The Saint Bernard
The Saint Bernard is a gentle giant, despite being descended from the fierce Molossus dogs of ancient Rome.It was named after the medieval Hospice of St Bernard in the Swiss Alps, to which it was introduced between 1600-1670. It became famous for rescuing travelers and climbers on the Swiss Alps. One dog in particular, named Harry, saved 40 lives during the period of 1800-1810.
Prior to 1830, all Saint Bernards were short coated, but in that year Newfoundland blood was introduced in an attempt to give the breed added size and vitality. As a result the modern Saint Bernard may be long haired or short. In 1810, a Saint Bernard called Lion was introduced into England and the breed was first exhibited in Britain in 1863. An international standard for the Saint Bernard was written up in Berne in 1887.
True to its past, the Saint Bernard is intelligent, eminently trainable, loves children and is a kindly dog. Because of this it is, unfortunately, sometimes kept in conditions which do not allow it nearly enough space. Like many heavy weights, the breed should not be given too much exercise in the first year of life, short regular walks being better than long ones. It needs daily brushing and requires generous qualities of food. Saint Bernards also slobbers, a lot!. Sadly as it is with most of the extra large breeds, Saint Bernards have a short life span.
Saint Bernards come in a variety of colors and markings. There is Orange, mahogany brindle, red brindle or white, with patches on the body in any of these colors; white blaze on face, and white on muzzle, collar, chest, forelegs, feet and end of tail; black shadings on face and ears.