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Saint Bernard

Described as a working dog, the Saint Bernard is a huge breed and comes in two varieties; the short-haired and the long-haired. It is one of the oldest breeds going, with records suggesting that it was way back in AD 980 when it first originated.

It’s thought that the original purpose of the breed was that of a rescue dog. Being developed by monks in Switzerland, there were obviously a lot of search and rescue operations due to the amount of snow in the country. The monks felt as though they needed a dog to rescue people in the snowy areas near their base and the way these search and rescue methods were developed is frankly amazing. The Saint Bernard has an amazing sense of smell and this meant that it was easy to find lost people, even under ridiculous amounts of snow. Once they found them, they licked and lied on top of the injured person to give them warmth while another dog in the party went back and alerted a rescue team. The method was so successful that when Napoleon led his 250,000 soldiers through the area, not one person died which is a purely amazing fact.

In terms of appearance, the breed is of huge size and some can stand up to nearly twenty eight inches, with their weighing near on two hundred pounds. Their whole body looks muscular and in general their appearance can be described as nothing other than extremely toned. As said before, the coat comes in two types; short-haired and long-haired. There are a whole variety of different color coats with tan, red and mahogany all being possibilities, although most dogs have white markings as well.

Despite their powerful appearance, there’s no doubting the Saint Bernard’s loving personality. They are a gentle breed who get along very well with children and simply love to please their owner. However, one important note is that training must be performed responsibly. Due to their size, it’s important not to allow this breed too much freedom at an early age and an owner’s authority must be stamped. If not, they may take advantage of their size and attempt to become the “leader of the house”, which is obviously not a good predicament. However, with the right training they can become the perfect companion, with some households using them as guard dogs as well due to their size.

Although a daily walk is recommended for this breed, the Saint Bernard should be relatively happy living without a yard. In terms of health there are a few problems with this dog and hip dysplasia, skin complains, heart issues and eye problems are all things that could occur. Their life expectancy is relatively short compared to a lot of other breeds as well, with most only living between eight and ten years.

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