Important Things You Should Know before Adopting a Saint Bernard Dog
It is extremely tough to resist when you spot a fluffy Saint Bernard puppy. It will melt your heart and you will think to get it home with you. Saint Bernard is a large breed dog, which is known for its patience and friendliness. Several other attributes make these dogs a perfect companion for many pet lovers.
Is everything so good about this dog breed? There are some issues that you may like to reveal before you decide to adopt this dog. We are sharing everything you need to know before you take a Saint Bernard puppy home. Continue reading to learn whether it’s the best pet for your family or not!
Saint Bernard overview
Have you watched the Beethoven movie and wondered what kind of dog is Beethoven? It is Saint Bernard. People often wonder whether all Saint Bernards wore a mini brandy keg or not. It is just a misconception because these dogs never wear such things.
It used to be a rescue dog
This dog has helped monks in the Swiss Alps in rescuing lost travelers. It has become a thing of the past because now this dog is treated more like a family dog than a rescue dog. It is known for its calm nature and friendly behavior.
This dog possesses several great qualities, but temperament issues and health problems can affect it. Your perception of a calm and protective dog will change once you got a Saint Bernard. It requires proper training and enough attention to be patient and playful. Things can get a bit challenging if you don’t provide what this dog needs to be a good boy!
It can be an exciting family friend!
Despite its huge size and proper training requirements, Saint Bernard can be an ideal family dog. It remains calm when inside the house, but a little stroll in the garden or backyard will keep it entertained.
It is observed over the years that Saint Bernard can also live in small quarters. A daily walk will be necessary and it may spread some mess due to its huge size. You should avoid this dog if you are looking for a fastidious housekeeper. It will drool and it won’t say no to jumping and rolling in mud!
Saint Bernards can be aggressive towards unknown people!
This dog is extremely calm throughout the day, but it is also a great watchdog. It will never hurt anyone if the owner is around. However, this dog barks and it can get a little aggressive with intruders. Its protective instinct comes out whenever there is a threat to the owner.
Its size can scare anyone who isn’t familiar with the pet. Burglars and attackers won’t even dare to enter your property if a Saint Bernard is protecting it! The Bernese Mountain dog Saint Bernard can protect you at any cost and keep you safe against most threats!
It’s gentle with children
Do not worry about the size of this dog because it is always gentle with children. Suppose you adopt a Saint Bernard puppy, it will be quite playful with your kids. It will become a part of your family and kids will have some great memories with this amazing pooch.
Kids can snuggle with the pooch while reading, watching TV, or sleeping. It won’t hurt and take care of the kid as one of its own. Being an intelligent creature, it won’t mind if kids pull its tail or hair. This dog will stay calm if you train properly and treat it as a family member.
Do not expect it to be a great jogging companion!
Do not expect your pooch to run as long as you run. It is not quite fond of exercise because it doesn’t need much. Heat exhaustion is quite common among Saint Bernards. They often seek a shade or cool water to control their body temperature. It won’t be an issue if you live in a cold-climate region.
These dogs love snow because they like to be cool. So, if your house is located where it snows quite often, you should get a Saint Bernard pup now!
Saint Bernard History
People often wonder what kind of dog is Beethoven movie because they have no idea about Saint Bernard history. Swiss Alps travelers always hoped to find a Saint Bernard dog with a brandy keg around its neck. That doesn’t happen quite often because it was a false image of this dog.
Saint Bernard hospice’s monks had created this dog. It was a great farm dog pet for parents at that time. Dogs similar to the Saint have lived in Swiss valleys for ages. Being a member of the Molosser family, Saint Bernard became one of the most popular Mastiffs.
Farm owners used this dog to guard their farms, pull carts, manage livestock, and also as a watchdog. It is believed that monks received this dog from farmers around 1670. The purpose was to protect monks from bandits.
Monks soon realized that the Saint Bernard dog has a great sense of smell and they used this ability to rescue travelers.
The hospice was not well-connect to the rest of the world and therefore monks did not have access to many dog breeds. Monks first crossbred their dogs with Newfoundlands in 1830 to make their pooch larger.
This dog has lived in the Saint Bernard hospice for over 200 years, but it got the Saint Bernard name in 1880. People used to call it the Alpine Mastiff, Sacred dog, Barryhuden, and Alpendog. USA’s first Saint Bernard Club was established in 1887 when many people adopted this dog. Its popularity increased after the 70s and people across the globe adopted this pooch as a family dog.
Saint Bernard Personality
Saint Bernard has been a hospice dog for more than 200 years. Probably that’s why it has a welcoming and friendly personality. These dogs are kind, careful, and often playful with kids if they are with the family since the beginning. Adult Saints can take some time to get familiar and experts do not recommend kids to get near an unknown Saint Bernard.
You should start training this dog when it is a tiny puppy. Good training can make your saint an easily manageable pooch. These dogs take a huge interest in learning and they are intelligent. Thus, saints are great students to teach new things. However, this dog can sometimes be a bit stubborn and you can’t make him do anything when he is not in the mood.
