Dog Breeds: Saint Bernard temperament and personality

Saint Bernard dog

The Saint Bernard

The Saint Bernard dog is a giant, muscular dog who is also kind and gentle, among other things. This dog was used to guard the Switzerland´s Hospice Saint Bernard and to rescue lost and injured travelers.  Today, he is a fabulous pet in the homes of many families around the world.


The Saint Bernard dog originated in Switzerland.  In fact, the first records of the breed are from 1707, when a Saint Bernard would help monks bring injured and lost travelers through the harsh Great Saint Bernard Pass.

This dog was created along with other breeds, including the Appenzell Cattle Dog, Entlebuch Cattle Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, and the Great Swiss Mountain Dog. These dogs are presumably descendants of molosser type dogs. Today, the St. Bernard is considered a Molossoid breed.

Physical Characteristics

Initially, this dog was about the size of a German Shepherd.  It has grown in size since then thanks to kennel’s emphasis on appearance over working ability.

Their coat can be either rough or smooth. This giant dog can reach a weight of over 310 lb. But his average weight goes from 140 to 260 pounds.  Their height usually goes at 28 to 35 inches.

Temperament and Personality

Saint Bernards are friendly and welcome. They are kind, benevolent, and get along with kids pretty well.  This breed is altogether sweet, affectionate, and gentle.  However, just like with any other dog, they need early socialization in order for them to get used to other people and environment.

Caring for a Saint Bernard dog

Typically, a Saint Bernard dog does not need much exercise.  However, make sure he gets some. Being too sedentary can make your dog grow obese.  Avoid playing under the sun for a too long time. This dog are prone to heatstroke and heat exhaustion.  Always provide shade and fresh water.


If well trained, a Saint Bernard dog will be a breeze and a wonderful companion.  Training must begin since they are puppies.  Use a nice and friendly approach to training him and use positive reinforcement.  Breeders recommend crate training as a preparation for house training.

An untrained Saint Bernard is prone to wreak havoc in your house and make you go through embarrassing moments with guests.

Fun facts

  • Not suited for apartments. These big mutts need space to stretch and live.
  • They are heavy shedders and every year to shed their coat twice.
  • They do not bark unless there is a very good reason.
  • Beethoven, the famous movie dog character is a Saint Bernard.

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