Saint Bernards: From Swiss Alps to  Apartments - Wagr Petcare

    Saint Bernards: From Swiss Alps to Apartments

    Known for their lumbering size and affable nature, Saint Bernards make wonderfully loyal and patient companions. Originally bred by monks to rescue travellers in the Swiss Alps, Saints still embody a nurturing spirit. Their imposing frame hides a peaceful temperament ideal for families. Though massive, Saint Bernards only require moderate exercise. Their short coat needs weekly brushing. Providing proper care for their rapid growth and sensitive nature allows Saints to thrive as mellow, cuddly friends.

    At A Glance:

    Lifespan: 8-10 years

    Size: Giant

    Temperament: Patient, Friendly, Calm, Loyal

    Coat: Long double-coat, red/white or brindle/white

    Best for: Families with room for a giant companion


    Saint Bernard

    Affectionate Level Devoted, loves lounging with family
    Friendliness Excellent, especially with children
    Exercise Needs Moderate; enjoys leisurely walks
    Training Sensitive, requires gentle positive reinforcement
    Grooming Heavy shedding, needs weekly/daily brushing

    Saint Bernard


    Hailing from the snowy Alps, the lovably lumbering Saint Bernard first made its mark as an alpine avalanche rescue dog. Their keen sense of smell and imposing size made them ideal for sniffing out and digging out stranded travellers. The monks of Switzerland's Saint Bernard Pass famously kept packs of these gentle giants during the 18th century.

    Outfitted with brandy barrels to warm victims (though likely more myth than fact), Saint Bernards saved over 2,000 lives and continues their rescue legacy today. Their mellow temperament and weather-proof coat also endeared them as faithful companions. And later, their star power grew thanks to a string of classic movies like Beethoven and Cujo - though Saint Bernards are truly tender nannies, not terrifying at all! Wherever they roam, this patient breed's enormous heart and nurturing spirit make them ideal for families.

    Breed Appearance:

    Majestically massive! Saint Bernards are blessed with wonderfully big bodies from their adorable blocky heads to low-swinging tails. Their short, velvety coats can sport classic red and white markings or tawny brindle and white. Gentle dark eyes and friendly facial fur frame their sweet smiles. And you can't forget their signature wrinkles - floppy lips and endearingly crinkled brows give the breed tons of expressive charm. Lumbering around or napping nearby, these gentle giants and their easy-going energy are easy to love!

    Saint Bernard Temperament:

    Much like gentle bear cubs, Saint Bernards are famously docile and patient, especially for their towering size! They love lounging with their families whenever possible, happily soaking up affection and ear rubs. Saint Bernards are quite happy to amble through a stroll or play a slow game of fetch. Of course, they'll happily tackle rough and tumble play too - if you allow it. Naturally watchful, they may bark at curiosities but no need to fear your Saint Bernard turning beastly. Their best habit will always be being a devoted, cuddly companion.

    Caring For A Saint Bernard:

    Diet & Nutrition:

    With all that body to fuel, Saint Bernards have some serious nutritional needs! These big boys and girls require quality diets formulated specifically for giant breeds. As puppies, it’s essential to control calories to prevent dangerous overgrowth. Portion sizes should align with their age and activity level. Owners must take care not to overindulge a Saint Bernard’s appetite or let begging eyes win extra treats. They are a deep-chested breed and are thus prone to bloat and stomach twisting. This usually tends to happen if they eat too quickly. A consistent feeding schedule of smaller meals plus exercise prevents these issues, and also prevents obesity. Talk to your vet for a diet plan and to prevent any stomach issues. And of course, fresh water should be available at all times to quench their thirst.


    Saint Bernards aim to please their families, though their gentle giant nature requires patience during training. Starting young with positive reinforcement builds good habits for these mild-mannered dogs. Since they continue growing for over 2 years, proper exercise pacing is key to avoid joint damage. While not in a hurry, Saints enjoy leisurely romps outdoors over more demanding regimens. Basic cues keep their attention best, along with ample rewards of affection. Their sensitive side responds poorly to harsh corrections, so be armed with a lot of praise and treats. They are prone to separation anxiety, so start training as early as possible to prevent any destructive behaviour from being left alone.


    Like any gentle giant breed, Saint Bernards can be prone to certain conditions. Vet screenings are needed for elbow and hip dysplasia, eye issues, and heart problems. Bloat risk also requires preventative measures. While most Saints are hardy, their rapid growth as puppies needs careful monitoring to stay healthy. Excess weight strain takes a toll over time as well. But with attentive veterinary care, exercise moderation, proper diet and lots of TLC, many Saint Bernards thrive happily past 10 years old.

    Grooming & Maintenance:

    While heavy shedders, Saint Bernards’ short double coats keep grooming fairly simple. Weekly brushing removes loose hair and promotes new growth. Daily brushing might be needed during seasonal heavy shedding. Bathing is usually recommended monthly, or if they get dirty very frequently. Those signature wrinkles and folds do require frequent wiping to prevent irritation and infection. Their facial fur also needs tidying to combat drool-soaked mess (this breed loves to drool a lot, so you may need to clean your furniture regularly as well!). Teeth brushing, nail trims and ear cleaning complete Saint Bernard maintenance. It may seem like a big job, but nothing overly taxing for an equally big dog with an even bigger heart!


    Are Saint Bernards aggressive?

    Saint Bernards are known for their gentle and friendly nature. They are typically not aggressive but can be protective, making them great family pets.

    Can Saint Bernards thrive in the Indian climate?

    Saint Bernards have a thick, dense coat designed for colder climates. In warm regions like India, it's important to manage their exposure to heat. Ensure they have shade, and water, and avoid strenuous activities during hot periods.

    Are Saint Bernards good apartment dogs?

    While Saint Bernards are large dogs, their calm and easygoing demeanour can make them suitable for apartment living. However, regular exercise is crucial, and they need enough space to move comfortably within the apartment. Regular walks and outdoor activities are essential for their well-being.

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