St. Bernard’s written standard is replete with phrases such as “very powerful,” “extraordinarily muscular,” “imposing,” and “huge.” A male stands at least 27.5 at the shoulder; The female will be smaller and more delicately constructed. The towering head features a wrinkled eyebrow, a short snout and deep eyes, combining to give the saints an intelligent, friendly expression that was such a welcome sight for stranded alpine travelers.
In the year 1050, at a snowy pass within the Alps, a monk named Bernard of Menthan (later canonical) established a hospice to assist pilgrims traveling to Rome. It was treacherous to cross the pass at an elevation of 6,000 feet above sea level, with an elevation of 60 feet. Over the centuries, the monks of Dharamshala developed powerful Working Dogs who were able to locate and rescue lucky travelers buried by drift and avalanches. Myth busted: Dogs near Great St. Bernard did not carry a brandy keg around their throats.
Powerful, proportionately tall figure, strong and fleshy in every part, with powerful head and most intelligent expression. In dogs with a black mask, the expression appears more rigid, but never worsens.
The gestation period in lasts for 60-64 days The primary period of the reproductive cycle of the female is called Proestrus and goes on for around 9 days. During this time the females begin to draw in males. The subsequent part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive to the male. It goes on for around 3 to 11 days. The third part is the Diestrus. Usually, it happens around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for distinctive red and reaching its end. The vulva gets back to average, and she will no longer allow mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time span between heat periods ordinarily keeps going around a half year. The litter size ranges between 6 to 8 puppies at a time’
St. Bernard’s come in long-haired and short-haired varieties, but both types of coats require equal care. Weekly brushing will help remove dirt and loose hair and help the dog look its best. Any confusions can be resolved with a slicker brush or metal comb. During the shedding season, which occurs twice a year, brushing will become a daily activity. Sometimes by taking bath, saints keep looking and smelling refreshed. Like all breeds, nails should be bitten regularly, as excessively long nails can be painful to the dog and cause problems with walking and running.
Early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended for all dogs, but is absolutely essential for dogs as big and strong as St. Bernard’s. Obedience training will help the saint learn not to jump on people, knock on young children, steal food from the table and otherwise take advantage of their size. The saints are kind and eager to please, so they usually start answering orders as soon as they understand what is expected of them. A saint wants to live with his family, and if he is left alone for a long period of time regularly, undesirable behavior can occur.
Despite being a large and powerful breed, St. Bernard requires only moderate amounts of exercise. A long walk or half-hour sports session daily should be enough to keep him healthy and happy. Of course, if its owner wants to go hiking, or go on a backpacking or camping trip, the saints are always happy to go along. Saints often enjoy drawing small children in carts, and some even participate in karting and drafting competitions. A saint is most happy when doing activities with his master.
St. Bernard’s should do well on high quality dog food that is ideally prepared for larger breeds, whether commercially manufactured or prepared at home with the supervision and approval of your veterinarian. Any diet should be appropriate for the age of the dog (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are at risk of being overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight levels. Treatment training can be an important aid, but giving too much can lead to obesity. Know which human foods are safe for dogs and which are not. Contact your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water must be available at all times. Like many larger breeds, St. Bernard can experience bloat, a life-threatening condition where the abdomen expands and turns. The causes of bloat are not fully understood, but experts agree that preventing multiple, small meals per day and vigorous exercise at mealtimes may reduce the likelihood of this happening.
Big and deep-breasted breeds can develop bloat, sudden, fatal stomach conditions. St. Bernard owners must learn what signs to look for, and what action they should take. Other conditions sometimes seen in the breed include hip dysplasia and eye disease. A saint can handle the hot weather as long as he has a cool place to rest and plenty of water, but going from the air conditioning to the scorching heat can cause serious trouble.
Recommended health tests from the National Breed Club: