Weird & Fun Facts About Saint Bernards

Get to know this big lovable breed.
i Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

How well do you know the Saint Bernard breed? If you only know what you have seen in movies, you are most likely wrong. There are many false facts widely circulated about this massive, powerful dog. Get to know the real Saint Bernard and you might be surprised.


Saint Bernards are named after Saint Bernard de Menthon who was the patron saint of skiers and mountaineers. Originally bred by Swiss monks, Saint Bernards' keen senses of smell and direction soon earned them a place tracking people who became lost in the mountains. Contrary to popular belief, the breed never wore small kegs of brandy around their necks while rescuing people.


Although they appear unstoppable with their large, sturdy bodies, Saint Bernards are very sensitive to heat. Their life span is shorter than the majority of breeds, since they live an average of 10 years. Saint Bernard weight ranges between 120 and 180 pounds, but Benedictine, the largest Saint Bernard on record, weighed a whopping 336 pounds.


The Saint Bernard portrayed on television and in movies is a galloping troublemaker, taking out large objects and knocking over any person in his way. In reality, a full grown Saint Bernard is generally mellow and calm. Puppies are boisterous and often in trouble, but proper training will quickly correct bad behaviors.


The Saint Bernard is a fantastic breed for families with children. Despite their intimidating size, they are very gentle with children and seem to sense their needs and wants better than other breeds. They are great snugglers and make perfect pillows for little heads. Although rarely aggressive, they are very protective and loyal to those that they see as their people.

the nest