January 2015 - LUV My dogs

LUV My dogs

Everything about your dog!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Everything about your Brittany

Everything about your Brittany
  Brittanys are charming, gentle and personable members of the household. Except for the Golden Retriever, you would be hard-pressed to find a more personable family dog. Lively and fun, Brittanys are always up for a roll on the carpet, a game in the back yard or a cuddle on the couch.
  Brittanys were bred as gundogs, and they definitely have birds on the brain. Although they're often called Brittany Spaniels, the American Kennel Club dropped the word "spaniel" from this pointing breed's name in 1982. The energetic Brittany is a versatile family companion and hunting dog who works more closely to the hunter than other pointing breeds.

Overview
  Great balls of fire! Life with a Brittany is never dull. This breed is smart, active, agile and relatively easy to train. For an active home with room for an active companion, you can’t do much better than the Brittany, a moderately sized dog with relatively few health or temperament problems. This dog can hunt, if that’s what you’re into, but for most people, the appeal is that the Brittany is athletic, bright and people-oriented.
  If you want a dog that will do anything you want to do as long as it’s active, this is a great dog for you. His wash-and-wear coat can be kept in shape with a weekly brushing to keep shedding under control, and he's typically friendly with other dogs, cats and children.
But make no mistake: this is not a couch-potato puppy: The Brittany is a canine overachiever and needs daily, heart-thumping exercise to keep his high spirits from bounding off. Don't get a Brittany if you're not going to make him a part of your family, or if you're not going to give him mentally and physically challenging activities.
  That work doesn't need to be hunting, although the Brittany does remain very popular among people who value a good bird dog. The Brittany does well in all kinds of canine sports, including agility, flyball and obedience and will be an active participant in any human-centered activity as well, from running and hiking to playing fetch with the kids.
  When we say you need to keep your Brittany busy, we’re not just thinking of the dog but of you. Left to his own devices and without sufficient exercise, the Brittany can become destructive and noisy instead of the happy family dog he was meant to be.

Highlights
  • Brittanys are high-energy dogs. They need at least an hour of intensive exercise each day. Without sufficient exercise, your Brittany may become neurotic and destructive.
  • Brittanys are smart and need mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. Training for dog sports is a great way to provide this.
  • Brittanys don't respond well to harsh treatment. Be gentle and consistent but firm — don't let them run the household.
  • Brittanys are people-oriented and don't like to be left alone for long periods of time without something to keep them busy. If you work outside the home, you should consider getting two Brittanys to keep each other company.
  • Although they are friendly and like children, it's not recommended that you let your small children play with your Brittany without supervision. Your Brittany has so much energy and enthusiasm, he may accidentally injure your child.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
Other Quick Facts
  • The Brittany is a French breed from the province of Brittany. He was developed to point and retrieve in different types of terrain.
  • Brittanies have a short coat with a little feathering on the legs and are easy to groom, but like all breeds they shed.
  • A Brittany’s coat is white and orange or white and liver. Some Brittanies have tricolor coats, but that’s not a popular pattern.
  • Comparable Breeds: Cocker Spaniel, English Setter
History
  The name "Brittany" is taken from the Brittany region in northwestern France where the dog originated. Images of orange and white Brittany-like dogs hunting and retrieving game were first seen on tapestries and paintings from the 17th century. The first written and verifiable record of Brittanys comes from a hunting description written by Reverend Davies in 1850. He described hunting with small "bobtailed" dogs who pointed and were excellent retrievers. It was around the same time that the modern Brittany is rumored to have been bred by mating with English Setters. The Brittany was first shown at the Paris Dog Show in 1900.
  The Brittany was first recognized as a breed in 1907 when an orange and white male named "Boy" was registered in France. As a result, the first standards were outlined in the same year. America recognized the Brittany in 1931 and the breed was approved by the American Kennel Club in 1934. In 1982 the "Spaniel" was officially dropped from the name.


