them Mountain Dogs, Monastery Dogs or Swiss Alpine Dogs. Many Swiss called them Barry Dogs as a tribute to the famous hospice dog. Barry der Menschenretter was reputed to have saved more than forty trav- elers during his working lifetime. Finally, in 1880, it was agreed to call the hospice dogs Saint Bernards. Th e first record of planned breeding outside the hospice began in Switzer- land in 1855 with the e ff orts of Heinrich Schumacher. He originated the first stud book for Saint Bernards and worked to maintain the original hospice type. Herr Schumacher and his like-minded friends bred to hospice dogs and supplied dogs to the hospice. A high demand existed for these distinctive dogs especially from the English. Many people uneducated to the original characteristics of the breed began breeding Saint Bernards through- out Switzerland, resulting in detriment to the breed. To preserve the original breed type, the Swiss Kennel Club was founded in 1883 and adopted the first Swiss Saint Bernard standard in 1884. Th ere are now three Saint Bernard standards in the world; a modified old Swiss version still used in the United States, the English version and a much-revised Swiss version adopted by all FCI countries in 1993.
and enjoy family activities, particularly when they get tidbits for performance and cooperation. Saint Bernards love the morning sun before it gets too hot and need a fenced in exercise area to devel- op proper muscles. Th ey are not good guard dogs, however. SBCA recommends asking several questions, before making the decision to bring a Saint Bernard into your family. Are you accustomed to calm, even tem- perament dogs? Will the Saint fit into your life expectations; they do not make good jogging dogs nor to play with Frisbees. Th e dogs are extremely large sized; can you enjoy meeting these needs? Can you enjoy regularly walking these large animals? Saints need both crate and house train- ing early in their life before they grow so large, can you accommodate these training needs? Saints are not good guard dogs, is this acceptable even though they are large? Well taken care of Saints live to be eight to twelve years old, are you willing to make a lifetime commitment? If the answer to these questions is yes, then a Saint Bernard may be the right dog for you. Exercise is needed to keep your dog fit and trim. Your dog will appreciate a daily walk even if he has a large yard in which to run and explore. Begin walk- ing the dog slowly, gradually increasing the distance to increase your dog’s stam- ina. Regardless of whether your dog is indoors or outdoors, exercise is impera- tive. Ensuring your Saint gets enough exercise and interaction/play with you and your family will result in a healthy, happy companion.
It is important to raise emotion- ally healthy puppies. Dogs go through developmental periods and knowing these periods will help you know what training to do when. Socialization is desensitizing a dog to the things he will encounter in daily life by teaching him not to react. It is imperative your pup is positively exposed to the various situ- ations and environments that he may encounter throughout life. Know your pup and what his body language is tell- ing you in order to know if he is being properly socialized or is being over- whelmed. Use treats to redirect your pup’s attention and if needed reintro- duce him to the same situation in slower and smaller steps to build confidence. You can safely socialize your pup while protecting him from contagious dis- eases such as Parvo. Go to places where other dogs do not go, like shopping cen- ters and friends homes. Get your puppy in a play group with other healthy vac- cinated puppies as well as exposing him to healthy friendly adult dogs. It is up to you to ensure your Saint becomes a well-rounded, happy, inte- gral part of your family through proper crate and house training, grooming, good nutrition, exercise and socialization. It requires consistency, e ff ort and patience, to name a few, on your part but will be well worth it. It is your responsibility to ensure your new family member has the best life possible. Additional care, feeding and training information are available on our website at www.saintbernardclub.org.
The Saint Bernard – Companion Dog
Th e Saint Bernard’s temperament is outgoing and unhurried with great intel- ligence. What sometimes may be viewed as stubborn may actually be ingenuity. Saint Bernards believe they are in charge
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