Saint Bernard Breed Information and Photos

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April 26, 2006
Saint BernardBreed Description:The Saint Bernard is an enormous, big-boned breed with imposing proportions and a tranquil temperament. These heroic dogs are famous for their ability to sense an impending storm or avalanche and are widely recognized for their work in mountain rescue. This cheerful, loyal dog is patient with children and adapts well to life as a family pet when provided enough space to live comfortably.

Group: Working group

Purpose of Breed: Mountain search and rescue

Country of Origin: Switzerland.

Average Size: Saint Bernard's range from 24 inches to 30 inches and from 110 to 200 pounds depending on sex.

Color(s): Typically are brown and white, red and white, or brindle and white.

Coat Type: The Saint Bernard has a very thick dense coat that comes in either a longhaired or shorthaired variety.

Grooming: Both coat varieties shed out twice a year (spring and fall). The long-haired coat variety requires more grooming to maintain its coat. This breed requires standard care for eyes, ears, pads and nails and is known for drooling, depending on the dogs excitement level, weather and the shape of the individual dog's jowls.

Exercise Needs: Saint Bernards are inactive indoors, but still require a lot of physical space due to their imposing size. A house with a fenced yard is ideal and a moderate amount of daily exercise is sufficient.


Temperament: The Saint Bernard is a gentle and friendly dog that is happiest when in the company of his family. This dog breed can make a good family pet, but it has to be obedience trained early because of its large size. Known for their patience with children, they seem somewhat naturally careful around them. The Saint Bernard is considered steady and even tempered, but will bark at intruders. If they persist, however, he is more likely to welcome them as a trusted friend.

Common Ailments: The Saint Bernard is susceptible to heart problems, entropion, skin problems, and hip dysplasia.

Life Expectancy: Averages 8-10 years

Trivia: The Saint Bernard is a basically placid dog and does not require any more food to maintain itself than other large dog breeds. They generally require less food per pound of body weight than many smaller, more active breeds.


More Information: St. Bernard Club of America, Inc.


Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

April 15, 2009

I am desperately seeking help with how to keep my settees and walls clean. I have two Saint Bernard's who insist on sitting on my settees and throwing their slime all over my walls. Does anybody have any good tips on how to keep them clean? Thanks.



April 15, 20090 found this helpful

Well, I think you have to accept what comes with owning these 2 dogs. I have a golden retriever, and there's hair everywhere! It was driving me crazy, until one day I read somewhere that a pet owner was quoted saying that owning a pet comes with consequences, and hair, etc. is one of those consequences!


You can drive yourself crazy, or acknowledge what comes with owning this breed of dog. If you love your dogs, and are willing to keep them, there's no possible way you'll be hair and slime-free!!
I know when I stopped fretting, I could enjoy my beautiful dog more!


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 398 Posts
April 15, 20090 found this helpful

I like a wonder mop for the carpets and a bissell cleanview II Bagless. As for the couches and chairs and beds, I used materials on them that don't hold hair too bad, like towels, and covers that I can shake off outside. With big breeds you can't really stop them from doing what comes naturally but most owners have little mouth rags laying all over the house to wipe them down with.


Bless you for caring for them. They sound like a lot of fun.

April 15, 20090 found this helpful

We have 2 80+ pound pits and a 10 pound mini pin, also a tom cat that comes n goes as he wants, and keeping them outta the bed and off the sofa just isn't happening. So I keep the bottom of the sofa covered with flat sheets and the bed well I just shake the comforter out almost everyday. And I also vacuum everyday. And a lint brush by the front door for a quick wipe before school or work or for friends that don't want a souvenir to take home. Good Luck!

April 18, 20090 found this helpful

More fun time with the dogs would make you appreciate them more. The family also needs to share in the cleaning too.
Diligence in wiping the drool will help stop the wall splatter just like regular daily brushing will help keep the furniture clean.


I have 3 big dogs and I keep an old comforter on the couch to whip off so when I have guests.


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April 19, 20090 found this helpful

Great advice from Carolb! You cannot have two huge dogs like that and expect your home to look like a page in a magazine, forget it. You can only have one or the other. Do your best to keep up with the mess, but don't stress over it so much. Give the dogs their own settees to sit on, which I think would be cute anyway, and then have other furniture for yourself. We gave ownership of an ottoman to our dog and she treats it like her throne! She loves it! When we snuggle in for the night to watch tv, we all get on our own pieces of furniture and it works out great!
Enjoy your dogs. Dogs will be dogs. They can't help their filth.
-Lee in FL

April 19, 20090 found this helpful

If you want to train your dogs not to use your furniture, you can buy some carpet runners ( plastic with the bumps on the bottom) place them upside down on the seat of your settees. The dogs will not like the feel of the bumps and in turn not sit up there. As far as the walls, I would paint them with glossy paint for easy clean up.

