Author Topic: Saint Bernard Info Please  (Read 5133 times)

Offline melissajean

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Saint Bernard Info Please
« on: September 03, 2007, 08:18:17 pm »
Hi,
My name is Melissa. Im interested in perhaps adding a Saint Bernard to my family. I have a few other breeds Im looking into also. But I do have some questions about Saint Bernards I was wondering if you Saint Bernard owners could answer for me?
1~How are they with children? I have a 4 year old son. I will never leave them unsupervised,andnever let Shane (My son) tease the dog in any way, but I would like a dog that will get along with him and play with him.
2~How are they with other critters?
3~How much exersize a day do they need as adults?
4~What aresome health problems Saints can have? How do you prevent them,and/or how they are treated
5~What are some pros and cons?
6~What sort of grooming do they need and how often?

Feel free to add anything else you think I should know that I didnt add. Feel free to brag or vent lol
Thank you :)
~Melissa~

bigdogs@5501

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Re: Saint Bernard Info Please
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2007, 10:50:02 pm »
Me again, the Big Paw equal opportunity person. I did foster a Saint Bernard recently. They are sweet dogs. Great with kids. Easy going and laid back. Didnt require a lot of exercise. Big con was the drool. I am still cleaning the drool off of the walls and actually just repainted one entire wall. 
I am really interested to see which Big Paw you decide on, as I am saying this I have a Great Dane, a Pyr puppy and the Newfie mix all in the office trying to get a kiss from me. All of the dogs that you have inquired about are great wonderful dogs. Good luck in your search.

Offline happiday

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Re: Saint Bernard Info Please (long)
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2007, 10:57:13 pm »
Hi, Melissa, and welcome to BigPawsOnly! 
I am Salli, happily owned by Annie, my 7yo Saint girl, rescued in March '07.  I previously had a Saint female when I was a teen.  I am thoroughly smitten with my Annie-girl!
I'll try to answer your questions in the order you asked them:
1- My children are older, 16, 18 & 21.  Annie hasn't been around small children much. I have a neighbor who has a 3yo daughter, but the little girl doesn't like big dogs.  Not much experience there, but I can tell you Annie LOVES everyone that comes to our home!  She thinks you have come just to see her and rub her tummy.  Even the meter readers.  Not much of a watch dog!  Annie is older, and had a rough life before she came to us, but she still likes to 'play':  she will peek-a-boo chase around the tree, 'run' (more like lope) to you and rub-lean against your legs.  She's a low-energy gal.
2- Critters:  Annie could care less about our two older cats.  Sniff-sniff, hmmmph.  But, when the kitten joined our house, she actually got up from her nap to investigate, and followed the kitten around.  This was high-interest for her.  She's never shown any aggression towards the smaller animals.  We have an alpha-female Golden Retriever-mix, Grace, and Annie gets along fine.  Grace will allow Annie to check out her food dish after she eats.
3- Exercise?  What's that?  Napping is what Annie does best, but she is a senior-Saint.  I can't say what a younger adult needs, but a gentle stroll around the neighborhood (if it's not too hot out), and romps in the yard are all Annie requires. 
4-Health:  Annie had some serious health concerns that were addressed by the shelter where we adopted her.  Those were related to her being neglected by her previous owners.  We were cautioned about bloat, and advised to make sure she rests for 20-30 min. after eating.  However, I did read in her medical records that she had the surgery to pin her stomach to reduce the chances of it twisting and causing bloat.  She still gets a nap after eating.  Also, Saints can be prone to hip dysplasia, so you will want to have x-rays to check for that.  There are good supplements that can ease the pain of joint problems for dogs.  Not a cure, but palliative care.
5-Pros:  Annie makes me laugh every day!  She is a funny girl.  I love all her quirks and antics.  A word here about DROOL:  if you or your husband don't like to wipe up slobbers, then a Saint is not for you.  Annie is actually quite 'clean' compared to other Saints I've met.  She slobbers while eating and drinking (a lot!) and I usually wipe her jowls afterward.  The rest of the time she is dry.  She doesn't drool constantly (like in the 'Beethoven' movies.)  She like to eats ice cubes and leaves a drooly mess when she's done.  Every now and again she will slime my pant leg.  It's no big deal to me.  She also doesn't really care what's under her feet, so if it happens to be your foot, oh, well!
Cons:  the Saint I had as a teen was very protective of my younger brother and I, and didn't allow people coming on our property.  "Invaders" were NOT allowed without my parents telling her it was ok for them to be there.   
But, she was also a very loving girl, and I would spend hours with her, rolling around on the grass.
Annie is just the opposite:  She welcomes visitors.
6-Grooming:  Be prepared for HAIR and lots of it!  We live near the desert, it is very hot in the Summer.  Our dogs stay indoors with me, and when it's hot they only go out for 'potty'.  Saints have a double coat, soft, downy underneath a more wiry outer coat.  When it's time to shed, WE SHED!  Sort of reminds me of a buffalo, with clumps of hair coming off.  Brush, brush, BRUSH! and your baby will feel much better.  Also, the carpet can be covered in hair in a day if not brushed often.  (again, not a problem for me, unless she needs another 4-hour grooming session)  A good undercoat rake is great for this.  Annie enjoys being brushed; she thinks I'm just petting her for a long time.

