Here are some of the most frequently asked questions;
How much does a St. Bernard Eat?
A Saint Bernard will not "eat you out of house and home." The fact is, a Saint can be raised and maintained on no more food than would be required by a large breed dog ( example boxer). Saints are basically placid ( lay around) dogs, they generally require less food per pound of body weight than most smaller, more active breeds.
How much do they weight?
Saint puppies weigh about one and a half pounds at birth and grow rapidly during there first year, although it may take as long as three years before they reach full maturity. Adult males reach a height of 28 to 30 inches at the shoulder and will normally weigh 140 to 180 pounds. Females are some what smaller at about 26-28 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing typically in the range of 120 to 140.
Are they good with children?
Definitely. They have an understanding of a child's way and are amazingly careful not to injure a child. They are excellent babysitters and companions. Naturally, children must never be allowed to torment any dog, regardless of the breed. During their first year though they can be a bit clumsy and can knock over a young child unintentionally of course. They are like big teddy bears.
Are they easy to train?
Because of the size of the animal, the Saint Bernard MUST be trained and this must be done early in his/her life. Fortunately, Saints are eager to please and will begin to respond to commands as soon as they understand what you are telling them. They are a very trainable dog.
So they shed?
Yes, Twice a year, usually in spring and fall. They lose much of their coat to help them adjust to the changing seasons. For the remainder of the year, there is seldom an announce with shedding. I do recommend that you try to maintain the dogs some yourself by trying to brush them once a week, they love it.
Do they drool?
Yes, depending on the weather, the level of excitement and the shape of the dog's jowls, most saints will drool on occasions. Technically, there is no such thing as a "dry mouth saint", but most saint are not excessive drools. They can though after drinking have some water that does drip out of there mouth.
Are they good watch dogs?
The Saint's size and bark will discourage most intruders, yet he will learn to recognize your friends and receive them cordially. If an intruder gets by the size and barks, your Saint may decide to lead him straight tot he family silver since he would much prefer to be a friend to all. The one exception to this is when a member of the family is being threatened. The Saint's instinct to protect those he loves become very apparent at this time. They are very loyal to the ones they love.
Why do some Saint Bernard's have short hair?
The original Saint Bernard were all short-haired dogs. Over 150 years ago the Monks in Switzerland found it necessary to bring some new blood into their breeding and interbred the long coat Newfoundland with their Saints. Today, the influence of that breeding is still with us and we have both long and short haired Saint Bernard's.
How much room do they need?
The Saint by nature does not require acres and acres to roam in. The are not as active or nervous as some other large breeds of dog and are content to remain close to home for the most part. Consequently, small fenced yard or kennel runs is enough just so long as there is some place for regular exercise and they get that exercise. It is crucial to there bone developments and bone maintenance. If the area is to small and they do not get exercise it can cause them to have hip problems. If you are a apartment dweller he must be walked daily to get exercise. They are not a hyper dog and it can be easy to think that with there laid back personality they are okay but with animals and humans we all need exercise.
Should I get a male or female?
This is strictly a matter of personal preference. Both are equal in pet qualities. The male, being larger, is more impressive when first viewed. The female, however, must be considered his equal in all other respects and I have had a few females that have been larger then some males or equivalent in size. Modern veterinary practice recommends neutering of non-breeding animals of both sexes as means to a healthier, better pet.
How do they handle the weather?
The dog will do as long as there is a cool dry place to nap and plenty of fresh cool water. He will cut down both his food intake and his amount of activity. It must be remembered that going from an air conditioned place into the boiling heat can be disastrous. Abrupt changes in temperature are extremely hard on a Saint.
I always recommend to all of my new families that you feed your Saint a GOOD quality dog food. They will be a lot healthier and live a lot long life with good food and veterinarian care. Its not good for a Saint to be over weight either it is hard on there hips and joints. Your dog will also not eat as much of the good quality food because they are getting the sources of food and vitamins they need not just a bunch of fillers like corn. So talk to your pet store or a veterinarian and see what they recommend is available in your area.
This information was copied from www.saintbernardclub.org . I always recommend to my families who have not previously owned a Saint Bernard to do some research on them so they are well educated as to what kind of loving family member they are purchasing. Always look for resposible breeders that will help you in any way to have a happy relationship with your Saint.
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