Features of a St. Bernard
The Saint Bernard has a friendly, affectionate nature. He is intelligent, good-natured and reliable. Also in dealing with children he is generally unproblematic. Many St. Bernard are downright fond of children, however, the exception proves the rule here aswell.
His temperament is rather quiet, but he can also be agile and playful well into old age. A certain stubbornness is common. Saint Bernards are vigilant and have a certain protectiveness.
Possible fields of application
The Saint Bernard is a good watchdog as well as family and companion dog, which at moderate temperatures can be taken on hikes and other activities - like pulling carts, or horseback rides. However, fast sporting activities are less suitable for him; In hot weather he will seek a cool place to rest.
Even today, St. Bernards are used as search and rescue dogs.
Keeping and care
Despite his simplicity he needs a consistent education, therefore he is more suitable for advanced dog owners.
Although his urge to move is limited, he needs enough exercise and activity.
A small city apartment with many stairs is hardly suitable for him. A house or a garden apartment in the countryside with plenty of space and a garden suits him better.
Through his enormous body mass a St. Bernard has high feed costs, which should also be considered before purchasing.
His coat should be brushed regularly.
Saint Bernards are prone to hip dysplasia (HD), osteosarcoma (bone tumor), bone and ligament problems, cardiac insufficiency, gastric torsion, entropion (inverted eyelid) and ectropion (eversion of the eyelid).
Life expectancy is about 8-12 years.
As care about health and character has always been taken in breeding, there are in this regard no regularly repeating problems.
Also thanks to a healthy diet, the Saint Bernard is a loyal family member without special risks.