Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A True Saint in the St. Bernard

Just as strong, muscular, round and humungous the built is, its personality is completely the exact opposite. The Saint Bernard (often times abbreviated as St. in Saint) is extremely gentle, super friendly and tolerant of children. Patient and tremendously loyal, a St. Bernard can be a lovable pet and dependable watchdog ready to protect the territory. Social, obedient and intelligent, this breed comes from the very large working and rescue dogs from the Italian and Swiss Alps.

Before they got the name St. Bernard, they were earlier called, “Saint Dogs”, “Noble Steeds”, “Alpenmastiff, or “Barry Dogs” long before the 18th century.

Also referred to as a giant dog, the St. Bernard has a gigantic weight of 140-264 pounds, approximately 64-120 kilograms or even more! Its height at the withers (the ridge between the shoulder blades - in many species, it is the tallest point of the body most applicable to dogs and horses), is 27½ inches to 35½ inches.

Alternately, images of the St. Bernard, has varied through the years. Cujo, a horror/thriller film in 1983 which was based on the Stephen King novel of the same title, has portrayed the St. Bernard as dumb, vicious and monstrous, a killer canine that inflicts bloody and gruesome attacks.

In 1992, the American comedy film, Beethoven changed every perception of a St. Bernard and images of Cujo were erased in an instant. Its pleasing and obedient personality despite its size made a difference in the Newton family.

This understanding of what a St. Bernard is what makes this awesome dog a great pet to have. Intimidation because of its size would not be an issue if proper socialization is set at an early age with people, so much so, with other animals. A St. Bernard is highly intelligent and easy to train, but training should take place when the dog is young and its size, manageable. Who would want to be pounced upon by an unruly and untrained dog of this size and caliber? Early training, exposure, socialization and most of all, love and affection can make a St. Bernard, truly a Saint Bernard.

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