Personality
  Brittanys are happy and alert. As befits a pointing breed, they are curious and independent, but respond well to their people and want to please them. They can be singleminded when it comes to birds, but when they're not focused on their feathered prey, they enjoy spending time with their people, especially if they're doing something active. Brittanys are not just energetic, they're smart, so they needs loads of exercise and mental stimulation each day. When it comes to training, be consistent but never harsh.
  Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who's beating up his littermates or the one who's hiding in the corner. Always meet at least one of the parents — usually the mother is the one who's available — to ensure that they have nice temperaments that you're comfortable with. Meeting siblings or other relatives of the parents is also helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when he grows up.
  Like every dog, Brittanys need early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Brittany puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog. Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.


Health
  Brittanys are generally healthy and hardy dogs. The median lifespan for Brittanys in France is 12.6 years.A UK Kennel Club survey puts the breed's median lifespan at 12 years 11 months, with about 1 in 5 dogs dying of old age at an average of 14–15 years.Brittanys have no undercoat and need minimal grooming or bathing. However, their floppy ears tend to trap moisture in the ear canal and should be cleaned regularly.
  Diseases found in the breed include Hip dysplasia, with 14.9% of Brittanys tested between 1974 and 2009 by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals displaying the condition, and a lesser rate of 10.3% for dogs born 2003-2004. The breed is listed among those commonly affected by Canine discoid lupus erythematosus. Epilepsy is also found, with owners of affected dogs encouraged to submit DNA to the UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Lab's ongoing project on Brittany and canine health.

Care
  Mental and physical exercise are very important for the Brittany, as the breed is strong and tough by nature. One need not spend a great deal of time on coat maintenance, though. Brushing a Brittany dog once or twice a week is all that is needed. Brittanys are also quite adaptable to living in temperate weather outdoors.

Living Conditions
  The Brittany is not recommended for apartment life. They are very active indoors and will do best with acreage. This breed is resistant to cold and damp conditions.

Exercise
  Brittanys need and love extensive exercise and have great stamina. They should be taken on a long, brisk daily walk or jog and need an active owner.

Grooming
  The Brittany’s flat or wavy coat has a little feathering on the legs and belly, and it’s easy to care for with a weekly brushing. His coat sheds moderately, but regular brushing will keep loose hair off your floor, furniture and clothing. A bath is necessary only when he gets dirty.

  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every couple of weeks, and brush his teeth for good overall health and fresh breath.


Children and other pets
  Brittanys are a good choice for a family with active children, but their energy level might be overwhelming for toddlers.
  Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's sleeping or eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  Brittanys enjoy the company of other dogs and can also get along fine with cats, especially if they're introduced at an early age.

Did You Know?
  Brittanies are hunting dogs, but don’t skip this breed if you’re not a hunter; they also excel at canine sports, including agility, flyball and obedience, and enjoy running, hiking and playing fetch with their people.


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Friday, January 30, 2015

Top Loyal Dog Breeds

Top  Loyal Dog Breeds
  We all know dogs are man’s best friend, but which breeds are the most loyal dog breeds? All dogs are loyal and have the capacity to show great loyalty, but some may have stronger instincts for loyalty than others. Throughout history, there have been numerous stories of dogs displaying great valor in order to protect, save or remain alongside their owners. 


German Shepherd – The German Shepherd Dog is hailed as the world’s leading police, guard and military dog, however, this dependable breed is more than its 9-to-5 job. Consistently one of the United States most popular breeds according to AKC Registration Statistics, the German Shepherd Dog is also a loving family companion, herder and show competitor. The breed is approachable, direct and fearless, with a strong, muscular body. The GSD may be most colors, but most commonly is black and tan. – source. These dogs have done anything from save soldiers, police officers, rescue children from fires, you name it.
Story of Loyalty: One family avoided being robbed, and possibly even worse, because of their German Shepherd, Moti’s bravery! Moti jumped into action, barking and trying to protect his family when man with a gun broke into the family’s home. The intruder shot Moti and, rather than continue with whatever misdeeds he had planned, fled the home, leaving the family safe. Moti fully recovered from his gunshot wound, but his family will not likely soon forget his heroism that night. 


