Educating the public on the Saint Bernard is a very important function for any American Kennel Club (AKC) parent club. Public education begins with understanding the history of the breed along with information on temperament, health and wellness.
In the 17th century, the monks of the hospice of St. Bernard in Switzerland began to keep large, alpine dogs to serve as guardians, draft animals and companions to the monks during their winter periods of snowbound isolation. It seems the unique lifesaving work of the dogs began about the year 1700. It appears that the dogs initially accompanied the monks on mountain patrols after bad snowstorms seeking unwary missing or trapped travelers. The dogs seem to have an uncanny sense to detect impeding avalanches, consequently the monks wanted the dogs to accompany them while they traversed those perilous footpaths. The dogs learned rescue techniques from the monks.
The Saint Bernard is a gentle giant who is calm, patient, loyal, affectionate and sweet with adults and children. The Saint Bernard was bred to be a working companion to its master. Owning a Saint Bernard carries a great deal of responsibility and commitment due to their large size and strength. Anyone interested in adding a Saint Bernard to their family needs to know as much as possible about the breed so you can make an informed decision prior to the purchase.