St. Bernards gained popularity around the world, and cinema only fueled interest in representatives of this breed. Dogs began to be planted everywhere, not really considering their features and large dimensions. To whom are these giant dogs really suitable, and what conditions are needed for their comfortable keeping?
History of breed origin
The ancestors of the St. Bernards are dogs of the oldest breed - Tibetan mastiffs. In the 11th century, the monk Bernard built a shelter for traveling people on the territory of the Swiss Alps, which later became known as the monastery of St. Bernard. Here, for centuries, monks led large guard dogs.
In the 18th century, the climatic conditions in these places changed, avalanches descended one after another, causing irreparable damage. They began to use the St. Bernards as rescuers - they could find people under the mountain blockages.
Universal recognition for dogs of this breed came only at the end of the 19th century. At the same time, the first breed standard was established. Switzerland is considered the home country of the Bernards, when the breed was approved, its representatives became national dogs.
Description of breed Saint Bernard
One of the features of these dogs is their impressive size. The growth of males starts from 70 cm, but should not exceed 90 cm. The growth of bitches varies from 68 to 80 cm. As for weight a, the standard indicates a lower figure - 70 kg, weight more often exceeds 100 kg.
St. Bernards have a large, strong physique. Like most giants, representatives of this breed, unfortunately, have a short life, which is from 8 to 10 years. Also, the drawbacks include the obligatory operation to excise the third century, since, growing, it becomes a hotbed of infectious pathogens, and the dog will constantly suffer from eye diseases.
According to the classification, soft-haired and hard-haired dogs are distinguished, but their body structure is almost identical:
- The head of St. Bernard is large, with a convex forehead, on which wrinkles are located. Cheekbones high, eyes with moist eyelids, set on shallow, brown iris. The nose is wide, large, the nostrils are flat. The eyes have a black rim, the same color in the animal's lips and nose. The muzzle is shortened, the nose is a bit blunt.
- The ears are small, hanging down, the back is lagging. The neck is strong, has a small suspension, the coat forms a dense collar.
- The dog has a wide back , which ends with a steep lower back. The ribs are clearly visible.
- The tail is wide at the base, with a strong tip, heavy.
- The limbs have a wide arrangement, are massive, have large rounded paws, which have vaulted toes.
Coat and color
Shorthair dogs have a soft coat, snug to the body, with a well-developed undercoat. Paws are present, but they are weakly expressed. The tail is covered with elongated hair.
Longhaired representatives are characterized by straight outer coat, the length is medium, the undercoat is excellent, dense. In the thighs and croup, it can be wavy. Pants are moderate. In the area of the muzzle and ears, the coat is shortish. The hair covering the tail is thick, long, and the forelegs are decorated with rich brushes.
The main color is white, against its background are red-brown small or large spots, or a cloak on the back and trunk. The raincoat can be plain or in white marks - both options are allowed by the standard. A tan color is also possible. In addition, a dark brown edging on the head is welcome. As for the dark spots on the body, their standard does not prohibit.
Representatives should have white marks in the chest area, at the end of the tail, on the nose, collar area. A white collar and masks with a symmetrical arrangement are highly appreciated.
The nature and features of socialization
The size and sad look of St. Bernard is somewhat confusing and it seems that he cannot possess high intellectual abilities. However, this dog is very smart and has the highest reaction rate - after all, these are rescue dogs that can make decisions independently, without delay. But this applies to work, in ordinary life the St. Bernard tries to save energy and does not move unnecessarily.
Saint Bernards are great family dogs that adore all members, they try to protect them, please and not upset. Therefore, training dogs of this breed is a pleasure. They have one unique ability, transmitted at the level of genes - dogs are perfectly oriented in space. Pets can return home to the most severe places, having traveled more than a dozen kilometers.
Life in the mountains has developed the strength of spirit and strong character in these dogs. They do not tend to panic. Despite the lazy, relaxed look, St. Bernard is always ready to help, showing his physical and mental abilities. Moreover, they help not only the owner, but also others. These qualities are even in pets, which are not particularly trained and raised.
Dogs are distinguished by good obedience, show stubbornness and excessive activity only in puppyhood. St. Bernard definitely needs a family, he feels comfortable if he constantly communicates with people and other pets. The pet finds a common language with its relatives, feline and even ungulates. Left for a long time alone, the dog will be very sad and may even become depressed.
The St. Bernards are not characterized by aggressive behavior. When a smaller dog attacks a giant during a walk, then most likely he will not even pay attention to it. But in case of danger, for example, when attacking the owners, he will fight like a lion, and man can’t defeat him. These dogs are wonderful nannies, and they allow almost everything to their little owners. They can play the role of a horse, be a mattress, voluntarily put on a harness, and at the same time they will not stop protecting.
Parenting and training
St. Bernard has a lot of positive qualities almost from birth, but this does not mean that he does not need to be educated. This should be done almost immediately, as soon as the baby crosses the threshold of the house. It is necessary to immediately show firmness and do not even pick up a crying baby and do not invite him to bed. Otherwise, subsequently weaning a huge “crumbs” will be practically impossible. To prohibit what was once allowed is a task from the category of impossible tasks.
