How much does a Saint Bernard eat? A Saint Bernard does not eat as large of quantity of food as many people suspect. They will not "eat you out of house and home". A Saint Bernard can be raised and maintained on the same amount of food required for other large breeds. Saint Bernards are basically docile, sedentary dogs, and generally require less food per pound of body weight than smaller, and more active breeds.
How much do Saint Bernards weigh? As puppies, Saint Bernards weigh about one and one-half pounds at birth and grow rapidly during the first year – sometimes five pounds a week. It may take as long as three or four years before a Saint Bernard reaches full maturity due to their slower metabolism. Adult males should reach a height of 30-34 inches at the shoulder with a normally weigh between 150 and 190 pounds. Females are somewhat smaller at about 26-30 inches at the shoulder and typically range from 120 to 150 pounds.
Are Saint Bernards good with children? Absolutely. They seem to have an innate, almost natural understanding of children and are amazingly careful not to injure them. They are excellent babysitters and companions.
Are Saint Bernards easy to train? Saint Bernards MUST be trained early in his or her life. Saint Bernard, even the smaller ones, are incredibly strong animals, capable of pulling thousands of pounds. Think of this in terms of what will happen to your arm when the Saint Bernard attempts to chase the neighbourhood cat or squirrel. What about when Grandmother Lucy comes over and your Saint Bernard decides to jump on her? Fortunately, Saint Bernards are eager to please their owners and will begin responding to commands as soon as they understand what you want of them. Do yourself a favour and begin obedience training the first day your Saint Bernard arrives in your home.
Do all Saint Bernards shed? Yes, at least twice a year, and usually in the Spring and Fall season. During this time they will lose much of their coats, sometimes in large clumps that help them adjust to the changing seasons. This is sometimes called “blowing coat” and the poor Saint Bernard appears almost naked, but this is perfectly normal. For the remainder of the year, there is a minor amount of shedding and should not be the cause for any annoyance. Because Saint Bernards shed, regardless of their coat type and length, there is simply no such animal as a hypo-allergenic Saint Bernard. Such a creature is the result of either ignorant breeders or capitalists seeking to make a profit.
Do all Saint Bernards drool? Yes. The weather, the level of excitement, the shape of the dog's jowls, and the method used to provide water to the Saint Bernard all contribute to the amount of saliva, or "drool" produced. Most Saint Bernards will drool on occasion.
Is there a "dry mouth" variety of the Saint Bernard that does not drool, or does not drool as much? There is no such thing as a "dry mouthed Saint Bernard". If the Saint Bernard was bred correctly and conforms to the breed standard, it will have lips "flews" that hang. Saliva accumulates in the flews and when no more saliva can be held, the Saint Bernard begins to "drool". This is true of any dog that has flews, such as boxers. Some Saint Bernards drool less than others, providing the appearance that they are "dry mouth". Most Saints do not drool to an offensive degree, as portrayed in television programs and movies. Providing water via a large bottle, similar to what is used for rabbits, seems to reduce the amount of drool when compared to a bowl of water.
Do Saint Bernards make good watch dogs or guard dogs? The size of most Saint Bernards combined with the tone and volume of its bark will be enough to discourage most intruders. If an intruder gets by the size and bark, your may find that the Saint Bernard has decided to lead the intruder straight to the family treasure, since he would much rather make a new friend than protect your valuables. The one exception to this is when a member of the family is being threatened. Occasionally, when found in this situation the Saint Bernards instinct to protect those he loves becomes very apparent. This is dependent upon blood lines; ask your breeder how his or her Saint Bernards typically react in situations such as these. Your Saint Bernard will learn quickly to recognize your family and friends and seek to become their friends.
Why do some Saint Bernards appear to have short hair and others long hair? The original Saint Bernards from the Hospice in Switzerland were all short-haired dogs. Over 150 years ago, in the 1830s, the Monks at the Hospice believed the long coat of the Newfoundland would improve the short hair, smooth coated Saint Bernard’s ability to survive in the snow. The decision to interbred Saint Bernards proved a failure, however the influence of that interbreeding is present today and provides both long, or rough coat, and smooth, or short coat, Saint Bernards. Rough coat Saint Bernards require more grooming that the smooth coat, due to the greater potential for matted hair.
How much room does a Saint Bernard need? Contrary to what many would think, Saint Bernards do not require large areas to roam. By nature, Saint Bernards are neither active nor nervous breeds and are perfectly content to remain close to home for the most part. Consequently, a small fenced yard or kennel run with of an adequate height is enough. It is important that there is some place for the Saint Bernard to exercise regularly. For the Saint Bernard who lives in an apartment setting, frequent walks will be required to make up for the lack of an exercise area. Saint Bernards, by nature are not fence jumpers or climbers, but occasionally a Saint Bernard learn on its own, or by observing another breed that even a six (6) foot fence is no obstacle. The Saint Bernard is a social creature and desires to belong in a pack setting. Providing additional time in the house with the family, or supplying the Saint Bernard with a friend to play, ought to resolve the fencing escaping issue.
Is a Saint Bernard an indoor or an outdoor dog? Saint Bernards are both indoors and outdoor dogs.
Should I get a male Saint Bernard or a female Saint Bernard? This is strictly a matter of individual taste and personal preference. Both are equal in becoming the ideal pet or companion. The male Saint Bernard will be larger, is therefore more impressive when first viewed as opposed to the female. The female Saint Bernard is of a slightly smaller build, however, must she be considered his equal in all other respects. Some Saint Bernard breeders will explain the male temperament as less independent that the females. Some Saint Bernard breeders will explain that male Saint Bernards tend to bond to women and female Saint Bernards tend to bond to men. In the end, the Saint Bernards will choose for themselves who they wish to bond with, and continue to get along with everyone else. A male Saint Bernard can either be independent or not, as is equally true for the female. Most veterinarians recommend the practice of sterilizing (spay or neuter) non-breeding animals for two reasons. First, neutered males and spayed females are at less risk for health issues, such as ovarian and testicular cancer. Second, animal shelters are already at or over capacity and neutered males and spayed females are incapable of falling victim of an accidental breeding.
How do Saint Bernards handle hot weather? As long as there is a cool dry place to nap and plenty of fresh cool water provided, a Saint Bernard will do just fine in hot weather. The amount of food consumed and activity performed will be reduced. Abrupt changes in temperature are extremely hard on a Saint Bernard. This means going from an air conditioned environment into an extremely hot environment can be dangerous for a Saint Bernard. Care should be taken to provide a slow and gradual change in activity while the Saint Bernard adjusts to the change in climate.