The St. Bernard or St Bernard is a breed of very large working dog from the western Alps. They were originally bred for rescue at the Great St Bernard Pass on the Italian-Swiss border, and Little St Bernard Pass in the Italian-French border, located close to one another. The two hospices were built and run by the same monk brotherhood. The breed has become famous through tales of alpine rescues, as well as for its enormous size.
Life span: 8 – 10 years
Temperament: Friendly, Lively, Gentle, Watchful, Calm
Weight: 64 – 120 kg
Height: Male: 70–90 cm, Female: 65–80 cm
Colours: Red & White, Brownish-yellow, Reddish-brown Brindle, Reddish-brown Splash, Reddish-brown Mantle
Origin: Switzerland, Italy
Health Concerns: hip and elbow dysplasia, cardiomyopathy, cancers such as osteosarcoma (bone cancer), eye problems such as entropion and ectropion, osteochondrosis (an orthopedic problem), hypothyroidism, and gastric torsion (bloat).
Did you know: The St. Bernard didn’t actually ever have a small barrel of brandy about its neck. They should be known as the “dog rescuer,” instead. Gaining their name from the dangerous St. Bernard pass in the Alps between Italy and Switzerland, the breed was famous for rescuing people lost in the snow and in avalanches.