If a Saint Bernard breeder tells you her puppies are dry mouths, go ahead and laugh. These lovable giants leave chew juice everywhere they go. They don’t understand the difference between your favorite dress and your old jeans. You can’t completely stop the drool, but you can minimize it.
The “I Love Food” Drool
Think of the way your mouth waters in anticipation of a delicious steak or spoonful of chocolate mousse. The same thing happens to your Saint, albeit on a grander scale, when he watches you eat or he senses that it’s almost his dinnertime. Ban your big Bernard from the dining room during meals, and don’t prepare his food while he’s watching you. Instead, fill his food bowl while he’s outside and then let him in to eat.
Meeting Your Friends
If it seems like your gentle giant drools more when you introduce him to your buddies, you’re probably right. He’s not trying to embarrass you, but when he gets excited -- and the prospect of making a new friend is very exciting -- he salivates. Teach your Saint not to nuzzle or mouth people, using the “off” command. Bring him in for a short intro and then have him lie on a rug across the room. He’s still going to drool, but as his excitement level wanes, the saliva will lesson. By having him lie down, he’s less likely to shake his head, an action that sends drool flying.
Hot weather brings on panting and panting brings on drool. If your Saint is outdoors, it might not be a big problem, but if you’re taking a ride in the car, it can be a slimy disaster. The trick is to keep the big guy cool. Roll up the car windows and turn on the air conditioning. Put stick-on window shades on passenger windows to keep the sun’s rays off your Saint. Indoors, put your dog’s bed in the coolest part of the house; he won’t just drool less, he’ll be more comfortable.
The Drool Rag
Professional Saint Bernard handlers tuck drool rags in their waistbands before taking their dogs into the show ring. Saint Bernards have large jowls where saliva pools before it spills over or before the dog shakes his head and drenches everyone in sight. Stock up on soft absorbent rags and keep a couple in every room and a few more in your car.
When your salivating sweetie enters the room or gets in the car, use the drool rag to remove the saliva. Don’t just tentatively pat his mouth, take the drool rag and wipe out the insides of his upper lips and his lower jowls. It will take a good 10 minutes or longer for his jowls to refill and spill. Once you get used to using a drool rag, it will become your insurance policy against slobbered-on skirts and acquaintances.
Keeping Your Saint Clean
Dogs rule and Saints drool, often leaving the fronts of their necks and the tops of their forepaws wet. Make a monster-sized bib out of an old towel and tie it around your Saint’s neck if you need to keep him clean before an important introduction. Bibs aren’t meant for long-term use, but they work wonders in a pinch.
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