We hope the information on this page answers some of the questions you have about the Saint Bernard
  • Do Saint Bernards shed? Yes, they do. Usually it is really heavy during spring and fall when they are dropping a lot of coat. Both the smooth and the rough coat will shed equally.
  • What about “dry mouth” Saints? There is no such thing. And if someone is trying to sell you a Saint that is “dry mouthed”, then they are not breeding it to the AKC standard. The head structure on a Saint Bernard is very important and seeing that they are descended from the Mastiff, they should have a proper lip structure that will occasionally drool.
  • My aunt/neighbor/parents had a Saint Bernard and it weighed 250 lbs. Possible, but not probable. Yes, the Saint Bernard is a large breed of dog but statements to this effect are usually exaggerated or unfounded. There are individuals that will get quite large, but they are few and far between. A properly bred Saint Bernard will be in the upper 180-190 lb range and that is for a large male. My own dogs look very big to someone who isn’t familiar with giant breeds, but they are only in the 150 lb range.
  • It must cost a fortune to feed a dog this big/they must eat a LOT of food. Actually, they eat about as much as any other large breed of dog. We don’t overfeed them and they do not have voracious appetites. My adult dogs eat approximately 3 lbs of raw food a day.
  • Are they good with cats? In my experience, the Saint Bernard does not have a high prey drive. Out of all the foster dogs I have had in my home, maybe one really paid attention to my cats. They were not bred for hunting or chasing game, but protecting and saving man. They generally get along very well with everyone in the household.
  • Do we need to have a really big house/yard to keep a Saint Bernard? It’s definitely not needed, but any dog would appreciate a nice area to run in under supervision. These are not extremely active, high energy dogs. They are happiest being at your side in whatever you are doing. But we don’t recommend having one in a small apartment or an adorable little house with a lot of antiques or valuables. Their tail can easily clean off a coffee table and if you’ve got more than one wrestling on the floor, they will shake the pictures on the walls.
  • Do they make good guard or watch dogs? Their size and bark alone can be intimidating to someone coming to the door, but if you can get past that, the Saint Bernard would just as soon lick you on the way to showing you where the jewelry is kept.
  • I bet that dog could really take you for a walk! Yes, it could. There have been times where I’ve gotten pulled in one direction and had to really dig my heels in to stop a Saint. But this is generally with a dog that comes into rescue with little or no leash training. We do work on this with our rescue dogs as we don’t want your 10 year old child being pulled off their feet if your Saint decides it wants to cross the street. This is a giant breed of dog and because of it’s size and strength, obedience classes and proper manners are always encouraged.
  • Since they’re so big, we can let our kids ride the Saint like a pony. No, definitely not! We hear that a lot actually and it shocks us when we do. Dogs are not horses no matter how large they are. They’re not designed to take that weight on their back and you will have a crippled dog in very short order. We see 2 &3 year old dogs with severe arthritis and joint problems, so please use common sense and don’t do this.