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St. Bernard

Written By macky on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 | 10:00 PM


Unlike Bambi, Beethoven didn’t exactly become a household name for St. Bernards, but the 1992 Beethoven starring Charles Grodin and Bonnie Hunt drew attention to the St. Bernard dog breed.

As shown in the film, St. Bernards are big dogs, once kept for their “working dog” capabilities given their size, stamina and overall bulk. Originally, St. Bernards were bred as rescue dogs, hailing from the Swiss and Italian Alps.
St. Bernard
Also known as Alpine Mastiff, the St. Bernard’s generally thick and dense fur makes cold weather a breeze for them. This made them perfect for running to rescues in cold climes, in an effort to bring first aid kits or finding trapped mountaineers. Back then, St Bernards were fitted with “brandy collars”, which was meant to keep those in need of rescuing warm while help was on its way.

The St. Bernard got its name from the Great St Bernard Hospice, where travelers on the St Bernard Pass in the Western Alps sought for shelter. Needless to say, there were a lot of St Bernard rescue dogs there, who were then called different names like Barry Dogs or Saint Dogs.

The average adult St Bernard weighs somewhere between 60 to 120 kilograms, or 140 to 264 pounds, which says a lot about how big St Bernards are. As pets they are quite the munchers, a St Bernard trait which the movie Beethoven captured very well.

As pets, St Bernards are not really all that different from other dog breeds, minus perhaps some problems pertaining to their size and bulk. Tales of tables breaking down, or small home fixtures becoming the chew toys of St Bernards are known, but other than their capacity to magnify most annoying doggy traits, they are quite docile, loyal and lovable dogs to have.

The movie also did well in capturing this St Bernard fact.
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