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Old 08-13-2007, 09:00 AM
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Tell me a bit about this breed----my husband said he has always wanted one (I'm not sure if he REALLY means it...but...) anyway. How difficult are they to train? Can they be left alone during the day? How much exercise do they require?
I'm aware of the drool factor, and shedding issues. Oh--and how much do they generally eat? LOL--I am not put off by their size, but want to be sure we could accomodate all that a St. needs. Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-13-2007, 04:49 PM
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I am biased, but I think that they are one of the best breeds!! But, and a big but they are not for everybody. The first and foremost reasons that Saints end up in rescues and shelters is because people did not realize that they would get so big. You say now that you are not put off by their size, but have you spent any time with the breed? They require a bigger everything! A male can often reach 200lbs, but normally around 175lbs. They may not be as tall as a Dane but they are only shorter by a couple of inches but twice as wide! The first thing people say when they meet our boy is that they had no idea that Saints got so big. When they walk into a room they will block the TV!! They don't just share the couch with you, they take up the majority of it- that's why our boy has his own!! They do not fit in the back seat of a car if you have other dogs, and you do! We had to get an SUV for them and a ramp to get him in and out because a jump that high is too hard on their joints.

You say that you are aware of the drool factor but I can't stress enough to a new potential Saint owner the amount of drool. Have you seen the movie Turner and Hooch? Because a Saint does drool like that!! We wipe drool off of our ceilings, walls, windows, couch, you name it. Sometimes we can be sitting down to eat and he can be 10 feet away and shake his head and you guessed it! Drool will land in our plate, however we are seasoned Saint owners and lovers and pick out the drool coated food and continue on our meal! Yes, they shed but I haven't found this to be one of their biggest down falls.

They are generally pretty easy to train, they are a working breed and true to this they want to please their owners. Puppies should begin training immediatley because they become big quickly and a jumping and mouthing 6 month old is the size of many large breeds.

I can't stress enough that this breed really needs to be part of the family. They can be left alone during the day, as long as they are included in the family when everyone is home. For this reason they are great dogs to have with other dogs. A bored and lonely SAint will become destructive and they are as destructive as they are big---LOTS OF DAMAGE!! They make miserable outdoor dogs for this reason.

They do not require alot of exercise. A good walk a day does the trick. We joke that if they could do as they like the only excercise they would get would be climbing on and off of the couch! Of course as puppies they need an outlet to burn off energy, but no more than any other pup. A puppy especailly needs to be monitored when growing because too much stress on the joints can cause alot of damage.

A huge myth about the Saint Bernard breed is that they will eat you out of house and home, but this couldn't be further from the truth! A Saint fed a premium diet will not eat any more than other large breeds (large not giant!). Our boy eats 3 1/2 cups of Go food. In reference to how much this is our husky/shep eats 2 cups a day.

One difference that you would notice is price difference when going to the vet. They are insanely expensive to treat for any medical condition!! Everything at the vet office is based on the size of the dog and this is costly!! A simple infection from a splinter in his paw ran us nearly $500!!! And you have to remeber that this is a breed that has noted health problems. Bad joints plague this breed, as well as heart, eye, and a few other serious problems. My number one fear is BLOAT!!

Like all other breeds for their own reasons make sure that a responsible breeder is found. NOt only should you be concerned about health testing but temperments also. A SAint is an awfully big dog to have temperment problems, and is not uncommon when dealing with millers and BYB's.

Now that all of the bad parts have been discussed I can tell you why they are an amazing breed! They are so loyal and loving. Wonderful with children and usually great with all other animals. Their size alone is enough to keep the bad guys away! They are clowns who love to be part of the gang! Imagine a big old Saint thinking that they can easily fit into your lap, because they think that they can! They are a calm easy going dog that can adapt well to different situations. They do require leadership, but as long as this is provided to them they will work as hard as they can to be the best as they can for you. A saint will give you all of the love and companionship you provide for it 110% in return! Then there is just a certain something that can't be explained, they are wonderful!
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Old 08-13-2007, 05:43 PM
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What a nice write up of a breed you obviously love.
When I was a tiny girl friends of our family had a Saint named (Yeah I know) Brandy. I LOVED that dog. Though I don't remember the episode mom said that the friends went camping then we went camping and so I didn't see Brandy for about a month. She said I went straight out back looking for Brandy and when this BIG puppy came romping around the corner my eyes got as big as saucers. Of course Brandy was as sweet as ever to me and though surprised there was no fear and Brandy and I continued our fun filled friendship until we moved when I was 8.
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Old 08-13-2007, 05:51 PM
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thanks for the info--yes, I have been around a few saints--one very large fella that we took care of for a few days--and yes, he took up half the house! He was a very large and tall boy--so I feel ok saying the size doesn't bother me. And drool--well, I have my own stories about dealing with drool--dog, and human lol! Mostly in your description, I think the health issues are my biggest concern. Will have to think about that a bit more. Thanks for your response!
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Old 08-15-2007, 08:04 AM
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saintgirl thanks, i read all that and it was really interesting. I don't think I'l ever own a saint. Sophie has taught me that big dogs are very awkward, she often has to back out of doorways or hallways because she can't turn around in such a "small" space.

Alwasy good to know a bit more though.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:45 PM
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No problem guys! Talking about Saints is my favorite thing to do!!

Quote:
Sophie has taught me that big dogs are very awkward, she often has to back out of doorways or hallways because she can't turn around in such a "small" space.
Lol!! Sometimes Hutch has to do that!

Baxter- Health problems are a going concern with Saints. However a responsible breeder will really curb alot of the problems, it's just when health problems do arise that it gets so expensive. But I wouldn't trade it for the world, every cent I have spent on my boy and others in rescue that I have come across has been returned to me in love a thousand times over!!
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Old 08-15-2007, 01:03 PM
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Aren't there some saints though that have a drier mouth than others, and also a short coat? I know some bernese mountain dogs drool and some have a dry mouth. Holly's mouth is inbetween she doesn't drool but it's not exactly dry.
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Old 08-15-2007, 01:21 PM
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Saints do come in smooth and rough coats. My Saint is a smooth coat. Sure, some Saints have drier mouths than others, but ALL SAINTS DROOL!A Bernese mountain dog is much tighter lipped than a Saint, a Saint by standard should have over hanging flews and the bottom flews should not be overly pendant, but not tight. These flews are a recipe for drool! It is just one of those things that those interested in adding a Saint into their home that drool comes along with the dog!
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Old 08-15-2007, 01:27 PM
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Just look at these flews as he has his head on the ground! He isn't drooling here, but you can see how the drool would just leak on out!


He's just being a clown outside, look at the drool!
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  #10  
Old 08-15-2007, 02:11 PM
cagi cagi is offline
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Two beautiful Saint Bernards:



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