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St. Bernard |Italy,Switzerland|

St. Bernard |Italy,Switzerland|

This lovely breed is most famous for its search-and-rescue history, helping to locate people lost in the mountains, and it is still used for this purpose in some areas. More typically though, St. Bernards are mostly companion dogs. These are intelligent, kind, protective dogs that excel in obedience competitions, as well as draft and weight pulling. They make a superb addition to a family home (one that is not averse to slobber) but need to be provided with plenty of space.

History

The St. Bernard traces back to the Great St. Bernard Hospice established around 1050 by Saint Bernard de Menthon on the oldest-known pass through the western Alps. The hospice kept mastiff-type dogs crossed with local farm dogs, originally valuing the dogs as watchdogs and livestock guardians. The earliest accounts of the hospice dogs finding lost travelers date to the eighteenth century when they accompanied monks searching for survivors after storms. Sometimes the dogs were sent out in pairs unsupervised to locate people; one dog would remain with the victim while the other returned to the hospice to raise the alarm. The monks continued to breed their dogs for these traits, introducing Great Danes and English Mastiffs. The Swiss Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1884. It was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885.

St. Bernard puppies weigh approximately 1½ pounds when they are born and grow rapidly in their first year.

St. Bernard |Italy,Switzerland| St. Bernard |Italy,Switzerland| St. Bernard |Italy,Switzerland| St. Bernard |Italy,Switzerland| St. Bernard |Italy,Switzerland| St. Bernard |Italy,Switzerland|
From Dogs Unleashed, Copyright by Tamsin Pickeral, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with Thunder Bay Press

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