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Saint Bernard

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The Saint Bernards are distinguishable by their massive frame and gentle demeanour. These Swiss natives were originally bred to protect and rescue mountain climbers. Today, the giant dogs are frequently adopted by families as loving house pets

Where I'm From

The origins of the Saint Bernard can be traced back as early as the 10th century to the mountains of Switzerland. Native to the European Alps, these massive dogs were able to withstand the unforgiving cold of the region.

Their name comes from the Hospice Saint Bernard where they were used as watchful guards. These powerful guys have also been used as rescue dogs, often saving the lives of lost or injured people in the snow.

Teams in countries around the world are still using Saint Bernards in search and rescue missions. They have also become a popular choice for families, in part thanks to the popular ‘Beethoven’ movies.

What I Look Like

The breed is characterised by their massive frames and imposing stature. These are gentle giants that are somewhat unaware of their own strength and you should always keep an eye on them around young children, as they can easily knock them over.

Bernards can either be short or long-haired. Dogs with short coats will have smooth hair, while the ones with longer fur will have waves that hang gracefully.

These majestic creatures come in many shades of red, and have iconic black marking around their eyes and noses. Bernards also have white-coloured sections in different part of their bodies, including their chest, collar and face.

How I Act

Some people might become frightened by their immense size, but in truth, Bernards are some of the kindest creatures you will ever encounter. These guys have good-natured and relaxed personalities, and are not known to be aggressive.

They are quiet companions who love their family and suffer from anxiety if they are left alone for long periods of time. Bernards are also great with children as they are patient and loving.

However, is you are constantly concerned about cleanliness a Saint Bernard might not be the right dog for you. These are messy creatures that slobber everywhere.

Looking After Me

Because their dense coats are made to protect them from extreme winters, Saint Bernards have a tendency to suffer from heat exhaustion. It is therefore important our pets have access to plenty of drinking water and shade.

Bernards require moderate amount of exercise, and are known to tire quickly during physical activity.

Training your Saint Bernard should be a relatively easy task. These calm dogs respond well to patience and praise, and it is important that you always treat them with kindness.

On a sad note, Bernards are prone to many health issues, including heart disease. Like other giant dogs, they tend to have short lifespans than other breeds.

Am I the pet for you?

Hip Surgery for rescued puppy

2 weeks ago whilst we were in Fiji we rescued an abandoned puppy that we estimate is about 3 months old. She was starving, filthy, covered in ticks and could barely stand or walk. We fed her, washed her, removed all ticks and just gave her love. We called her Pretzel as she was so skinny when we found her that all her bones were sticking out and her hip bones looked like a big twisted pretzel and her long skinny legs looked like Pretzel sticks. Our intention was to find her a home in Fiji but after a week or so she had gained weight, but we noticed that her left hip bone was still protruding and that when she walked we noticed that her left back foot turned out slightly. Also, when she ran she would use both back legs together and hop like a bunny. We took her to an animal shelter in Fiji called Animals Fiji and they examined her and advised that they thought it might be dislocated. They X-rayed her and then sedated her to try and manipulate the bone back into the socket. This was unsuccessful. The vet advised that it appeared that the end of the bone where the ball should be round was malformed either from a trauma/injury when young or by birth. He advised that he does not have the equipment in Fiji to treat her properly and that she would need surgery to correct the bone and to tighten the ligaments to her support her leg. We are exporting her to Australia on the 7th of March and are trying to raise some funds to assist us. We are hoping that you can assistance to find a Vet in Melbourne that could assist with the operation at a reasonable price.