Despite the large size, the dog does not take up much space - he just needs a couch, on which he fits completely. Early socialization is important - it is worth introducing the kid to public transport, crowded places, parks. Later it will be much more difficult to control the dog’s behavior.
Dogs of this breed can be trained on their own, but if there is no time or skill for this, it is better to contact a professional. Saint Bernard is a dog designed to help a person, therefore it is important to show affection and trust - this is the basis of an excellent relationship.
Dogs are not stubborn, so they will execute the command as many times as necessary. It is important to ensure that the dog performs tasks automatically, without reacting to any irritants or distractions. The result of good training is a dog who obeys and does everything the master says in any situation.
How to feed St. Bernard
Puppies eat 5-6 times a day, then they are fed 4 times, and already grown up St. Bernard should eat twice - in the morning and in the evening. It is worth taking this issue seriously, since St. Bernards are prone to gaining excess weight, and, in addition, their joints and bones need useful substances.
If the dog is obese, then it is transferred to fractional nutrition - the portion is reduced and divided into several doses. With natural feeding, it should be borne in mind that food should be exclusively natural, and the following products are present in the diet:
- Meat - The daily allowance for an adult dog is 400-500 grams of raw beef or veal.
- Offal - they are given 2-3 times a week, only boiled.
- Fish - it is a complete product and it can be alternated with meat. Sea can be given raw, river - be sure to boil.
- Bones - large bones and cartilage tissue - a source of nutrients necessary for the growth of such large animals.
- Sour-milk products - cottage cheese, kefir, yogurt, fermented baked milk, etc. - without artificial additives and sugar.
- Vegetables - it is important to give them raw, cut into pieces. Can be seasoned with vegetable oils.
- Cereals - porridge from rice, buckwheat, oatmeal. You can also mix several types of cereals, add vegetable oil, herbs, vegetables, pieces of meat.
Not everyone can cook for such a large dog , it takes a lot of time and products, so owners often prefer ready-made diets. But it is worth considering that cheap, low-quality products will negatively affect the health of the pet. The feed must meet the following requirements - its basis should be meat - coarse protein is not less than a third of the total volume, coarse fat - 18-22%, and fiber - a maximum of 5%.
How to care for St. Bernard
A dog of this breed requires care , but as part of the usual procedures for four-legged pets. The coat has a special lubricant that protects the pet from pollution. Therefore, it is required to bathe no more than 1-2 times a year. In the process of swimming, it is imperative to use special shampoos with a neutral pH. After each walk, it is advisable to wash the paws.
The coat is dense and, due to its density, can become tangled and form tangles. To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to comb it out once every 2-3 days, and for an apartment pet the procedure is best done daily. The dog sheds twice a year, during these periods, hair care should be more intense.
The eyes are the most problematic organ, therefore, experts recommend removing the third eyelid from the puppy in order to avoid problems in the future. After walking, you need to wipe your eyes gently with a cloth. Ears should be inspected daily and cleaned with a cotton pad moistened with boiled water or a special antiseptic agent as it becomes dirty. Due to the tight fit and closedness, the ears are a fertile place for infectious pathogens.
Teeth also require care. To prevent the dog from plaque, it should be regularly treated with bones or special products from the pet store. It is worth noting that the St. Bernards have a heavy salivation , so furniture and things can get dirty. Wipe your face periodically from dirt and adhering particles.
Twice a month, you need to pay attention to the dog's paws, if necessary, cutting off the overgrown claws . Long hair that grows between the fingers must be trimmed. In order for the dog to calmly relate to such manipulations, it is important to accustom him from an early age to hygienic procedures. Then in the future he will not resist and show discontent.
St. Bernards do not tolerate sudden temperature changes, so if the dog is kept on the street, then there must be a canopy. You can not leave the dog for a long time under the scorching rays. In addition, the dog can not be constantly in street conditions without communicating with his family - if everything is at home, then the dog must be with them!
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The cost of a puppy of St. Bernard
The breed is quite common and acquiring a thoroughbred puppy is not difficult. A puppy with hands without a pedigree (and without a guarantee of pure breed and health) will cost 4000-7000 rubles. By acquiring such a pet, all responsibility rests with the new owner. A puppy from a kennel with a pedigree who will be a great friend of the family costs about 10,000-15,000. It is not suitable for exhibitions and breeding due to small deviations from standard characteristics. Otherwise, it is a healthy physically and mentally animal.
The cost of a puppy from parents with good indicators and good data, which, if it does not become a champion, but will definitely participate in breeding, starts at 25,000 rubles. If you need a pet for an active exhibition career, then you need to take the baby of the highest - show class. The price in this case is 35,000-50000 rubles.
Going after a puppy, you should decide whether a dog of this breed is suitable and for what purpose a pet is purchased. Saint Bernard is a good-natured giant, a great option for a friendly family with children. But the dimensions oblige the owners to pay maximum attention to training.
Saint Bernard Nurseries
- Moscow region https://www.large-paw.com
- Saint Petersburg http://navilotosh.narod.ru