About the Breed

Quinta da Inguia Velha



The St. Bernard was refined in Switzerland by the monks of the monastery of St. Bernard Menthon about 1000 years ago..

Is predecessor is the Tibetan Mastiff which was introduced to the Alps by the Romans about 2000 years ago..

Although it has a large size and intimidates intruders easily, this breed was used in search and rescue missions.
Although it is not very agile, its perseverance and resistance to cold make it an excellent tool for rescuing victims in the snow, a task in which it has been used since the 17th century.

Barry was perhaps the most famous Saint Bernard. He is said to have rescued between 40 and 100 people lost in the mountains.


“Barry - the legendary Saint Bernard", is a permanent exhibition at the Natural History Museum in Bern, open to the public from June 2014, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the famous dog's death.
Previously, the dissected animal was at the entrance of the museum.
The interactive and multimedia exhibit explains Barry's story, but also addresses the function of the Hospice of the Great Saint Bernard and the monks who lived there..

  • But the special aptitude of these dogs was to predict avalanches and storms that are extremely dangerous in this region. 
    It was in the 19th century that the rest of the world got to know this breed. The popularity of these dogs was immediate and the breed was recognised in 1898. 
    Today, the Saint Bernard is mainly regarded as a companion dog. Its popularity remains throughout the years and it is a very popular breed.

    The Saint Bernard is a large-sized dog with a massive and robust structure and a haughty and noble air. Females should measure between 65 and 80 cm and Males between 70 and 90 cm.
    The head is large and massive, the skull slightly domed and wrinkles quite evident. The nose is broad, square and of medium length and the stop is well marked and high. The upper lip is pendulous and covers the lower lip. The eyes are deep and brown in colour. The ears are of medium size, pendulous and covered with a soft coat.
    The neck is vigorous, has a dewlap and ends in a strong chest.
    The body is all muscular and elegant. The limbs are robust, the feet large and compact with strong toes, adapted to snow. The tail is covered with plenty of hair and kept low. Despite its handsome appearance, the Saint Bernard has a harmonious movement with a good stride.

    There are two varieties with regard to coat length: long and short. 
    The short-haired Saint Bernard has a short, smooth coat that is a little denser on the tail.
    The long-haired variety is the most appreciated. The colour of the coat is the same in both variants: white with reddish spots or reddish with white spots, the red can take on different shades.
    The Saint Bernard has both size and a good heart. It is loyal to its owner, loves children and is always ready to help. 

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