a door when the kids are coming and going. I'm not sure what to do with spring approaching and the kids having friends over. ANY SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE WELCOME!!


ljrc1961 profile image

ljrc1961 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Alison, did this behavior occur recently or has she always been like this? I would recommend a few things. 1. Take her to a behaviorist or a trainer and explain the situation. 2. Make sure you have a large fence that locks with a key that only you have and make SURE she won't get out. Dogs that size can kill a bear. If you have small children around you or she isn't used to having your kids' friends over, then she will need to be contained and introduced via your trainer's instructions. If she were ever to bite anyone you would be heartsick if she injured or even killed someone. I don't know your dog or her history. It doesn't sound like she was socialized at all. Was she a rescue? Sometimes they bond only with their family. I had to return a Great Pyrennes to the adoption group because he loved my kids and I but would growl and snap at other kids. I wasn't going to take a chance. If this is a rescue dog, return her and look for one that loves kids. If she has been yours since puppyhood (although I doubt that if your kids have had friends over a lot), then she may be a problem and you may want to find her a home with adults. It's a tough situation but as much as I love my pets, I would never own a dog that would hurt or maim kids. Sorry.


Alison 4 years ago

Thank you so much for the advice. This has been such a worry and very troubling lately. Honestly, I think it's because my kids are so tall! She is fine will kids who are over her nose heighth. She does have a "herding" tendency and will nudge company, but kids who are shorter than her she is just weird around. This only come to a head in the last year. Our niece was born and came over a few times and we had to keep the dog outside on all these occasions. This weekend our godson came over for the whole weekend and we literally have the dog confined to the garage or fenced area outside.

She has been ours since she was 7 months old. She is loving to my children, both my husband and I's parents, and even the dog sitters who have come to stay for weeks at a time. I do take responsibility though for not socializing her as much as I should have in the beginning. I walked her almost daily, took her to the park, but she wasn't around small children often at all. The thought of giving her away would be so difficult (as we just had to put our golden retriever down).....that's the other thing, she did lose her "playmate".

I agree with your last point though, I would never want to chance it with children. My husband's feeling is: She hasn't done anything....we are only acting on her look and body language. He just feels that we ought to keep her fenced and put her in the garage when company comes.....

Still worried and not sure what to do.........


ljrc1961 profile image

ljrc1961 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Then please take her to a trainer and have them give you advice. If she hasn't growled at children or snapped at them, then maybe you could bring a child sitting on your lap and introduce them slowly. don't act as if you are waiting for something to happen. Have the child give your dog snacks and teach them how to pet correctly. Good luck.


Adam 4 years ago

I had a St Bernard, Rocco was his name. He was the nicest dog I ever owned. He was great with small children, and would go very protective if someone he didn't know went near small children. Whenever I would leave the house for a few minutes to get shopping, I would say to him to mind the house he would bark and run to the back door, where he would stay there upon my return. I found him to be an excellent dog, temperment and obediance. Unfortunately he had to be put down where he developed wobblers syndrome. It killed me to see him being put down, but it was for his best. Overall, the breed is a great choic of dog, and I would recommend it to anyone.


ljrc1961 profile image

ljrc1961 4 years ago from Michigan Author

I adore big dogs; my Newfie reminds me of a Saint; I do know they are related....she's wonderful

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