North Island St.Bernard Assn.Inc

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New Zealand
New Zealand
North Island St.Bernard
Association Inc.
Est: 1981


Your St Bernard is an alpine dog and most St Bernards will not be comfortable permanently living in a house at the temperature you keep your home for your own comfort.

They will seek out the kitchen or bathroom tile floor, the bath, doorways where there is maximum draught, the garage floor etc. to lay down. (Those Saints that live on carpet can suffer from skin conditions).

This is why it is important to offer your dog a variety of places to live.

Even if your intention is that your Saint live in the house with you, they should have their own outdoor kennel and secure run with a bed, shade and water for when –

you are not home

it’s too hot to be inside

visitors arrive who are not ‘dog people’.

someone arrives who is scared of dogs or has very small children.

they need to rest from exercise.

they need a private place to eat.

they need to ‘calm down’.

they need to be secure.

they need to be safe.

they are ‘in season.’

they are in need of a bath.

they need to be separated from other dogs.


An inside Saint should have its own bed or mattress on the floor that is ‘their bed’. (It is unwise to let them sit/sleep on your couch or bed – dominance issues can arise) ‘Their bed’ is somewhere your dog can return to and where they can see their humans from and still feel part of the family.

An outside Saint should have a waterproof kennel (see example below) that provides protection from the rain and sun and has an area where they can escape from the wind. Ideally there should be a raised bed or a trampoline bed (see example below) which is slung ‘hammock style’ and is not only comfortable but allows air flow through the dogs coat.

There should be shade to escape the sun and the fencing should be 2 metres high. It is surprising to some people that St Bernards can jump and many will clear lower fences. Those that don’t jump can scramble over lower fences. The fencing should be hurricane mesh, predator fencing or swimming pool fencing.

The base of the ‘run’ part of the kennel should be smooth river stones, untreated sawdust (rimu is great) or grass. A fully concreted run will cause pressure sores on your Saints elbows and hocks.


Additional to this your Saint should be crate trained (see example below). An inside crate, possibly set up in your garage will provide a secure place for your dog to be confined for various reasons. Dog crates are collapsible so they are able to be transported if you are staying away from home and need a secure place for your dog to be confined.


YOUR SAINT SHOULD NOT BE CHAINED UP – It is unacceptable that a dog should be weighted down by a chain that it drags around and it is no way to treat a member of the family.

YOUR SAINT SHOULD NOT BE LEFT WITH A LOOSE COLLAR OR NECK CHAIN ON - Most St Bernards do not wear collars. If you do put one on your dog, make sure it is not too tight or too loose and check daily to see the skin isn't irritated under it.

SAINT BERNARDS DO NOT HAVE ROAD SENSE – Make sure your property is secure and that you have secure places for your Saint, so they do not go on the road.








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