St. Bernard is a large, native breed that originates from the Alpine regions of Central and South America. What few stray travelers may know is that this breed has one of the most ruthless temperaments imaginable-and for a good reason.
St. Bernard was bred to be a robust and independent dog, able to pursue its prey alone or with other St. Bernards in a group. However, the aggressive and unpredictable nature they display makes them ill-suited as family pets and requires constant care and supervision. Many St. Bernards have been abandoned or mistreated by their human companions.
They are often referred to as "Alpine Dogs" or "Angry Dogs" because of their habit of biting at first sight of unexpected noise or meeting people they do not know. Though, these characteristics do come with some benefits – St. Bernard is famed for its strength and energy levels (both in the home as well as outside), loyalty, devotion, and courage; all traits that make them an excellent guard dog but are not always appreciated by owners who want a more docile pet.
St. Bernard's Origin
St Bernards is one of the oldest working dog breeds. The first known documentation dates back to the 18th century in Switzerland. St. Bernards have been a Swiss breed since their inception, and the dog has become associated with the country.
However, records show that St. Bernards were first bred by indigenous people in Central and Southern Mexico too. It is believed that the Aztecs used these early St. Bernards to find and rescue the members of the tribe who fell off cliffs or into ravines. They were also used to find lost people who had wandered off into the wilderness.
The Breed's Appearance
The St. Bernard's appearance is similar to that of the Alaskan Malamute, although their coat colors are often much lighter. Large dogs with stocky, muscular bodies, long legs, and massive heads. They have a thick coat in various colors, including white, fawn, and black.
Most of these colors are merged, but there are a few tricolor dogs. The coat of St. Bernard is dense, with a profuse undercoat. They have thick, drooping, woolly fur that can be any color; the guard dogs have a thick, coarse coat, while the show dogs prefer long hair with a silky sheen.
Saint Bernard Buying Guide in India
If you want a St. Bernard, here is a handy buying guide you can use while buying your dog:
Find a breeder - You will need a reputable breeder who can help you get a healthy puppy. Contact the breed clubs and kennel clubs in your area, or the internet, or your pet stores and ask around for a St. Bernard breeder in your area.
Choose your puppy - When you meet the breeder, choose the puppy you want, pay for it, and take it home. Check the puppy for any health problems so you can get a healthy puppy.
Crate Training - Your St. Bernard puppy will be crated for a few weeks until it is comfortable with being crated. When you take your St. Bernard for walks, take the crate with you and let your St. Bernard get used to being crated.
House training - House training a St. Bernard can be difficult, but it can be done with patience and persistence. When you take your St. Bernard to the bathroom, mark the spot, and let it go! House training a St. Bernard should be done every few hours.
What is the Average Price of a St. Bernard in India?
The average price of a St. Bernard in India can vary greatly depending on the quality of the dog, the breeder, and the region you buy your St. Bernard from. A healthy, well-socialized puppy from a well-known breeder can cost anywhere between Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 1 lac.
Whereas a St. Bernard from a pet store can cost you anything between Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 50,000. So, knowing where your money is going and buying from a reputable breeder is essential.
Health Issues and Care
When choosing a St. Bernard, looking for a puppy that has been carefully socialized and paired with an experienced breeder is crucial. It would be best if you also looked for a reputable breeder who can show you the parents of the pup and who can tell you how the puppies were raised.
If possible, try to visit the breeder's home or a nearby kennel to see the environment in which your St. Bernard was raised.
A healthy St. Bernard should have long, dense fur and an imposing, robust appearance. The coat should be straight and shiny, and the grooming should be kept to a minimum. Your St. Bernard should have a deep, satisfying sound when exhaling and inhaling. He should walk with a heavy, confident gait.
Food Habits and Exercise Regimen of St. Bernard
St. Bernard is a large breed. It has a high requirement for protein in its diet. The species eats a lot of meat, fish, and vegetables and is known to be a very aggressive eater. St. Bernards are robust, active dogs.
They must be exercised at least once daily to keep them happy, healthy, and mentally stimulated. They are very energetic, so you must ensure that your daily walks are no less than one hour long.
To summarize, St. Bernard is a large, protective dog that needs to be trained as a puppy and given plenty of physical exercises. They also need to be fed a high-quality diet rich in protein. Given these requirements, it is clear why St. Bernard is not considered a suitable pet for most pet owners.