April 19, 20090 found this helpful

Buy washable durable slipcovers for your settees and whatever else they like to sit on and plan on washing once a week. Also the suggestion about high gloss paint is a good one. All the parents of St. Bernards that I have known had rags for cleaning their faces regularly, seems to help.

October 12, 20190 found this helpful

I have a long hair Saint and a yellow lab. I had a mastiff previous to the Saint so our home is pretty accustomed to drool and fur. I found keeping the water bowl outside in warm months makes a huge difference as we just clean faces before the dogs come back inside. Also when doing housecleaning, cleaning the kitchen includes the walls, fridge etc and cleaning a bedroom includes those walls too. It's a bit more work but worth it. I sweep every couple days and brush our Saint every day. I have him groomed at the groomer 3 to 4 times a year too and I find that cuts down a lot on the fur.

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May 29, 2008

My family has an St. Bernard and he been having some skin problems. First of all he has a smell to him and all he does is itch himself all the time! He has red spots on him and his hair falls out were ever he has these problems which is all over his legs and stomach and paws and on his neck. I was just hoping someone could maybe tell me what to try for these skin problems for him! Thanks if anyone at all could help at all!



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May 29, 20080 found this helpful

Skin conditions on dogs are so varied that there are specialists just for them! You really need to see your vet and get a correct diagnosis. You could spend a small fortune trying one thing and another and still have a miserable dog. I'd start with making an appointment, watching his food closely until then, and maybe a bath with no soap to ease his discomfort. Get to the vet ASAP.

By Me (Guest Post)
May 30, 20080 found this helpful

I agree! Your dog is miserable & you're prolonging it by trying to be a vet. He deserves better.

May 30, 20080 found this helpful

I agree I would go to the vet right away. It could be anything from allergies to fleas to deeper problems. If they skin is dry, try adding a Tablespoon of Olive Oil to his dry food. It will help the skin. Be aware when you first start this they need to go out all the time. And make sure your dog has flea protection. But if it is flea infestation the vet will have to give you something.

By dar (Guest Post)
May 30, 20080 found this helpful

There is a product that is for this it is Nu-Stock you can buy at a feed store or there may be a dealer in your area. If not there is a web site. It will work almost overnight and people can use it too!

May 31, 20080 found this helpful

Do you have him on a monthy flea treatment? You can purchase the same ones the vets sell at most feed stores for less. I haven't tried the Nu-stock but it says it works for fungal infections which I suspect your dog might have. I am not knocking vets but after taking my dogs three times to the same vet and paying over $260.00 with no results it was time to look for a solution online. My 8 lb 6 1/2yr old Chihuahua female had itchy smelly skin with what looked like dandruff, small red spots, scruffy looking hair and terrible fatigue. She was constantly licking and biting on her feet also. My vet said it was flea allergies which I didn't believe because I use Advantix every 26 days without fail. Because he said the fleas have built up an immunity to it he sold me a new product called Comfortis for $16.00 a pill. It made my dog throw up. When I called him he said give her another dose which she threw up again. She is back on Advantix. He also gave her antibiotics and steroids. I then found out what the problem was online at 3 websites:

It was a yeast fungal infection and maybe food allergies. The antibiotics and steroids made it worse. She had dark patches like "elephant skin" on her underarms and belly besides the dandruff and red sores on her back. He claimed he had done a skin scraping which I doubt because I think he would have found it if he had really looked. I had her on a corn and wheat Purina expensive dog food which the same vet sold me when her other expensive dog food (which had corn and wheat) was making her sick. I found out that corn, wheat and soy can't be digested by most dogs or cats and it causes allergies, rashes, cataracts and more importantly sugar and thyroid problems which causes yeast explosions in their bodies. The dog food manufacturers use this junk because it is cheap. 4-Ds - Dead, diseased dying or disabled prior to arriving at the slaughterhouse, chicken byproducts means heads, necks, feet, stomach and intestine w/contents, beef byproducts means brains, spleens, lungs and brains. Any organ meats and fats means higher risk for cancer as that is where the carcinogenic material is stored. The corn, wheat, soy, and other grain byproducts are leftovers from human food manufacturing with no nutrient value whatsoever except to raise the blood sugar. They spray the food with corn syrup or rancid fast food grease like from McDonald's to make the animal like it because a normal dog wouldn't eat these foods unless he was starving.