Rough Collie- Rough Collie is a breed that hails from Scotland. These dogs are known to be very loyal and nice to their owners. The intelligence and activeness found in these dogs is supposed to create a strong bond between them and their owner. They are quite protective about their owner and save them from all the adverse circumstances. These dogs are often termed as family dogs, because of their friendly nature and the ability to play with children. These dogs generally suffer from the ailment of eye disorders; such a problem is witnessed in this breed quite often.
 Story of Loyalty Sassy, a Rough Collie, is a therapy dog with some pretty amazing skills. In addition to being trained to perform typical tasks for a therapy dog, Sassy is able to tell if someone is going to have a seizure using her sense of smell. A family is hoping to adopt Sassy for their son who suffers from an unusual form of epilepsy, which can cause him to have several seizures a day.


Beagles- This breed of dogs is commonly used by the security people because of the ability of this breed to sniff well. The origin of this breed is Great Britain. They have been used in many references in article dating back to ancient Greece period. These dogs are very friendly and gentle. The attachment they show to their owners makes them one of the most loyal dogs.
Story of Loyalty: When her diabetic owner had a seizure and collapsed, a Beagle named Belle jumped into action. She dialed 911 for her owner by biting into his cell phone so he was able to get the medical attention he needed. 


Kuvasz- This breed hails from the Hungarian lands. The initial use of this breed was to safeguard the livestock of farmers. It is just recently that these dogs have emerged to be house pets. They are highly intelligent and understand the signals of their owner well. They like having attention around them. The built of these dogs makes them good guards of their owner.
Story of Loyalty: Due to his size and strength, a Kuvasz named Pilot is the perfect companion and assistant for his owner. His owner is unable to lift or carry anything that weighs more than five pounds due to injuries she sustained to her neck and shoulders. He helps his owner perform tasks she otherwise would be incapable of performing. Pilot brings laundry up from the basement and pulls the grocery cart, among other tasks. When his owner, who also suffers from dizziness and chronic pain, has a dizzy spell, Pilot is right there for her to lean on so she never has to worry about falling and injuring herself. 


Labrador Retrievers- They hail from the east coast of North America. This breed is known for its happy nature and great energy levels. The friendly nature of this breed with the owners make it the most suitable and loyal breed of dogs available in the market.

Story of Loyalty: A Labrador Retriever named Patty saved her owner from drowning, and possibly hypothermia, after their boat capsized in freezing waters. Patty swam an unknown distance through a strong current, with her owner holding on to her tail, to get them to the safety of dry land where they waited to be rescued. 


Brittany- This breed is the produce of Brittany region of France. These dogs were originally assigned the mission of bird hunting. They are easy to handle and they train easily with the trainers. They have a good nature. They like being pampered by people and are the most loved breed in France.
Story of Loyalty: In the middle of the night, a couple was awoken by their Brittany, Cooper’s barks. Upon looking out of a window, Cooper’s owners saw that both of their vehicles had caught fire and were burning in their driveway. The flames got dangerously close to spreading to the house through a tree in between the drive and the house itself. The family believes that Cooper saved their lives! 


Boxers- This breed hails from Germany and they are known for their kill mode. They are dangerous dogs with incredibly strong jaws. They are used to hold the board or deer until the hunters make an appearance. They are ruthless to the opponent. However, they can be very sweet-natured towards the family. They are lovely to the owner and like to go for outdoors in order to keep fit and to do leisure activities.
Story of Loyalty: After somehow falling off of a 200-foot cliff, Roxy, a Boxer, waited for eight days with her owner, who was killed by the fall. Upon being located, it took the man’s daughter several attempts to get the dog to leave her owner’s side. 


Dachshunds- They also have roots in Germany. Because of the long length of body, these dogs are often referred as the hot dogs. They are commonly used to hunt rabbits and other prey on the basis of their strong jaws and energy-bound legs. These dogs like to play with the family members. The love for outdoors is seen in this breed too. The attachment they show towards the owner is incomparable.

Story of Loyalty: When JoJo, a Dachshund, kept leaving their sleeping daughter’s room and trying to get their attention, his owners knew something was up. As they checked their daughter’s room, they found the wall behind her bed to be giving off a lot of heat. It turned out that an outlet was incredibly close to catching fire. Not only did JoJo save the girl from potential harm, he saved his family’s home! 


