Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Your Pet, Our Passion.
St. Bernard Mobile

St. Bernard

A massive, powerful dog, the Saint Bernard was originally bred to rescue freezing, stranded travelers during snowstorms in Switzerland. The breed has two coat varieties: Shorthair and Longhair. He has a gentle temperament, making the noble, intelligent Saint Bernard a superb companion and devoted family dog. This breed drools heavily, and his coat sheds frequently, requiring regular grooming.

DID YOU KNOW? The breed was named after Saint Bernard de Menthon, the patron saint of mountaineers and skiers.

ALSO KNOWN AS: St. Bernhardshund, Bernhardiner, Alpine Mastiff

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Giant dog
  • Heavy drool
  • Requires grooming daily
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks, alerts and it's physically protective
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids
Saint Bernard

Pet Card

  • Living Considerations: Good with children, Not hypoallergenic, Suitable for apartment living if adequately exercised
  • Size: Giant
  • Height: 66 - 76 centimetres at the shoulder
  • Weight: Males – 63.5 to 82 kilograms, Females – 54 to 63.5 kilograms
  • Coat: Medium to long
  • Energy: Low
  • Colour: Colours range from deep brown to brown-yellow, with white markings
  • Activities: Conformation, Obedience, Cart Pulling, Weight Pulling, Search and Rescue
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Both

Key Facts

Lifespan: 8–10 years
Weight: 68–91kg
Height: 70–90cm
Colours: Orange, mahogany-brindle, red-brindle or white with patches of these colours
Size: Large
Kennel Club group: Working

Ratings

Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 2/5
Easy to train: 2/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 5/5
Energy level: 3/5
Grooming needs: 4/5
Shedding: 4/5
St Bernard

Personality

A 'gentle giant' sums up the character of the St. Bernard. They are good-humoured, trustworthy and love family life. They are very loyal dogs who rarely bark, but will defend you and your possessions if they deem necessary. They normally accept other household animals with no problems. Young dogs must be taught from an early age not to pull on their leads, as this habit will be problematic when they are older and enormous!

St Bernard

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Switzerland

The St. Bernard breed was developed in the 18th century by monks at a hospice offering aid and shelter to travellers in the Swiss Alps. It was recorded in 1774 that these dogs were being used as rescue dogs to locate travellers in need of help. Their fame grew and for a while they were called Good Samaritan Dogs. It’s thought that over 2000 travellers have been saved by St. Bernards.

It isn’t just mountain rescue that St. Bernards excel at. One St. Bernard called Bamse, a ship’s dog of a Norwegian minesweeper in World War II, won a PDSA award for courage in action. He was stationed in Montrose, Scotland, and one of his duties was to collect his shipmates from the pubs at closing time! He became so well known in the town that upon his death in 1944, local schools closed to allow hundreds of children to attend his funeral. Today his grave is still honoured in Montrose.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • Monks attempted to cross the St. Bernard with the Newfoundland to create a thicker, warmer coat. However, this backfired as they found the longer fur captured matted snow and ice and weighed them down. You can still see the effects of this breeding in the longer haired variety of the St. Bernard.
  • It can take up to three years for them to finish growing.
  • In the film, Beethoven’s 2nd, over 100 puppies were used due to the fact that they grew so fast the production couldn’t keep up with them!
  • Although history paints them with a barrel around their neck (supposedly filled with brandy), this is a myth and they never carried one at all.
  • The most successful Saint Bernard rescue dog was called Barry and, in his lifetime, he rescued over 40 people from the Alps. His preserved body is now on display in the Natural History Museum of Bern.

Finding a dog

Labrador lying next to the sofa
Finding a pet
Is this the right breed for you?
All dogs have their own unique personality! Try our Dog Breed Selector tool and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle.
Puppy walking next to owner on a lead
Finding a pet
Thinking about getting a puppy?
Join Growing Pup for help from our Purina experts on how to find the right puppy and prepare for your new arrival, as well as a discount off one of our puppy ranges.
Dog with red collar sitting next to the owner
Finding a pet
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Find out what to look for in a puppy breeder with this guide.
Dog with red collar
Finding a pet
Welcoming your dog home
While you're waiting for the big day you may need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort our before you welcome your new arrival.
Dog with red collar lying
Adoption
It's incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organisation. It often means offering them a second chance at life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family and their forever home, but what can you expect from the process?
Dog with red collar looking out the window
Puppy advice
Everything you need to know
Getting a new puppy is incredibly exciting for all the family, but it can be quite scary for your new pup. Find out how to deal with everything from behaviour to health questions with our expert puppy advice.
Owner checking dogs collar
Finding a pet
Benefits of having a dog
It's known far and wide that dogs are man's best friend, but did you know that there's actually numerous benefits of having a dog? From helping you to get fit to meeting new people, your puppy can actually help to improve your health and social life. Keep reading to discover the benefits of dogs!