Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard or St. Bernard

Calm, Gentle, Large

Found in the Western Alps in Italy and Switzerland, the Saint Bernard is a dog breed originally bred for the rescue work of the hospice or hostel of the St. Bernard Pass.

Saint Bernard

Health

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Personality

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Lifetime Care

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Breed Profile

Height

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  • 28 – 35 inches

Weight

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  • 140 – 180 lbs

Lifetime

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  • 8 – 10 years

Health Risk

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Osteosarcoma

What is it?:

Osteosarcoma or osteogenic sarcoma is the cancer in the bone. It mainly occurs in bigger dog breeds like the German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Boxer, St. Bernard, etc. It accounts for 85% of all the cancers found in dogs.

% of dogs affected

3-4%

Clinical signs

  • Lameness
  • Swelling or a mass in the skull, jaw or ribs
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Reluctance to walk or play
  • Breathing difficulties

Treatment

The condition is not curable but treatable. The treatment may include surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Average Vet Bill

$5000

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan would cover*


90% = $4500

80% = $4000

70% = $3500

*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been met.

Hip or Elbow Dysplasia

What is it?:

This genetic health issue is the one where the hip or elbow joints loosens up which causes dysfunction and pain. Over time, this may result into arthritis, muscle atrophy and limitations in mobility

% of dogs affected

>20%

Clinical signs

  • Staying in bed instead of going out
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Difficulty or reluctance in climbing stairs, rising up, jumping or running
  • Loss of muscle mass in the thighs
  • Noticeable enlargement of the shoulder muscles as they compensate for the hind end
  • Flinches when the lower back muscles are touched

Treatment

Treatment may require surgery and chiropractic therapy

Average Vet Bill

$2000

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan would cover*


90% = $1800

80% = $1600

70% = $1400

*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been met.

Personality

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Calm

The instinct of strangers to get scared looking a such a big dog will go away due to its calm nature

Gentle

Although big in size, Saint Bernards are often very gentle and caring in general

Affectionate

These dogs love to be around their family members and be a part of every activity they do. They might even sulk down if they feel left out

Lifetime Care

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Coat

There are 2 versions here – long haired and short haired. Both of them are a double coated variant which helps them keep warm in winter

Colors

You won’t be disappointed with the variety of colors available in the Saint Bernard. It includes brindle grizzle, brown and white, mahogany and white, orange and white, red and white, rust and white, white and brown, white and orange, white and red, brownish yellow, reddish-brown brindle, reddish-brown splash, and reddish-brown mantle.

Hypoallergenic

No

Grooming

Both the long and the short haired ones should be brushed 2-3 times a week. While for the long-haired ones, a pin brush should be used, for the short-haired ones, a regular rubber brush should do. Apart from that regular teeth, ears and nail cleaning should be done

Training

Being a working dog, a St. Bernard is easy to train given its intelligence and energy levels.

Originally bred to be watch-dogs, the Saint Bernards have actually saved a lot of human lives. Their life saving abilities have been known to save more than 2000 human lives till date from including places like avalanches. The breed of dogs have also been known to assist monks given their sagacity and fidelity. In an alleged fact, these Bernards were known for carrying brandy for the travelers across the Alps to keep them warm.

St. Bernard Dog: Introduction to the Breed

The breed makes excellent family dogs due to their love and affection side. However, it is always better to do know as much as possible about a breed before bringing them home.

St. Bernard Dogs are generally:

  • Gentle and quiet
  • Non-aggressive
  • Tolerant
  • Well behaved
  • Protective

Greyhounds are best suited for –

  • Experienced dog owners or houses with other pets (preferably dogs)
  • City apartment type setting household
  • People who like to get clingy and cuddly with their dogs
  • Families with kids

Health Risks for a Saint Bernard Puppy

Apart from the above-mentioned common health problems, these lifesaving dogs are also prone to some other health related issues which can give the owner a hard time to their time, head and even wallet.

  • St. Bernards are very susceptible to eye disorders called entropion or ectropion in which the eye-lid turns in or out.
  • They are even prone to common dog eye problems like cataracts
  • The breed is also susceptible to epilepsy and seizures
  • Apart from all these there are even chances of a heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy and eczema

Things to watch-out before deciding to own a St. Bernard

There are a few cautions that you need to know before deciding to adopt a Saint Bernard

  • They may be very sweet and gentle but can also loose their temperament if enough physical stimulations are not given to them
  • Because of its size, it can easily reach all the tables in your house creating an opening for some destruction there at times
  • They do not respond well to punishment. These dogs should be trained with utmost patience and positive reinforcements
  • Routine medical care is generally more costly for bigger dogs as compared to their smaller counterparts
  • They are also known to have an occasional stubborn streak
  • These are not very energetic dogs. They are more on the side of a couch potato. So, if you’re looking for extra energy in the house, these probably aren’t the ones
  • They can develop separation anxiety and destructive behaviors in case of being left alone for a very long time

Conclusion

Looking for a big giant but gentle dog then St. Bernard is the one for you. Very much calm and well-behaved, you are going to get praises from your family if you gift them one of these as they are highly affectionate and loving and at the same time protective of kids and other family members in the house.

Here at Spot Pet Insurance, we do our best to provide helpful dog info. We care deeply about your dog’s health and want to be with you every step of the way. For other helpful info about pets, check out our Spot Pet Insurance webpage! Here we provide you with educational materials that can help you with the best foods, toys, safety, and care tips for your dog. We also offer personalized pet insurance plan options to help keep your dog protected in case of unexpected accidents and illnesses.

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