Golden Retrievers- Hailing from the greens of Scotland, this breed of dogs is used for the retrieving game. They are quite happy to play with people and do not like to be alone. The patience practiced by them is often admirable. They are often considered as a family dog and never falsify this statement.
Story of Loyalty: A Golden Retriever named Toby saved his owner from choking on an apple. She performed a sort of dog Heimlich maneuver, by jumping hard onto his owner. The force of Toby’s paws hitting his owner’s chest knocked the piece of apple lodged in her throat loose so she could breath again. 


Yorkshire Terriers- They are often termed as Yorkie. They are the tiniest of the terrier breeds available in the market. Their forefathers come a long way from 1800’s. They are often used in dog shows and their ability to train well makes them the most attractive breed among the others in the dog shows. They are admirable and most of the owners just love them.

Story of Loyalty: A Yorkshire Terrier named Smokey was the first therapy dog! While recovering from an injury during World War II, a U.S. Navy corporal was given a Yorkie by a friend. Not only did little Smokey have an uplifting effect on his owner, he also helped the other soldiers who were recovering from their injuries. Dr. Charles Mayo began taking the little pooch along on his rounds to brighten the soldiers’ days. 














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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Protective Breeds: Right Dog For You?

Protective Breeds: Right Dog For You?
  Sometimes known as working dogs, guardian dogs were bred to guard homes, people and valuables, as well as livestock. While they might sound like a useful sort of dog to have around, these dog breeds are not for everyone. Large and reserved in nature, the guardian breeds are gentle with family and friends but fierce when provoked.

  Some, such as the Rottweiler and the Doberman, were bred to live closely with people as personal guards. Although their guarding instincts can work for you, they can also work against you if your dog is poorly bred, poorly socialized or untrained.
  Throughout history, one of the main jobs of the domesticated dog has been to protect its owners and guard against unwanted people or animals. While many modern dogs will instinctually act as home guardians, there are specific breeds that are known for possessing the characteristics needed to best ward off unwanted intruders.


1. Bullmastiff 
  A prized cross between a bulldog and a mastiff, the Bullmastiff was originally bred in England as a gamekeeper's dog to track and tackle poachers. If an intruder happens to make it into a home, he'll meet a powerful dog who will knock him down and hold him until help arrives.
  Search far and wide for all manner of dog breeds, but you will never find one with the size and power of the bullmastiff. That’s because these dogs have been specifically bred for nearly two centuries to ensure one thing: whatever they watch over remains undisturbed. 
  This breed is known for its physical strength, protection instincts, courageousness, and extreme family loyalty. If an intruder crosses its path, a Bullmastiff will typically use its strength to knock them over or block their path. The breed is very docile in a family environment, however, and makes a great household pet.
  The quiet and docile Bullmastiff is patient and gentle with friends and family, especially children. Bullmastiff's will, however, be protective and territorial. This breed can weigh 100 to 130 pounds. They have a low activity level, but needs socialization and training. The Bullmastiff does well with a family and can adjust to most living situations but may be too large for apartment life.
  As these dogs grow large, however, they often do not live very long, with a median age of only seven or eight years. During that time, however, they’re sure to be a protective force that can intimidate anyone thinking of breaking into a property where they are stationed, no matter what they happen to guard within its four walls.

2.Doberman Pinscher 
  All that you need to know about a Doberman’s instincts to protect its master is that they were originally bred to be dogs that accompanied a tax collector around as he made his rounds. Today, Dobermans are considered some of the very best guard dogs in all the world, with an aggressive nature that often makes them stereotyped as dogs that are harmful to strangers and children.
  If you're looking for the ultimate guard dog, the highly intelligent, strong and athletic Dobie may be for you. This intimidating pawed protector is considered one of the most dangerous canine breeds.
  This breed is incredibly fast and is able to reach an intruder in a short amount of time. Known as the fifth-smartest dog breed in the world, Dobermans are fearless, alert, and loyal dogs.
  In reality, Dobermans only ever attack on the command of their owner, having been bred to have great restraint and personal discipline, even in the face of a new threat. Over the years their ability to obey a command in a high-stress situation made them invaluable as military or police dogs, although they’ve become less used in recent years since they do not have the size or raw strength of some other large dog breeds.
  These are some of the smartest dogs out there, however, and an owner needs to carefully exercise their Doberman’s mind as well as its body to keep it fit, happy, and obedient to their commands, or else the dog will grow restless and end up chewing whatever’s in the vicinity.