Saint Bernards get aggressive, but only when there is a threat to the family member or when someone is attacking him. You should socialize with this dog as soon as possible. Let him meet people that visit your home. It becomes a well-rounded dog when you socialize it properly. The Saint Bernard rescue dog becomes a great family pet when there are people to socialize with.
Saint Bernard Health
The Saint Bernard dog breed is prone to several health issues. However, it is not quite different from other dog breeds. This dog remains healthy most of the time and recovers quickly if falls sick. There are some more facts about Saint Bernard health that you should know before adopting this pooch.
First of all, you should contact a reputable breeder to adopt a healthy puppy that came from healthy parents. Get the health clearance before adopting the puppy to ensure it won’t face health problems later. The following health problems can trouble your pooch’s life if it’s a Saint Bernard:
Saint Bernard dogs inherit this issue from their parents. Their thighbones do not fit properly in the hip joint and it causes pain. Most dogs experience this problem in their rear legs and it severely affects their movement.
Arthritis and hip dysplasia issue trouble this dog when it gets old. X-ray screening reveals the root cause of the issue and then your pooch needs proper treatment. Experts recommend pet owners not breed dogs with this health issue. So, if you adopt a Saint Bernard puppy, make sure its parents did not suffer from hip dysplasia.
It’s another heritable health condition that affects most large-breed dogs. Pets experience this issue when their elbow bones do not grow at the same rate. It causes joint laxity and the dog can experience severe pain with lameness!
The vet will recommend a surgical cure if your Saint Bernard dog suffers from this problem. Medications are available to make it less painful and you will also need to focus on weight management.
Saint Bernard dogs can experience mild to severe seizures due to this health condition. Tumours, infectious diseases, metabolic issues, intake of toxins, etc. can trigger this health issue. Head injuries are also responsible for Epilepsy in this dog.
If you spot the dog running anxiously, hiding, or staggering, it can be due to seizures. You should take the pooch to the vet to start the treatment as soon as possible. It takes time to cure Epilepsy, but the dog’s health conditions improve with time. Your dog will live a healthy life if you could manage Epilepsy properly with the help of an experienced vet.
Some Saint Bernard dogs experience this health problem after the age of 6 months. Their eyelid rolls inward and causes inflammation or injury to the eyeball. This health condition can affect both eyeballs of the dog. Take your pooch to the vet if your dog constantly rubs its eyes. It will help you in diagnosing and curing Entropion earlier.
All the dogs suffer from allergies. They might be allergic to food, certain liquids, and environmental elements. The Saint Bernard dog is not allergic to a specific thing. It may develop this issue as it grows older. The sooner you identify the allergen the better you can protect your dog from this issue.
Whenever your dog suffers from an allergy, you should contact the vet. Take him to the vet so that you identify the problem causing element. The veterinarian will treat your pooch and recommend you keep the pet away from things it’s allergic to.
Saint Bernard Diet
You should divide 5-6 cups of dry food into two meals and feed these meals daily to a Saint Bernard dog. The quantity of the food can change concerning the size and age of the dog. If it has great metabolism, the dog will eat more than other dogs.
Just like humans, every dog is different. Your pooch can be moody and choosy as well. You should pick foods packed with high-quality nutrients. Train your pet to enjoy both meals to maintain good health and avoid diseases.
You should use delicious treats when training the pet. Use positive reinforcement methods to train the dog. It will ensure your dog never disobeys you! Do not overfeed the dog because it can cause gestational health problems.
Saint Bernard Grooming
Saint Bernards have a much thicker coat than other dogs because it is a Swiss Alpine dog. You should brush its hair thrice a week. Wear hand gloves and brush with a rubber curry brush. This dog may lose some hair during the shedding season. You can use an ordinary comb to get rid of loose hairs.
There is no need to bathe this dog frequently because it may cause health problems. Whenever you decide to bathe the pet, take it outside and use a hose to clean it up. Do not try bathing inside the bathroom because this dog may get upset in a confined space.
You should always use shampoo whenever bathing the pet. It will help you maintain the dog’s silky-soft fur. If you spot stains around the eyes of your dog, use a damp cloth to clean these stains. Thus, your pooch will stay fit, healthy, and clean all the time.
How to take care of Saint Bernards?
Follow the below-given tips to take proper care of your Saint Bernard pooch:
- This dog is not a fan of exercising because it doesn’t need much. A simple walk will be enough to keep your pet fit. Make sure you walk the dog twice a day to keep it entertained and healthy.
- It is important to know when to stop walking the dog because it can suffer from heat exhaustion. If your pet looks exhausted, find some shed and wait for 10-15 minutes. Start walking when the pet is fine.
- Untrained Saint Bernards can be a bit elfish. They may greet unknown people for no reason. Start training this dog early to ensure it socializes properly with other people.
Follow these tips and it won’t be too daunting to take care of the Saint Bernard dog!