sky asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

Are St. Bernard Dogs Really Very Gentle?

Are St. Bernard dogs really the gentle giants that they are portrayed as, or do they have a mean streak in them. Thank you.

13 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Saint Bernards, also known as Alpine Mastiffs:

    They are extremely gentle and friendly and very tolerant of children. The Saint Bernard is slow moving, patient, and obedient. Extremely loyal, this breed wants to please.

    For more information on this breed:

  • Slava
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    While I was growing up, we had, I think, a total of 4 or 6 St Bernards. They are pretty high maintenance dogs. Need at least weekly brushing, even with a short coat. They need a lot of exercise....and then there's the slobber. You will have to come to terms with the fact that you will get slimed. Everyday. At least once....and usually when you're leaving to go to work! ;) Some people have their jowels shortened to stop the slobbering, but it does nothing, and is just cruel!! They are fantastic, gentle, smart dogs. Cleo, who we got when I was 4 years old, was always my "babysitter." We would play in the yard for hours. If a stranger came into the yard, Cleo would knock me over, and stand over me until the stranger left, or my parent's came outside. Very protective. The larger the dog, the shorter the life span, also. I believe the average life expectancy is 8 years. Purebred Saints can have some huge health issues though. 3 of our Saints have gotten arthritis in their hips, and cataracts. However, they were all older than 8 when the arthritis started. Our current Saint is 11, and we've had one for 16 years. Our average is 13-14 years. Two of our puppies (we never breed, bought some females from a breeder, adopted others) were closely inbred ( I believe mother/son mix) and one of our pups had a defect that she could lock her jaw like a pitbull. Unfortunately, we were forced to put her down because of this. The same two puppies had their eyelids herniate (their already droopy eyes drooped so much they couldn't see!!), so we had to get them surgery for that when they were around 1 year old. All in all, they are fantastic dogs. They are definitely my favorite breed, and I'd have at least 2 of them if I had the space, time and energy. If you decide to get one, good luck! Buy a lot of lint removers, and keep wetnaps in your car for slobber streaks on your clothes!!! :D

  • 1 decade ago

    I've had several St.'s through my life, and all the above is true, yes they drool, some worse than others, yes they require lots of attention, also if you live in an area that has very hot summers, St's arent very happy in extreme heat, on the flip side they LOVE the cold and snow, they are very loyal and can be very protective, I agree with whom ever said that NO dog has a mean streak, not even pits, dogs arent born mean they are raised that way.. as far as the being high maintence, if the daily grooming isnt something you are into get a smooth,short coat, St's come in different coat lengths and textures.. they are very good with children if they are around them from the time they are young, I had 1 who "acted" like she would attack anyone that approached our fence that was wearing a hat, needless to say due to her size no one tested her:) St's are also prone to hip displaisia, and eye problems, as well as bloat,, but every breed has their drawbacks..

  • 1 decade ago

    I will give you info from experiance and not copied and pasted about the dog.

    Mine is a year old, he suffered parvo at 5 months old because he was rescued from a bad breeder and had parvo and admitted into the vet the same day as his rescue.

    ANYWAY........... HE is not very high maintenance........ No more than any other dog, mine is a rough coat saint bernard and yes he needs grooming as any long haired dog. He does not eat as much as people would tell you he would, in fact i have a blk lab that eats way more than he does.

    He is a gentle giant, he has no mean bone in his body, he is very loyal, but they are very stubborn. Very smart dogs, but hard headed. Loves attention and requires alot of interaction with people, they love people, mine will crotch everyone that comes over, if your company does not like big dogs keep the dog away as they love to walk up to strangers and greet them with their big nose between their legs.

    Very prone to bloat (which kills) but any deep chested dog is... Feed twice daily and keep the hard playing to a minimum after eating and do not let them gulp water after they eat and this helps to prevent the problem.

    I love my rescue saint and would love to have more of these gentle giants.................

    Source(s): have rescued pets for 30 years
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  • 1 decade ago

    My Saint was raised with five kids from the ages of 6 months to 8 years, yes they are extremely gentle and understanding of kids. I have two very tiny kittens, and he is so careful not to scare or step on them, he only gets rough when my hubby wrestles with him, and still its just all in good fun. Mine likes to snuggle in bed with me in the morning and will often fall asleep snoring with his head on my pillow. I would trust him with my life, and the life of any kids or pets I may have... he once saved my parakeets after a kitten knocked over their cage and opened it, he shooed them away, but stood over the cage and barked until we came. Saints are the best :-)

    If you are thinking of getting one, you have to think of training, being such large dogs they need puppy obdience classes, and continued education. Also, make sure you are alright with tons of DROOL! A Saint can shake his head and send drool flying... up to 20 feet! I've had mine shake drool onto the ceiling, which, a few seconds later, dripped onto my plate.

    No breed of dog (not even pitbulls) has a "mean streak" individual dogs might, as each dog has its own personality, but having a "mean streak" isn't something that runs in a dog breed.

  • 1 decade ago

    They are the best dog ever!!! My kids have used my St. as a pillow since they were babies (the kids and dog). My (100 pound) baby also gave my kids rides on her back when they were small!! Now that my St. is 12 years old, she just keeps getting gentler and HATES the snow. You will never run across a mean one.

  • Wicked
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    They are very nice dogs, gentle, nice temperment and very slow. They get real hot in the summer and need to have water available. They get Very Big.

  • 1 decade ago

    For the most part, yes. They're are one of the "gentle giants". Great dogs, but high maintenance. Do your research before you buy.

  • 1 decade ago

    I've known a few, and they were all very very gentle and sweet. I dont think ive ever heard of an aggressive one, but of course any dog can become agressive given the wrong treatment...

    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    They ARE Gentle Giants!! I own 3 and they love my 4 young girls!! Wouldn't get rid of them for anything. They won't let my kids out of there sight!!

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