  A dominant and loyal breed, the Giant Schnauzer is a high-energy dog that craves companionship and is quick to defend its humans. Just make sure you have enough time to give your Schnauz plenty of physical and mental stimulation to keep it from getting bored and becoming destructive.
  These are dogs that  require strict training.  They need constant attention and need to know who is in charge otherwise they might take over.  Giant Schnauzers are powerful, compact, and intimidating.  But what makes them such exceptional guard dogs is their loyalty to their owners.
  A giant schnauzer can weigh as much as 100 pounds and the breed has been put to practical use for centuries as work dogs capable of helping farmers take their livestock to the market, helping to guard homes or buildings, and working with police to smell out narcotics or explosives. Their thick, shaggy coat has been grown out over the years in order to make them more difficult to grab onto, whether by an intruder or by another dog or by a bigger animal.

  With an intelligent disposition, furthermore, they grow bored easily and may be less interested in learning new tricks if the tricks do not change up. Any person interested in attaining a giant schnauzer for watching over their home needs to ensure that they are not left alone often, since their energy can lead to destructive behavior like chewing objects within the home. If properly trained and well-mannered, however, they have a calm demeanor even in the presence of new people, and that makes them very friendly and dependable.




  Don't let the friendly appearance of the Kuvasz fool you. This large, strong-willed herd dog is extremely protective and territorial. Even if you don't regularly need to defend your home against wolves or bears, the Kuvasz, who was bred to fend off animal predators, will fiercely guard your property.
 This breed is very territorial and has a strong instinct to guard its family and home. The Kuvasz tends to be aloof with strangers but craves affection from its family.  You need to train these guys from a very young age.  But they are most awesome when it comes to family protection.  Don’t mess with these guys.
   The owner has to be firm, confident and calm.  All family members need to learn how to handle the dog from puppyhood.  It is also important to stress that the Kuvasz does not respond well to harsh discipline – it must not be humiliated or confused with contradictory commands and rules.
  This overly protective dog breed will not let any harm happen to you or your property.  They are extremely loyal and devoted and would give their life for you.
  If you want your Kuvasz to work as a flock guard, remember that special training is needed and you might want to hire an expert to help you with the training.

  If you’re looking for a guard dog that doubles as a nanny, an Akita may be the perfect pet for you. This large breed has strong protective instincts and will immediately investigate any hint of an intrusion into his family home. But unlike most other dogs, the Akita usually investigates quietly. If it barks, that probably means something is seriously wrong.
  The Akita is a dominant and independent dog breed that requires obedience training from puppyhood.  Although they are very affectionate towards their human family, they have strong guarding instincts and will not be friendly towards strangers.
  However, if someone tries to break into your house, be sure that the Akita will react and protect both you and your property.
  The Akita has to be firmly and properly trained from an early age and needs to be aware that humans are pack leaders.  The dog needs to understand the rules of behavior and follow them at all times.  If the dog becomes the alpha, the Akita will become willful, stubborn and aggressive.
  Akitas are extremely loyal and devoted pets that thrive on proper human leadership.  Apart from the training, Akitas need to be provided with enough daily exercise.  They become easily bored, so it’s important to keep them active.  They are not recommended for first time dog owners and inexperienced trainers.

Other guardian dog breeds include: 
  Those who don’t want to deal with the added responsibility of owning a guard dog but are looking for a dog to alert them of intruders should consider a watchdog. Several breeds are known for their persistent barking and ability to alert their owners and scare away trespassers.



