Are you considering getting a new dog and wondering if the St. Bernard temperament is a good fit for you?
Bringing a new dog into your family is a big decision and it is important to find out everything you can about the breed of dog you plan to get so that you know what you are getting yourself into.
Here are 7 things about the St. Bernard temperament that you need to be aware of before deciding on this type of dog:
1. Saint Bernards are a whole lot of dog to love
They drool and shed. A lot! But, for a lot of people, the gentleness of the Saint Bernard temperament makes this dog worth the mess.
Like many large breeds, these guys don’t usually live past 10 years, but it will be a decade filled with king sized love and loyalty.
2. These dogs are fantastic with children
There is a reason that Nana, the dog in Peter Pan, is a Saint Bernard. These dogs are famous for their tolerance and gentleness with children.
In fact, many people say you actually have to protect this Gentle Giant from the kids because he will put up with just about anything!
The Saint Bernard temperament gives this dog a watchfulness that has earned him the reputation of being a perfect babysitter. But remember that it is never a good idea to leave children under the age of 6 unattended with any animal, even the kind-hearted Saint Bernard.
3. Saint Bernards are very mellow
Keep in mind though, that Saint Bernards do need exercise to stay happy and healthy.
A couple of walks a day will help keep his joints and muscles sound while helping avoid any destructive behavior.
4. They are really smart
The Saint Bernard’s temperament might lead you to think that he is just a big, dopy dog that has more brawn than brain.
Like many intelligent breeds, the Saint Bernard does need to have obedience training so that he uses his smarts for good and not evil.
The last thing you want is this super strong beast ruling the roost! The gentleness of the Saint Bernard temperament does make him easy to train, just be sure that you take the time if you don’t want a Cujo on your hands.
5. Saint Bernards are great watchdogs
Though friendly and laid back, these dogs are very protective of their family and their territory and have a BARK that will make even the most hardened criminal’s blood run cold.
Unlike the Chihuahua, the Saint Bernard has the muscle to follow through with sounding the alarm.
6. They are great with other animals
Maybe it is because they know they take up a lot more room than the average pet, or maybe because they don’t feel the need to push their weight around; whatever the reason, the Saint Bernard temperament makes them very well suited to living with other pets.
7. These dogs are warm-hearted, cold weather dogs
The Saint Bernard was bred to be search and rescue dogs in the extremely frigid Alps.
In fact, they got their name from the very dangerous Saint Bernard Pass where they were often needed to go in and rescue wayward mountain climbers. This tolerance for cold and snow makes them very unsuited for life in warm weather climates.
Like many large breeds, the Saint Bernard may be prone to bloat and hip dysplasia as well as heart issues.
The best way to avoid these types of problems is to get your Saint Bernard from a reputable breeder and not a pet store or puppy-mill, where these sort of health issues are propagated generation after generation.
Is the Saint Bernard Temperament right for you?
If you live in a warm climate or small apartment, or are worried about a whole lot of dog hair flying around the house, this might not be the right dog for your family.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a kind, mellow, gentle giant, the sweet Saint Bernard temperament might be the perfect match.