The Saint Bernard, also known as the Alpine Mastiff, the Alpine Dog, the Alpendog, the Alpine Spaniel, the Barry Dog, the Good Samaritan Dog, the Holy Dog, the Monastery Dog, the Mountain Dog, the Mount St. Bernard Dog, the Talhund, the Bauernhund, the St. Bernhardshund, the Hospice Dog, the Saint and the St. Bernard, is famous not only for its enormous size but also for the thousands of human lives the breed has saved in the Swiss alps through its instinctive rescue abilities. This giant breed requires a firm hand when out for walks but tends to be a gentle and unexcitable animal. It is the National Dog of Switzerland and holds the record for being the heaviest dog in the world, with the record held by an American dog weighing 295 pounds. The Saint Bernard was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885 as a member of the Working Group.
The mature male Saint Bernard should be at least 27½ inches at the withers, and females should stand at least 25½ inches in height. Saint Bernards typically weigh between 110 and 200 pounds. Their coats, which come in short-haired and long-haired varieties, both require brushing to control shedding. Their eyes should be frequently cleaned and checked for any signs of irritation or infection. There is no “dry mouthed” Saint Bernard, so prospective owners should be prepared for the drooling that accompanies this breed.