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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Everything about your Saint Bernard

Everything about your Saint Bernard
  The imposing Saint Bernard is powerful and proportionately tall. It is strong and well-muscled — necessary qualities in a dog that must trek through deep snow for miles. Its coat comes in two types: smooth, in which the short hair is very dense and tough, and long, in which the medium-length hair is straight to slightly wavy. Its expression should appear intelligent. 
  The calm, easy going Saint Bernard is gentle and patient around children, although it is not particularly playful. It is devoted to it`s family and is willing to please, although at its own pace. It can be stubborn.

Overview
  No, the Saint Bernard never wore a miniature brandy keg around his neck. The image was merely the product of artistic license taken by Edwin Landseer, who painted a portrait of the breed while visiting Switzerland in 1819. The public loved it, and the brandy keg remains a symbol of the breed to this day.
  It’s true, though, that monks at the hospice of Saint Bernard, high in the Swiss Alps, used the dogs to seek out and rescue lost travelers. These days, the Saint is primarily a family companion or show dog, beloved for his calm and patient temperament. The Saint Bernard has many good qualities, but  he may also have health and temperament issues. If you want the calm, protective dog of legend, be prepared to do a lot of homework to find him and put in plenty of effort training and socializing him once you bring him home.
  The Saint Bernard is a member of the Mastiff family, as evidenced by his huge head and tall, powerful body. He is gentle, but his size alone is enough to deter many would-be intruders or assailants. He is only moderately active, making him suited to homes with small yards. He drools and is sensitive to heat, so he must live in air-conditioned comfort in hot climates.
  This is a giant breed. A 25-pound Saint Bernard puppy certainly looks manageable, but he will eventually weigh 120 to 180 or more pounds. His huge size is often what attracts people to him, but the tradeoff is a heartbreakingly short life span of approximately 7 to 10 years. And if you reach your home by stairs and should ever need to haul him up and down, you might be in trouble. If none of that fazes you, a Saint Bernard may well be your dog.
Contrary to his size, the Saint Bernard’s food and exercise needs are modest. He doesn’t eat more than any other large breed dog, and he will be satisfied with a couple of short walks daily. Like any dog, Saint puppies are inveterate chewers and because of their size can do more damage than puppies of other breeds. They are prone to ingesting items such as socks and dish towels, resulting in veterinary visits or even surgery for intestinal blockages.
  Though you might think of him as an outdoor dog, the Saint Bernard loves his people and will pine without human companionship. They are also prone to heatstroke and should never be left outdoors for a long time in hot weather. Saints should have access to a securely fenced yard, but when the family is home, the dog should be with them indoors.

Highlights
  • A Saint Bernard is a giant-size breed and although they are generally quiet inside, they are not best suited to apartments. They need space to move or just to stretch out in.
  • If you consider yourself a neat freak, then the Saint Bernard is not the breed for you. They drool and their paws track in their fair share of mud. They are heavy shedders and shed, or blow, their coat twice a year.
  • Saint Bernards generally take longer to mature mentally. This leaves you with a very big puppy for several years.
  • Although Saint Bernards make wonderful family pets, they are not recommended for homes with young children, as they can unintentionally knock over and hurt small children.
  • Originally bred to withstand the cold temperatures of the Alps, the Saint Bernard does not do well in heat.
  • Saint Bernards are not known for barking without cause.
  • Saint Bernards are a short-lived breed, usually only 8 to 10 years.
  • The Saint Bernard should not live outdoors away from his family. All dogs do better when they are in the house with the family they love, and the Saint Bernard is no exception. Although their coats and build make them an obvious choice for outdoor living, their temperament and inability to cope with heat makes it a poor decision.
  • Thanks to the popularity of movies such as Beethoven, which features a large Saint Bernard, many irresponsible breeders and puppy mills produce these gentle giants. To make sure you get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
Other Quick Facts

