Frequently Asked Questions

 


 

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General

How much do they eat? St. Bernards eat no more then other large dogs do when they are fully grown. They are less active than smaller breeds, so they eat less per pound of body weight. A typical adult Saint will eat from 50 to 100 pounds of high quality dry kibble per month. 

How much do they weigh? At birth, 1 to 2 pounds. In adulthood, males weigh 140 to 180 pounds pounds, females weigh from 125 to 160 pounds.

Are they easy to train?  Because of their size, St. Bernards must be trained from an early age (puppy training beginning at 3 months is highly recommended). They are eager to please their masters, and are quick learners.

Do they shed & drool?  You betcha'! They shed their coats twice a year - in the fall & spring so that they can adjust to the changing weather. Most Saints drool when they are excited, warm or eating. In other words, drooling is not usually a constant problem. Are they good watch dogs? Although their size and bark are intimidating, their friendly nature excludes the average St. Bernard from the ranks of a good watchdog. In addition they are generally very sound sleepers.

Are they good with children?  A well-bred St. Bernard, properly raised and socialized, can be a wonderful companion for children. However, the temperament of any pure-bred dog is best predicted by that of it's parents and close relatives. For that reason it is highly recommended that you purchase a pure-bred dog from a reputable breeder; that way you can visit the kennel, "meet the family", and determine for yourself what kind of family character to expect in your new dog.

What else should I know about the St. Bernard?  They are people oriented dogs, and they are most happy when they are part of a family. Even though they are giant-sized, with proper training they can be very enjoyable house dogs.

Is it true that they have bone problems?  Yes, giant breeds often suffer from hip dysplasia. elbow dysplasia and several other bone abnormalities. All Saints should be x-rayed for hip dysplasia prior to any breeding. Ask questions of the breeder. Be a knowledgeable consumer! Also ask the breeder for suggestions on raising the puppy to minimize bone problems. Some of this is up to you; diet & exercise play a role.