St Bernard Guide, Origin, Characteristics, and Personality

St Bernard Guide, Origin, Characteristics, and Personality

Breed Info Summary

Breed Suits: families with children, companionship

Shedding/Non-Shedding: Heavy

Size: Large (Giant)


According to the SBCA, Saint Bernards' forebears include the Roman empire's Molosser army dogs, which were mated with other canines native to the Alps.

Bernard of Menthon, an Italian archdeacon, constructed a monastery and hospice in 1050 to aid travellers crossing the perilous Alpine mountains between Italy and Switzerland. Pilgrims en route to Rome faced danger on their trips, which included summits as high as 8,000 feet. Monks at the Hospice of the Great Saint Bernard utilized the monastery's guard dogs to save poor souls stuck in 40-foot drifts and cascading avalanches in later centuries.

Sacred Dogs, Monastery Dogs, Alpine Mastiffs, and Alpendogs were all names given to these heroic rescues before they were given the name Saint Bernard in 1880.


The St. Bernard's personality is described as a "gentle giant." They have a good sense of humour, are dependable, and enjoy spending time with their families.

They are devoted companions who rarely bark but will defend you and your belongings if necessary. Other pets in the house are usually accepted without issue. Young puppies must be trained not to pull on their leads from an early age, as this tendency will be detrimental as they grow older and larger. 

Pros and cons to consider


  • Relaxed attitude
  • Adaptable to training which makes house-training easy
  • Friendly and kind to almost everyone
  • Enjoys the cold weather
  • Loves hanging out 


  • Slobbering and Drooling
  • Life expectancy is short
  • Grooming can take a long time
  • Feeding is costly 
  • Possibility of significant health issues and vet costs are usually expensive

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