Saint Bernard

Country of origin: Switzerland
Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC
Occupation: Farm dog, rescue
Size: 50–91kg (110–201lb),
61–71cm (24–28in)
Longevity: 8 to 10 years
Exercise: Moderate
Training: Moderate
Grooming: Moderate; sheds
Colors: Orange and white, orange, brindle

Descended from mastiffs that passed through Switzerland with the Roman army, this benevolent hulk is the world’s largest dog. Named after the region of Switzerland on the Italian border where they have been kept by local Bernardine monks since the 1660s, the stories of their daring mountain rescues are as much mountain myth as truth. However, these muscular dogs were certainly used as draught animals, able to pull heavy loads along icy ground, as well as to clear paths through snowdrifts. When their numbers declined to near extinction, the breed was revived using Newfoundland and Great Dane bloodlines. It takes time to obedience train a St Bernard, and their massive size makes it a challenge for them to live primarily indoors in all but suitably spacious homes.



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