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Saint Bernards – Gentle giants of the canine world

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Saint Bernards   Gentle giants of the canine world

Life Span: 8-10 years
Special Skills: Known for their sense of smell, often used as a scent and rescue dog
Suitability with Children: Yes
Suitability with Other Pets: Yes
Living Conditions: Saint Bernards can live in an apartment, as they only need moderate amounts of exercise, but because of their size, would be best suited for a home with at least a small yard.
Trainability: Average trainability, simply because of size it may be difficult to train past the basics
Intelligence: Low to Medium
Exercise Required: Low to Medium
Cost of Maintenance: Medium, although this may be dependent on the coat length
Common Ailments: Saint Bernards are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, which may lead to arthritis in later years. This may be accentuated by the St Bernard’s size. They are also prone to epilepsy, bloat and problems with their lower eyelid rim.
Breed Characteristics: Despite their size, it is well known that Saint Bernards epitomize the “big teddy bear” stereotype. They have an enormous bark, but absolutely no bite and would simply prefer to be part of the family. Keep in mind that although they are excellent with children, it is best just to keep an eye on them around children because of their size. It is very easy for a Saint Bernard to accidentally knock over anything in the home, especially small children. Speaking of size, these dogs grow enormously fast in the first two years and will eventually reach anywhere from 120-200 pounds. To determine how large they may get, it is important to consider how large the parents are. It is important to consider their eventual size, as they are absolutely adorable, furry and cuddly looking puppies that almost anyone would want to take home.The typical Saint Bernards is a combination of red, black and white or just red and white, although the muzzle almost always has black, as do the ears. Their ears are large and floppy, framing a large, powerful face with sad, almost drooping eyes. Two different coats are available on the Saint Bernard, both are dense, but one is short in length and the other is of medium to long length. Both will feather around the legs, undercarriage and on the long tail, but the longer coat will need more brushing and washing on a regular basis. Keep in mind that while Saint Bernards do not need a great deal of exercise, they benefit from at least a long walk every day to keep them in good physical condition.