North Island St.Bernard Assn.Inc




Home
History of the St.Bernard
The Hospice Today
History of the NISBA Inc
Club Officials
How to Join
Events - Future
Events - Past
Gallery
Merchandise
Is the St. Bernard the Right Dog For You?
Breeders
Breed Standard
New to Saints?
Links
Guestbook



New Zealand
New Zealand
North Island St.Bernard
Association Inc.
Est: 1981
IS THE ST.BERNARD THE RIGHT DOG FOR YOU?
 
Perhaps you are thinking of purchasing a Saint Bernard puppy or dog.  CONGRATULATIONS !
 
Saints are a perfect family dog, gentle and benevolent, yet possessing great strength of character that will make any prowler think twice. They are wonderful with children, a combination baby sitter and playmate. Those of us who are privileged to own one of these magnificent dogs, find them true to their name – SAINT.

However, although we believe the Saint Bernard is the dog that approaches perfection, they are not the breed of dog for everyone. The ownership of any dog involves responsibilities and this is particularly true for the giant breeds. You, as a Saint Bernard owner, have the obligation of caring for and controlling your pet, who in all likelihood will outweigh you and be stronger than you are when their adulthood is reached. You must take this responsibility very seriously and put a significant amount of time, energy, thought and even money, into raising your Saint properly. If this does not happen, then you will not enjoy your Saint to its fullest and you could end up with a dog whose behavior is a problem, and whose size and weight compounds the issue.

So … before you go any further, here is a list of things to consider. This is not meant to frighten, but to ensure you understand and realize what is required of you as a Saint owner.
 

                                                                                                 
1. ARE YOU WILLING TO GIVE YOUR DOG REGULAR DISCIPLINE AND BASIC OBEDIENCE TRAINING?

We believe that every dog, and especially a large dog, needs regular discipline. Every dog must grow up knowing they have limits of behavior and that they must respect people and their property.

House training should start as soon as puppy arrives home. Determine where you want him/her to sleep and confine them to that area for the first few nights.

He must learn what “no” means, and that you really do mean it. Like all puppies, your Saint will go through growing stages, which will include teething. This will require firm discipline, but appropriate toys and items to chew will help to distract him from gnawing the table leg or chair. When you correct your puppy, say “no” emphatically and then enforce your command. Saints can be stubborn, but they are usually eager to please once they understand what is expected of them. Teach them their limits early and many future problems will be avoided.

Most Veterinarians run puppy socialization classes for young puppies and when they are a bit older, sign up for formal obedience classes. These classes only run for a few months at a very reasonable cost and can be invaluable in providing both you and your dog with future life skills. Once you start these classes, don’t drop out. The few hours you invest now will be repaid many times over in your enjoyment of your dog in the years to come. These classes also provide the socialization that is necessary for your dog’s development.

Treat your Saint Bernard puppy with courtesy. Show them affection and teach them responsibility. Punish them when you must, but accept them back into your good graces. Reward them with a cuddle, a pat or even a doggy treat when he/she pleases you. Give them the same sense of security a child needs, and forgive them, if in a burst of enthusiasm he upsets a pot plant or makes some other “mistake”. After all, your Saint is part of the family.

 
2. WILL YOU SEE TO IT THAT BOTH YOUR CHILDREN AND THE SAINT TREAT EACH OTHER WITH RESPECT? 

Although a Saint Bernard makes an excellent pet for families with children, and while they are sturdier and more patient than most breeds, they are not punching bags and are not meant to be harassed or tormented. By the same token, a playful pup should not be allowed to jump on the children, pull at their clothes or steal their toys. Too often when puppy is still small these antics may seem funny and cute … but it is not so funny when puppy weighs over 50kg. Make sure everybody in the family knows their limits and respects each other.

 
3. ARE YOU WILLING TO INVEST THE TIME NECESSARY TO RAISE YOUR SAINT?

Saint Bernard’s need human companionship and attention. If your idea of raising a dog is to leave him in the backyard and feed him occasionally, do yourself a favour and do not buy a dog. The dog will be miserable, bored and will turn into a problem, instead of the pet he should be. The Saint is a working dog and as such requires exercise. Starting from a puppy, exercise should be worked into the daily routine, initially short walks on the leash building up as the dog matures into a substantial animal. The breed is large and massive but should be fit and muscular, NOT FAT.

All Saint’s need regular grooming, whether the short-hair variety (smooth) or the long-hair (rough). From the time you take him home, grooming along with exercise, should form part of your regular routine and act as your special time together. Regular grooming will reduce dog hair problems, helps eliminate doggy odours and reduce the chances of skin irritations.  Ear cleaning and toenail cutting should be undertaken regularly and if you introduce both of these procedures as a young puppy, they will always be accepting of them and will be obliging during the process.

 
4. ARE YOU WILLING TO PROVIDE A GOOD HOME FOR YOUR SAINT?

While Saints are happy to live in the home with the rest of the family, there are times when you will want him outside. A well fenced yard, and pen with a kennel are ideal. Your Saint should never be loose outside of your property. His size could frighten some people, and he could potentially become a problem or a casualty on the roads. You would also be liable for the damage caused, even to the car that knocked him down. A loose dog is an invitation to dog-nappers, as well as to being impounded by your local authority. Your Saint Bernard represents a substantial investment and as part of your family you should endeavour to protect him and keep him safe.

 
5. WILL YOU PROVIDE PROPER VETERINARY CARE FOR YOUR SAINT?

During his/her lifetime, your Saint Bernard will require certain routine care. Dogs are subject to many of the same diseases as man, plus some of their own. In addition to your regular visits to the vets for vaccination, a regular check up by the Veterinarian is also desirable. Your Vet should be contacted whenever you see signs of illness or abnormal behaviour. Most conditions are easily treated but become expensive and complicated, even life-threatening, if left unattended.

 
6. ARE YOU SURE THAT ALL OF THE FAMILY WILL SHARE IN THIS VENTURE?

It is a big mistake to “buy a Saint for the children” when it requires the management of responsible adults. Likewise, never purchase one as a gift for a relative or spouse. Expressing a desire to have one of these magnificent dogs is quite different from actually owning one, having the on going food bill and the necessary time to spend with your pet. It is also unfortunate for a Saint to go into a home where it is resented by one of the family who either did not want the dog or would have preferred another breed.

The Saint Bernard is a very large growing dog, it is expensive to purchase and costly to maintain. The food bill is large as the dog will eat a considerable quantity, especially during the first eighteen months of its life. If he/she develops an infection, the cost of antibiotics is high because of the quantity needed for successful treatment. All these factors need to be taken into consideration. A Saint is like a child, it does not raise itself. So take the necessary time to consider carefully if you have sufficient time, money and interest to devote 9 or so years to a Saint Bernard before you purchase one.

 

                                                                      










 

Web By DogWebs.Biz | Edit | Copyright © 2014-2018