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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.