12 Sep 2009 | by | Posted in: Wag Wiki


According to history, Saint Bernard was trained by Hospice monks to locate lost travelers during winter season. Aside from being rescue dogs, they also served as watch and companion dogs for the monks.

The St. Bernard was considered as a large dog breed weighing somewhere between 160 to 240 pounds or 73 to 110 kilograms, although there was one which reached a weight of 357 pounds or 163 kilograms. This dog was named Benedictine, which was recorded as the largest and heaviest dog in the world. The Saints heights are up to 35 and a half inches or 90 centimeters.

Its fur has two types: short and smooth coat and long and rough coat. Their body is usually white with golden or dark brown patches on its back and head. The St. Bernard despite its huge size that can serve as deterrent to intruders has a very gentle personality and can mix up well with children that make it a great candidate as a family and watch dog rolled into one.

Saint Bernard dogs have such a keen sense of smell that they can smell out people buried deep in the snow.They trained by monks to rescue the travelers who were lost in the snowy mountains. That is why they are Saint Bernard. This is an ancient breed and founded in AD 980.

The St. Bernard has a long history of servitude to humankind. Their origins are the Swiss valleys around the centuries old Hospice of St. Bernard, where the original dogs were used as guard dogs and companions for the community of monks living and working within the Hospice.

One of the Saint Bernard dog named Barry was an expert rescue dog. Once he rescued a boy who was stranded on an icy ledge, all covered with thick snow under an ongoing, heavy snowfall. It was not possible for any man to climb that icy ledge, but Barry braving all adversity crawled inch by inch to the injured boy. As the drill has it, Barry started licking the boy's face but the snowfall was too heavy and the ledge too difficult to climb for any monk to reach the boy. Therefore, there was no help coming. The boy, however, woke up due to Barry's warm licks and wrapped his arms around Barry's strong neck. The dog pulled him carefully and bravely from the ledge and brought him to safety. He lived from 1800 to 1814 and saved more than 40 lives in his lifetime.

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