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  1. #1
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Default Saint Bernard [dog breed]

    I like Saint Bernards. I've never spent any amount of time around them, but I've caught a few in passing and then there's the classic/awesome film 'Beethoven' . They seem like friendly, loyal dogs with personality. I read a little on their history, and how they were once bred to be used as rescue dogs in the Swiss Alps. In fact, my avatar shows a couple of St. Bens with little canisters of whiskey tied around their neck to be given to people that were freezing and in distress. Pretty cool story.

    I know I could "google" and I intend to, however my slow internet makes it kind of tough for me to browse around. Does anyone here have one, or friends/family members that do? What has your experience been with them? Are there any pitfalls with the breed? I want a dog sometime in the future and I just like to play around with ideas regarding different breeds.

  2. #2
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    I was at the shelter last week picking up a new dog (puggle) and saw a st. bernard there. He was very sweet. And HUGE. He took up the entire visiting room for dogs and potential owners. Much bigger in real life than I would have thought, even watching Beethoven didn't prepare me just how massive they are. I imagine hair loss could be a problem if an owner wasn't too keen on cleaning daily. This dog also had leg wraps on and one of the volunteers said st. bernards often have bone issues. Not sure how bad it can be though.

    Oh and he drooled buckets.

  3. #3
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    droooooooool

    couch-breaking big!

    Hair everywhere!!!

    Gigantic size also means you need to really educate him well, otherwise he'll walk off with you. I once had a saint bernard refusing to walk into the vet's office when i worked there and going 'bear-rug' on my waiting room floor on me. We ended up pulling out a cart and lifting him on it with four people to get him in the frigging office!
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  4. #4
    triple nerd score poppy's Avatar
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    My mother claims to have lived in a household with more than one Saint Bernard, and disregarding the fact that she is clearly insane, I guess they must be fairly agreeable.
    "There's no need to be embarrassed about it, Mr. Spock. It happens to the birds and the bees!"

  5. #5
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    My cousin had one.

    If you get a puppy, there is a long period (like 6 months to a year) of time in which they can't do any vigourous activity because their bones break easy (something to do with fast growth). I think when they had to take it anywhere, my cousin's husband had to lift it into the car - they're that fragile, despite being huge and heavy. Its is quite a major concern - they can end up crippled if you stuff up. Other than that: they drool a lot, they leave their hair everywhere, they eat a truckload of food everyday, they're difficult to physically control (due to their enormous size) and you need lots of space to keep them in. They're quite a hassle so you have to be committed to get one. However they are adorable, loyal, gentle and relatively well behaved.

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    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. From what it sounds like, it might not be practical for me to have a big dog like that. Not in the near future at least. I'll probably be an apartment guy for some time... Disappointing.

  7. #7
    Perfect Gentleman! =D d@v3's Avatar
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    Saints are awesome! My father had 8 of them all at once! It was insane!
    Freedom Isn't Free. [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    We're toying with the idea of a Newfoundland. We live on a lake so that's a plus. We get a lot of snow. Another plus. But the slobber (not as bad as a St. Bernard but bad enough) and the hair everywhere. Short life spans like all giant breeds. I don't know. They are so fucking cute though.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Gewitter27's Avatar
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    Saint bernards are loving, lovable, gentle giants. They are excellent family dogs. The problem is that they are very prone to health problems and have a short lifespan.
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  10. #10
    (blankpages) Xenon's Avatar
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    ^ Yes, the health problems and shorter life span are a disadvantage of very large breeds. And the need for lots of space. They'd also be more expensive, with the amount of food they'd need and the cost of veterinary care. I like huge, sweet dogs but I don't think I'll ever own one for these reasons.

    This page has a pretty comprehensive discussion of the disadvantages of the breed. I haven't actually owned one though, so maybe some posters who have can tell you if their experiences differ from this article.

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