Is a St. Bernard a good first dog?

Did you know that Saint Bernards, those giant and loveable fur balls, used to be venture across stormy paths and snow-covered fields in the Alps, helping rescue lost or injured travelers? Isn’t that a fantastic feat for a creature many consider just a pet? But the question remains, would they make an ideal first dog for a new dog owner? Let’s delve into it.

In the harsh, snow-covered landscapes of the Swiss Alps, Saint Bernards were considered heroic lifesavers. They were originally bred at the Great Saint Bernard Pass, a dangerous route through the mountains. Monks living there started using these dogs as a part of their rescue missions over 1,000 years ago. The breed’s sense of smell was so extraordinary that Saint Bernards could sniff out people buried under deep snow and were known to have saved many lives.

These dogs aren’t just Hollywood heroes in movies like Beethoven; they’re real-life heroes too!

That said, sainthood isn’t often easily earned. There’s much more to a Saint Bernard than their storied past and their cuddly appearance. So before you fall for those soulful eyes and the heart-melting expression, let’s go through some factors to consider if you are thinking about adopting or purchasing a Saint Bernard for your first dog.

Firstly, Saint Bernards are giant dogs! They’re one of the largest dog breeds, with adult males standing at 28 to 30 inches tall and weighing around 140 to 180 pounds. As such, they require a good deal of space to move and play around. This can be a major aspect to consider if you’re living in an apartment or a house with a small yard.

Saint Bernards are social creatures and need regular interaction with their families. They enjoy participating in family activities, and they’re great with children! But, due to their size, proper introduction and careful supervision are needed, especially when they’re around small children or elderly people.

When it comes to their personality, Saint Bernards are known for their friendly and gentle nature. They are patient, easy-going, and eager to please, making them delightfully lovely companions. However, training them requires consistency and positive reinforcement from a young age.

If you fancy an immaculately clean household, a Saint Bernard might make you reconsider. They shed…a lot! They have a dense coat that keeps them warm during harsh winters, but this also means year-round shedding and a significant increase during shedding seasons. Brushing them a few times a week will help manage this issue.

Health is another factor to consider. Being a large breed, Saint Bernards can have several health issues such as hip dysplasia, heart diseases, and a shorter life span, typically around 8 to 10 years. Regular vet check-ups and a healthy, balanced diet are musts to ensure their well-being.

Saint Bernards are not particularly active dogs so they don’t require extensive exercise, but regular walks and some playtime are necessary to keep them physically and mentally fit.

When it comes to food, they have a robust appetite, which can stretch your budget. They can eat around 5 to 6 cups of high-quality dog food daily, divided into two meals.

If you’re a first-time dog owner, it’s crucial to understand these factors and the commitment a Saint Bernard requires. Their size, grooming needs, potential health issues, feeding, and activity levels are significant points to consider.

Despite these factors, many first-time dog owners have found an inseparable companion in their Saint Bernard. These dogs are sweet-tempered, loving, and protective, and their loving personality far outweighs other concerns.

Saint Bernards are more than just a symbol of bravery, strength, and resilience. They are embodiments of love, affection, and loyal companionship. For the right person or family, they can indeed make a wonderful first dog.

If you’re prepared for both the challenges and the immense joy that living with a Saint Bernard brings, then go ahead! Welcome to the world of unending love, affection, sloppy kisses and friendly paw shakes.

Remember, owning a dog is like having a kid that stays a kid forever. It demands time, energy, patience, love, and money. Moreover, the dog you choose will also pick you as their forever family, so make this decision wisely, and cherish the memories you’ll make together.

Maneuvering through the world of pet ownership can be daunting, no doubt. But equipped with the valuable information you now have, it sure can be an adventurous and endearing one, especially with a Saint Bernard as your partner in crime.

What was once a legendary rescue dog, can now just be your couch potato and best buddy. Is there any better way to return the favor than to give these gentle giants a loving home? Isn’t that a beautiful way of writing your own rescue story? Fetch that thought!