  • The Saint Bernard drools. Don’t believe a breeder who claims to produce “dry-mouth” Saints.
  • Saint Bernards excel at dog sports such as drafting, weight-pulling, and obedience trials.
  • The Saint Bernard’s coat can be long or short and ranges from deep brown to red brownish-yellow with white markings.
  • Comparable Breeds: Newfoundland, Great Pyrenees
History
  The Saint Bernard probably has its roots in the Roman Molossian dogs, but it wasn't until between 1660 and 1670 that the breed developed into the magnificent dog responsible for saving so many lives. Around this time, the first of these large dogs arrived at the St. Bernard Hospice, a refuge for travelers crossing between Switzerland and Italy. 
  The Saint Bernards originally came to help pull carts and turn spits and may have also functioned as watchdogs or companions, but the monks soon found them invaluable pathfinders through the deep snow. The dogs were adept at locating lost travelers. When a dog found a person, it would lick the person's face and lie beside him, thus reviving and warming the person. The dogs continued to serve in this invaluable role for three centuries, saving over 2,000 lives. 
  The most famous of all Saint Bernards was Barry, who was credited with saving 40 lives. Before Barry's death, the dogs were known by several names, including hospice dogs, but by the time he died he was of such fame that the dogs were called Barryhund in his honor. In the early 1800s many of the dogs were lost to severe weather, disease and inbreeding. Some of the remaining dogs were crossed with Newfoundlands in 1830. 
  As a result, the first long-coated dogs of Saint Bernard type appeared. Although it seemed that long hair would help a dog in the cold snow, in fact it hindered them as the ice clung to the coat. Thus, these long-haired dogs were not kept for rescue work. The first Saints came to England around 1810 and were referred to by many different names, among them sacred dog. By 1865, the name Saint Bernard was in common use, and it became the official name in 1880. 
  Around this time, the breed caught the eye of American fanciers. By 1900, the Saint Bernard was extremely popular. Although it has since vacillated in popularity, it is always one of the most popular giant breeds.
  "St. Bernard" wasn't in widespread use until the middle of the 19th century. The dogs were called "Saint Dogs", "Noble Steeds", "Alpenmastiff", or "Barry Dogs" before that time.

Personality
  True to their heritage as hospice dogs, Saints are friendly and welcoming. They have a steady, benevolent temperament and are kind and careful with children. They love attention but aren't as demanding of it as some breeds.
  Because of their large size, it's important to begin training Saints at an early age, while they're still easily manageable. They're intelligent and willing to please but sometimes stubborn. They should never be aggressive unless it's in defense of a family member.
  Like every dog, Saint Bernards need early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Saint Bernard puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

Health
  The very fast growth rate and the weight of a St. Bernard can lead to very serious deterioration of the bones if the dog does not get proper food and exercise. Many dogs are genetically affected by hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia. Osteosarcoma  has been shown to be hereditary in the breed.They are susceptible to eye disorders called entropion and ectropion, in which the eyelid turns in or out. The breed standard indicates that this is a major fault. The breed is also susceptible to epilepsy and seizures, a heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy, and eczema.
  US and UK breed clubs put the average lifespan for a St. Bernard at 8–10 years.A 2003 Danish breed survey  puts the median lifespan at 9.5 years while a UK breed survey in 2004  puts the median lifespan at 7 years. In the UK survey about one in five lived to >10 years with the longest lived dog at 12 years and 9 months.

Care
  The daily exercise requirements of the Saint Bernard are met with short runs and moderate walks. The dog is best when raised outdoors, keeping it away from smooth surfaces. Oversized puppies, which are brought up indoors, are susceptible to hip problems.
The Saint Bernard is not tolerant of heat; in fact, it loves cold weather. It does best when given access to the yard and the house. The coat requires weekly brushing and more frequently during shedding season. In addition, many St. Bernards have a tendency to drool.

Living Conditions
The Saint Bernard will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. These dogs are relatively inactive indoors and a small yard is sufficient. They can live outdoors, but would much rather be with their family. They have a low tolerance for hot weather, warm rooms and cars. Can wheeze and snore.

Exercise
A long walk each day is needed to keep the Saint Bernard in good mental and physical condition. Puppies should not have too much exercise at one time until their bones are well formed and strong. Short walks and brief play sessions are best until the dog is about two years old.

