Saint Bernard in snowThe Saint Bernard is a very large working dog that was bred to rescue people in the snow. This breed can smell people that are covered in snow.

This dog is sometimes called a gentle giant for it’s size and temperament. They are eager to please their owners and they don’t require the exercise that most large dogs do.


The Saint Bernard dog breed is from the western French Alps, Switzerland and Italy. They were originally bred to be rescue dogs in the Great St. Bernard Pass.

They were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885.


The Saint Bernard is a member of the American Kennel Club’s working group of dogs.


The Saint Bernard can be 26 to 30 inches tall at the shoulder and they can weigh 120 to 180 pounds.


There are 9 standard colors and 1 marking for the Saint Bernard. The colors are brindle grizzle, brown and white, mahogany and white, orange and white, red and white, rust and white, white and brown, white and orange, and white and red. The marking is a black mask.


The Saint Bernard dog breed is friendly, patient, affectionate, gentle and tolerate. They can also be stubborn and shy at times but they are eager to please.


This large dog breed has a medium energy level. A 20 to 30 minute walk will satisfy the needs of this large dog.


As with most large breed dogs, the lifespan of a Saint Bernard is 8 to 10 years of age. They are generally healthy dogs but they can be prone to hip dysplasia and eye disease.


Saint Bernards have a medium length, double flat coat that sheds twice a year, in the Spring and Fall. Brushing once a week will suffice except during times of heavy shedding which will require brushings several times a week.

Other Grooming

You will need to brush their teeth several times each week, their ears should be cleaned once a week and their nails trimmed as needed.


With their large size, Saint Bernards need to be trained at an early age, along with being consistent. They are eager to please you making training easier than some breeds.

Separation Anxiety

Saint Bernards are social dogs and they are happiest when they are with their family. They do not tolerate being alone for long periods of time.

Saint Bernard at the beachRescue

If you are interested in the Saint Bernard dog breed, please consider adoption. There are many purebred dogs and puppies that are available for adoption.Search for a Saint Bernard rescue group in your area by starting here at PetFinder.

What do you think about the Saint Bernard dog breed? Share a story about your dog or leave a comment below. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.