Adopt a Saint Bernard in your area and save a life!

Adopt a homeless Saint Bernard – No Space Limitations!

Adopt a Saint Bernard Dog or PuppyDid you know the AKC classifies the Saint Bernard as an apartment dog?  As with all breeds, the young dog is a furry, fast-growing bundle of energy that needs your monitoring and supervision.  With a stable home environment, the mature Saint Bernard will spend most of the day sleeping.  Because of their size, their stamina is usually short bursts of energy.  A ten minute game of fetch is enough for most older saints.

This dog can be kept in any climate, as long as they are given shade and plenty of water.  Although snow and cold are usually preferred by this breed, hot summers can also be tolerated.  Individual preferences come into play in summer, when some love playing in the water or pool, while others prefer to sleep during the hotter periods.  Their thick, double layered coat insulates them against heat as well as cold.
Saint Bernards come in various sizes and colors, from brown or tan, mahogany and black with white markings.  Most people quickly recognize the large rough coat or furry saint with a black mask; however the original breed, which still is available, is a short hair, smooth coat variety.  Both have an undercoat to help retain body heat.  Most importantly, any length coat will shed so be prepared for puppy-size fur balls during their heavy shedding periods.
The longer hair or rough coat Saint originated when they crossed the Saint Bernard with a Newfoundland, therefore, the rough coat Saints tend to drool more than the smooth coat Saints that usually are more “dry mouth”, but this is only a generalization.  You can tell when observing the dog how tightly formed the jowls are.  This is the pocket at the sides of the mouth.  If it tends to hang or droop loosely showing the inside of the mouth, the dog is known as a “wet mouth” and the owner will usually carry a “drool rag” to clean the slobber or drool.
Health Issues 
Because of their size and large bone structure, the breed is subject to joint problems and dysplasia.  For this reason, exercise and glucosamine supplements are a must.  They are susceptible to eye disorders called entropion and ectropion, in which the eyelid turns in or out.  With entropion, surgical correction of the condition is necessary.  The breed is also susceptible to epilepsy, a heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy, and eczema.
Energy and Temperament
The motto of the typical Saint Bernard is, “Why stand if you can sit?  Why sit if you can lie down?  Why stay awake if you can sleep?”  Although they are a sedentary breed, saints can walk long distances when needed.  They can pull carts, carry packs and even manage pulling heavy-weighted carts with proper training.  The typical Saint Bernard will do anything to please his owner.  And will apologize in his own unique way if you become upset with him.
Saint Bernard dogs are classified as a working breed.  Most people imagine the Saint carrying his keg around his neck to stranded travelers.  Unfortunately, the myth of the keg began with an 1800’s cartoonist and has grown from there.  The real Saint carried a backpack filled with supplies and travelled in pairs to rescue those trapped in the snow.  Their sense of smell is highly developed and can locate people buried under several feet of snow.  Once located, the dog carrying the supplies shared his body heat and supplies with the stranded victim, while the other returned for aid.  With this temperament, the Saint Bernard is usually a mellow, family-oriented breed that bonds closely with his or her owners, following them around the house just to be at their side.  They have a strong emotional bond with people and do not do well left unattended with minimal human contact.  They should not be an outside “yard” dog, but brought into the home and included in family activities.
Because a Saint is a large, powerful breed, it is important that they be well socialized with humans and other dogs and taught that the human is the master.  It does not matter the age of the human, as in the case of a small child; the training must include all humans as the “alpha” or master in a Saint’s mind.  Otherwise, the dog will tend to “protect” any member of his family he finds weaker than himself and will come between you and your children at times when you need to discipline the children for misbehaving.
If you take the time to train a Saint Bernard, you will have a friend for life and a never-ending source of unconditional love.
Homeless Saint Bernards
Because people adopt the adorable butterball Saint Bernard puppy that they see and don’t take the time to research the breed, train them from an early age or imagine that cute puppy all grown up and well over 100 pounds, a lot of Saint Bernards end up in shelters and with rescue organizations.  Excuses including, “It got too big”, “We just can’t put up with the drooling”, “It sheds all over the house” and “It’s totally out of control” are common in those who didn’t think ahead, or do their homework and are now wanting to give up their Saints.  If you’re not sure if a Saint is the right dog for you, volunteer to foster a homeless Saint Bernard for your local Saint Bernard rescue organization.  It’s a great way to decide, saves a Saint from possibly being euthanized in a shelter, and introduces you to a group of people who can answer all your questions before you decide.
If you're looking to adopt a Saint Bernard in need in Southern California, start with the Sunny Saints rescue.  If you don't live in Southern California, use our search to find a Saint Bernard looking to be rescued in your area.  
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