Grooming
  Saint Bernards come in two coat types: shorthaired and longhaired. The shorthaired Saint has a dense, smooth coat. His longhaired brother has a medium-length coat that is slightly wavy. Either coat type can be white with red or red with white.
  Both varieties shed heavily in spring and fall and need weekly brushing year-round to keep loose hair under control. It’s probably a good idea to brush a longhaired Saint a couple of times a week.
  Clean the ears and trim the nails as needed, and bathe the Saint when he’s dirty. You’ll want to wipe his mouth after your Saint eats or drinks — before he shakes his head and slings water, drool, or food debris everywhere. Brush his teeth with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.

Children and other pets
  Saints are, well, saintly around kids. Patient and gentle, they step carefully around them and will put up with a lot. That doesn't mean they should have to, though. Supervise interactions between young children and Saints to make sure there's no ear- or tail-pulling, biting, or climbing on or knocking over on the part of either party.
  Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs and never to approach any dog while he's sleeping or eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how trustworthy or well trained, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
Saints can also get along well with other pets, especially if they're introduced to them in puppyhood. Supervise them around smaller dogs and cats just to make sure they don't accidentally step or lie on them.

Record size
  An 1895 New York Times report mentions a St. Bernard named Major F. measuring 8 feet 6 inches (2.59 m) in length, who, if the claims are true, would be the longest dog in history.Another St. Bernard named Benedictine V Schwarzwald Hof (Pierson, Michigan - USA) also reached 315 lb (143 kg), which earned a place in the 1981 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.

Famous St. Bernards
  • Bamse, a Norwegian dog honoured for exploits during World War II memorial statue in Montrose, Scotland where he died in 1944
  • Barry, famous Alpine rescue dog
  • Bernie, mascot of the Colorado Avalanche
  • Bernie "Saint" Bernard, mascot of the Siena Saints
  • Bernie, mascot of the Northampton Saints
  • Gumbo, team mascot for the New Orleans Saints
  • Porthos, J.M. Barrie's dog
  • Schnorbitz, on-stage partner of British comedian Bernie Winters during his later career
  • Schotzie & Schotzie "02", beloved pets and mascots of Cincinnati Reds' owner Marge Schott
  • Scipio Saint Bernard of Orville Wright
  • Shirley Temple and a St. Bernard friend
  • Wallace , mascot of The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's)
  • Båtsman, a St. Bernard in Astrid Lindgren's story Vi på Saltkråkan
  • Beethoven. The 1992 comedy film Beethoven features a large, friendly but troublesome St. Bernard and, in later sequels, his mate and their brood of unruly pups. According to the producers of the sequel Beethoven's 2nd, the St. Bernards used in the film grew so fast during filming that over 100 St. Bernard puppies were cast to portray the sequel's four puppies  and a mother St. Bernard named Missy.
  • Bolivar a/k/a Bornworthy and Bernie, Donald Duck's non-anthropomorphic pet, and Bolivar's son, Behemoth
  • Buck, from Jack London's novel, The Call of the Wild, is described as half St. Bernard and half "Scotch shepherd dog", but was rendered as full St. Bernard in at least one of the six movie versions.
  • Cujo, a dog who contracts rabies and becomes crazed, terrorizing the residents of the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine from the 1981 Stephen King novel Cujo and the 1983 film of the same name.
  • George, from the 1971 movie George! and its 1972–74 spinoff television series.
  • Nana, in the Disney and Columbia Pictures Peter Pan movies 
  • Neil, the martini-slurping St. Bernard of George and Marion Kerby in the 1950s television series Topper. 
Legends
  The famous Barry found a small boy in the snow and persuaded the boy to climb on his back, and then carried the boy to safety.
  A St Bernard named Major is often credited with being the dog that helped save Manchester United, currently one of the world's largest football clubs, from financial ruin. The legend goes that in 1902 when the club owed sizable debts, the then captain Harry Stafford was showing off his prized St Bernard at a fund-raiser for the club when he was approached by a wealthy brewery owner, J.H.Davis, who enquired to buy the dog. Harry Stafford refused the offer but managed to convince him to buy the club thus saving Manchester United from going bankrupt.

Did You Know?
  It’s true that the Saint Bernard was a savior to stranded travelers in the Swiss Alps, but he never wore a brandy keg around his neck.
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