Because of chlorine and fluoride in our water I switched us to spring water because these can affect the pancreas and thyroid. I switched my dogs to Blue Buffalo Holistic Chicken and Brown rice Diet Dog Food. It doesn't have any corn or wheat and no byproducts whatsoever. It is lower protein and lowfat. I feed Newman's Own dog snacks and Vida brand glucosamine and chondritin snacks for their joints. I split the suggested amount of Blue into 2 meals per day and feed the snacks throughtout the day plus some fresh veggies and low sugar fruit like peeled baby carrots, apple, pears, no grapes though they can kill a dog. My female dog is down to 4 1/2 lbs which is her healthiest weight ever and my 1 1/2 yr male has stopped shaking his head from the yeast that were building up in his ears that the same vet kept treating for mites to no avail. I bought Nizoral shampoo from CVS put it on them for 15 minutes and washed it off with cool water. Did this 2 times a week for 2 weeks. I gave them both a little apple cider vinegar with a syringe in their mouth which they hated each day for several days in a row and put a little in their water and sponge-bathed them with a mixture of 1 cup ACV to 1 cup of distilled water 2 times inbetween the Nizoral treatments. (They did smell picklely ;) but weren't itchy.) That did the trick along with the diet change. They are new dogs. So energetic and no longer itchy or smelly.

If none of these things help you and you don't have a vet you might consider taking him to your local Humane Society's low cost vet clinic. Well good luck with your dog and sorry for the long post. I hope you find something to help him soon. God bless!


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 102 Feedbacks
January 23, 20100 found this helpful

His immune system is shot. Probably from a vaccine. You must build his immune system which will take a complete change in diet to lots of raw, eliminate ANY corn wheat or soy. Rid him and his surroundings of fleas. Indoors needs treatment with dry Borax(2 weeks before you vacuum it up) granules for skin and health. Homeopath would be great.

March 5, 20100 found this helpful

I bought this product at WalMart and I highly recommend it for any type of wounds or skin problems. It worked like magic for my cat too. It's called Hopital Stregnth, Dermoplast. It is Antiseptic, Anesthetic, Antibacterial-pain relieving spray. Wonderful because you don't have to hurt the dog by rubbing. Just spray it on and let it dry. I won't be without it. Hope this helps your pooch.

December 28, 20140 found this helpful

I have a Saint Bernard Lab mix and she has skin issues also, loss of hair, digging none stop, red sores...ect... What i found that helped her was by eliminating all poultry products! I had to switch her food to 4 health whitefish and potato, also you can buy this spray for your dogs red spots called Vetericyn wound and skin care. I found it at TSC (both products). It took a good 4 weeks for me to notice a difference in her. I hope this information helps.

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12 Photos

Check out these photos.

November 25, 2019

I rescued Isaac a year and a half ago. We have bonded in a way that I have never experienced with an animal before. He is gentle, loving, and very devoted. Isaac loves to give a paw and nudge you when he wants to be petted. He also loves to roll around and sleep in piles of leaves!

Isaac (St. Bernard) - St Bernard outside near leaf pile


January 22, 2019

I got her for Christmas in 2013. She loves to say hey to the mailman that is extremely scared of her lol. She's the nicest dog ever, just a little protective over her fam.

Sophia (Saint Bernard) - closeup


May 2, 2012

Shiloh is a 5 year old St. Bernard. We had lost our St. Bernard to cancer and a friend called and told us that there was a St. Bernard at the local animal rescue. So we ran up there and got her right away.

Shiloh (St. Bernard)


April 8, 2016

We got her when she was 8 weeks old. She loves to play hide and seek with my husband or tug of war with the kids.

Princess lying down wearing a tiara


January 16, 2007

Cesar (St. Bernard). His name was Cesar. He lived to be 1 and a half years old and was a St. Bernard. I got him in the spring of 2004.

Cesar (St. Bernard)


November 1, 2007

Henry is a 5 year old Saint Bernard. Henry had cancer when he was six months old. After being treated, his owners decided they no longer wanted him, because he dug up the bushes! He is a wonderful dog!

Henry (St. Bernard)


May 4, 2005

"COOKIES!? DID SOMEONE SAY COOKIES!?" This is a picture of our baby Angel that was taken in front of my flower garden. Seems she has a one track mind, doesn't it?

Angel St. Bernard


August 12, 2008

Hendrix is a Saint Bernard and just turned 3. I got him 3 years ago from a farm a little south of my home.

Hendrix (Saint Bernard)


January 28, 2005

You at "thrifty" have met Angel before. If you haven't she is our Saint Bernard that will be 3 the 26th of this month. Here she looks as if she's dreaming of Beethoven, her secret love.

Angel (St. Bernard)

Pets Dogs Dog Breeds Saint BernardMay 2, 2012
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