26-36" (65-90 cm) 120-200 lb (55-91 kg) Shorthaired: coarse, smooth, dense close-lying outercoat; profuse undercoat. Longhaired: medium-length, plain to slightly wavy outercoat; profuse undercoat. Neck ruff. Red and white in various shades of red and varying amounts of each colour, brindle and white. White markings.
CAN CH Nerthus Feliz Navidaz “Rudi” Bred by Barbara and Casey Koeppe
The Hospice du Grand St. Bernard of Switzerland is home to the St. Bernard dog. Named for Bernard of Menthon, an Augustine Monk who established the monastery some 1,000 years ago as a rest point for travelers, the St. Bernard started out as a draft and guard dog in the 1600s. These large dogs were exceptional rescuers, scenting trapped travelers under several feet of snow. A combination of inbreeding, loss and disease led to the near extinction of the breed by 1830. In an effort to save it, the monks brought in other breeds like the Newfoundland, resulting in a larger and longer-coated variety of St. Bernard. Because dogs with long coats became weighted down with snow, the monks gave away their longer-haired puppies. The first breeding of St. Bernards outside the monastery began in 1855 in Switzerland, and produced both long and short-haired puppies. Today, there are three breed standards: a modified version of the 1884 standard used in the United States, the English standard, and a much revised Swiss standard developed in 1993.
Big, friendly and patient with children, the St. Bernard is truly a people dog. Though he can be aloof with strangers, particularly if not socialized, he generally loves everyone equally. As with all big dogs, early training is important when he is young as he grows quickly.