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Do you want a dog like
There's no denying that he's cute, but is he the
right dog for your family? Read this first!
What type of Dog is Beethoven?
Beethoven is played by Kris, a St.
What was this breed bred for?
According to the St.
Bernard Club of America (SBCA), the breed was developed at a
in the only pass through the
Alps between Italy and Switzerland, now known as the St. Bernard
Pass. The SBCA reports that the area, "As it was snow free only
a few months during the warmest part of the summer, it was very
dangerous for foot travelers journeying to or past the hospice.
Being caught on foot in that difficult terrain during unexpected
inclement weather was often fatal"
reports that for the first 700 years of the breeds existence,
there were no written records kept. However, around the year
1700 the St. Bernard began its unique lifesaving work that is
often caricatured in cartoons and other media. The SBCA
describes their work in the St. Bernard pass: "The dogs seemed
to have had an uncanny sense to detect impending avalanches,
consequently the monks wanted the dogs to accompany them while
they traversed those perilous footpaths. Somehow the dogs
learned rescue techniques from the monks. Eventually male dogs
were sent in unaccompanied packs of two or three to seek lost or
injured pilgrims. Often the dogs had to find people buried in
the snow, dig through the overlaying snow, rouse the traveler
and lie atop the wayfarer to provide warmth if the traveler was
unable to move. Meanwhile, the other dog would return to the
hospice to alert the monks that they needed to rescue a trapped
pilgrim. Travelers who could still walk would be led back to the
hospice by the dogs. The instinct to dig to people buried
beneath snow and to rouse those lying in snow is still evident
in the breed today."
What is their energy level?
What type of grooming will they
As they were bred to tolerate cold
climates they have lots of hair! The St. Bernard comes in both
short an longhaired varieties. Both shed quite a bit. Daily
brushing will help.
What other traits do
They drool! Although there are many
unscrupulous breeders claiming to have "dry mouth" this is
simply not true. Also beware the breeder that says their St.
Bernard's are "hypoallergenic" or "non-shedding".
St. Bernard is known to be loyal and laid back. Despite the
reputation gained after the release of Cujo (1983) the St.
Bernard is known to be gentle when treated well and trained
do end up in rescue because they are too large. Meet the breed
before taking one home, so you are fully aware of his size,
which can range from 120 - 180 pounds. Average pet energy
appears more destructive because of their large size.
The very fast
growth rate and the weight of a St. Bernard can lead to very
serious deterioration of the bones if the dog does not get
proper food and exercise. Many dogs are affected by
Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) has
been shown to be
hereditary in the breed.
Some background about Kris (the
St. Bernard who played Beethoven):
Not much info could be found on Kris
(also referred to as "Chris" on some websites).
Kris was trained by
Karl Lewis Miller, trainer of the animals in Babe. Kris
also appeared in the TV show Step by Step.
For more info visit:
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