Saint Bernard Breed Origins and Caracteristics
The story of the Saint Bernard is closely related to the hospice of the Great Saint Bernard in the Alps. In this institution we undoubtedly find the first representation of the breed (while a little bit different from the one we know now) on a painting of an unknown artist, dated 1695. These powerful huntinglived in the convent and were used to find lost travelers and rescued them from exhaustion and death in blizzards. The most famous of these was Barry, which rescued 40 people during his 12 years of work. Nowadays, the visitors of the Natural History Museum of Berne can see it desiccated. Currently there are in the convent. In 250 years, about 2000 people have been rescued with the help of Saint Bernard . The small barrel that people associate with the Saint Bernard is part of the legend and it is not mentioned in the chronicles.
The Saint Bernard is a very sweet dog that shows affection to its master and family; it loves especially children but it is mistrustful with strangers. Its qualities make him an excellent guardian, a good partner and safe protector of the family. Also it is used as a draught dog. It has a fine sense of smell. It is said that a well-trained Saint Bernard can smell a person in a mountain, in the snow and at a distance of 3 km.
Size: male at least 75 cm; female 70 cm. Weight: male 80-85 kg; female 75-78 kg. The females that are smaller and less heavy have a light appearance. Colors: red and white, the colors must be pure and bright. The nose bridge, the front star, the neck, the front legs, the abdomen, the rear limbs at least until the calf and the tip of the tail must be white, the front mark can have a red star. The red coloration can make a coat (3) that extends on the back up to the flanks and on the sides of the rear limbs, or it can have clearly defined patches on the white background (4).
The Saint Bernard's original hair was smooth and short (double-coat 2). It remained like this until the year 1830 the breed was crossed with the Newfoundland. Nowadays, the long-haired Saint Bernard (1) is the most common and it is more appreciated than the variety with short hair.