As I said at the top, I am completely smitten with my Annie!   
She is my joy!  I am so happy we found each other, and that she can live out her golden 'retirement' years with me.
I'd like to have a Saint puppy, but my husband is not so fond of the breed.  He prefers Siberian Huskies.  We have shared our lives with a few of that breed, also.  :-)
Best of luck in your search for the best match for your family.  You didn't say:  Do you have other dogs?  If so, please post pictures!  We love pics here on BPO!  The more, the merrier!
Salli, Annie's mama!

Offline PennyK

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Re: Saint Bernard Info Please
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2007, 11:50:52 pm »
1~How are they with children? Teddy is now 20 months and is getting better with my 6 yr old.  For a while, Ted would stand over my son and try to dominate him but that changed when I asked my son to feed him and not to make himself "small" (don't play on the floor with the dog).  Dont have any of those issues now (I'm sure not all of it was Teddy's fault - LOL) .  No probs with my 8 yr old daughter.
2~How are they with other critters? We had a cat and they tolerated each other.  LOVES to meet other dogs!!
3~How much exersize a day do they need as adults?  We try to walk him every day but sometimes just end up with a 15 minute romp in the yard.  Not ideal, but seems to work for us.
4~What aresome health problems Saints can have? How do you prevent them,and/or how they are treated  You will have to look this one up - so far so good with Teddy.  I was really taking my chances with him because he's from a BYB with no papers or health records, etc.
5~What are some pros and cons?  Pros: Teddy is a real people dog, unless he's tied up - then he's on watch mode.  Not something I trained him for, he's just protective of the house when he's tied.  Has never acted protective while I have him on lead - is always freindly.  He barks minimally - just when a car pulls in or sometimes I get a silly bark when he wants to play.  Cons: Drool!!  Mostly just when eating/drinking but it gets everywhere!!!
6~What sort of grooming do they need and how often?  teddy is a smooth coat - similar coat to a lab.  Brush him once a week and he's great.  He does shed terribly in spring and fall - so much it looks like he has puppies in all the corners!  Blech!

We have passed 2 obedience levels - top of our class!!

I love him and can't imagine a better dog for us!
Every girl needs a Teddy bear!

Offline melissajean

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Re: Saint Bernard Info Please
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2007, 03:22:56 am »
Thanks guys :)
No other dogs in the family, but we do have other critters, such as the ferret, the Budgie (parakeet), and the 8 rattie girls. And does my son count as a critter? lol
Drool and hair every where dosent bother me. After being so long with out a dog (all most 4 years) I would gladly put up with it lol
Im not married, so I dont have to deal with any hubby not likeing my choice of dog breed lol. My bf is a dog lover too, but we dont live together, and probably wont for a while.
Thanks again for the advice. And when I get my dog, I will defently post tons of pics. Im a photo freak lol I love takeing pics
Thanks again :)
~Melissa~