Beethoven’s at it Again

Allison S.

Staff Writer

Commonly referred to as the “Beethoven” dog, the Saint Bernard is a giant and fluffy dog that might scare away cat lovers by its huge appearance. Although they are big, their hearts are even bigger. Saint Bernards are not only cute, but they are also useful.

Saint Bernards are named after St. Bernard de Menthon who lived in 980 AD in the Western Alps. These dogs are most likely a combination of the Tibetan Mastiff, the Great Dane, the Great Swiss Mountain Dog, and the Great Pyrenees. Just by reading the names of the other dogs, one can tell a Saint Bernard is bound to be ginormous. Saint Bernards were first used as avalanche rescue dogs in the seventeenth century, as their keen sense of smell could detect trapped humans in several feet of snow. When the dogs found victims in the snow, they used their warm body temperatures and mouth to keep the victims warm until further help came. Not only can Saint Bernards save lives, but they can also predictsaint b2 weather patterns like snow and avalanches. This is because Saint Bernards can hear lower frequencies than humans can. Saint Bernards are now used for not only search and rescue, but also as guard dogs. That being said, Saint Bernards are classified as working dogs.

Although the first Saint Bernards tended to have short hair due to the frequent growth of icicles on their fur, their coat has evolved over time to a thick and messy mass of hair. There are two types of coats a Saint Bernard can have, either rough or smooth. Although the thickness and texture of the hair varies, Saint Bernards have white fur with tan, red, mahogany, brindle, or black markings. Saint Bernards can also have a multicolor coat with markings in any combination of these colors. Senior Chase Williams explains, “My best friend has a Saint Bernard with multiple colors of markings, and he says he gets many compliments on his dog.” Although the multicolor dogs are considered very beautiful, all Saint Bernards are a sight to be seen.

A Saint Bernard’s color is not the only quality that sets it apart from other dogs. Saint Bernards are very strong and muscular. They are classified as very tall dogs and are often awarded in dog shows for their height as long as their body weight is maintained. Saint Bernards have a giant head with a muzzle that is short and wide with big nostrils. Their lips are black in color, and their eyes are also dark. Saint Bernards have droopy ears that are long and thick. Senior Steven Plotner comments, “The ears are my favorite part of a dog, especially Saint Bernard ears because they are big and floppy.” Saint Bernards not only have big ears, but also large feet and a long and fluffy tail that hangs low.

Although Saint Bernards are extremely large dogs, they are gentle giants. Saint Bernards tend to be very friendly with kids of all ages and adults. They are often portrayed as lazy and slow-moving dogs, but they are also very obedient and loyal. The Saint Bernard is a very intelligent breed and therefore is easily trained, although training should start at a young age since the dog will grow to be too big to handle. It is important to teach Saint Bernards not to jump on people or bark when it is not necessary because they can scare away people very easily. As of every breed, Saint Bernards need plenty of exercise to remain healthy. Saint Bernards are approximately 110-200 pounds, and they do not need to be any heavier!

Since Saint Bernards are so large, they are prone to more disease then most breeds. Saint Bernards can have heart problems and hip dysplasia due to their size. This is just another reason to keep the dog healthy. Saint Bernards also have very sensitive stomachs. It is best to feed Saint Bernards two to three small meals a day instead of one large meal because they tend to get bloated. Saint Bernards can also experience twisted stomachs, which can potentially kill the dog. As long as the dog is kept on a good eating plan and gets enough exercise though, there is no need to worry.

Since Saint Bernards need exercise, it is good for them to live in a house with a yard; however, a small yard will do just fine. With this being said, Saint Bernards can also live in apartments as long as there is somewhere for them to play and exercise outside. Saint Bernards tend to like to remain indoors laying around and being dressed up by a four year old rather than taking a long jog through a neighborhood, so they can adapt anywhere their family moves. Although Saint Bernards prefer to live in a warm climate due to their wheezing and snoring, their coats can also keep them warm in cold areas.

Saint Bernards are one of the best dog breeds to have because of their cuddly fur and friendly attitude. They are all around awesome pets, although they might scare off a few neighbors.

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