From the Archives of Dog World: Enjoy this all-access pass to dog history from the pages of the oldest living dog magazine. This content remains in its original form and reflects the language and views of its time. Health and behavior information evolves and only the most current advice should be followed.
The Saint Bernard is a reliable and even-tempered dog breed. The St Bernard is not temperamental like so many other dog breeds. Like people of good disposition, he is comfortable to have around. This dog is at all times an understanding pal, one that seems to sense his master’s mood. He has remarkable discernment and shows much discrimination in the choice of his friends.
The St. Bernard seems to be a composite of all that is best, and has no peer as watch dog, friend or companion. Thirty years ago when families lived in houses and apartments were few, there were many St. Bernards. This dog breed was considered an ideal companion for children and watch dog for the home. The apartment life brought into popularity the toy and small dog breeds.
Today, thanks to the automobile and paved roads, there is a trend towards the home life of years ago. With the country house comes the wish for the big dog breed that lends dignity and protection to the rural estate.
Unfortunately the number of really good St. Bernards is small. The massive head, benevolent expression, big bones and body that stands thirty to thirty-four inches, and weighs two hundred pounds or more, and makes the real type St. Bernard, is rare.
In various parts of Europe the St. Bernard draws the cart of the milk vendor and is used in the every day work of the peasants. The dogs engaged in the humble work lack the well groomed, prosperous look and size of those that are owned by nobility.
It would seem a pity that a dog breed so fine should become extinct. For a time this seemed likely. But now the St. Bernard is returning to the favor that it enjoyed generations ago, and there is more demand than supply for the really good type.
Excerpted from Dog World magazine, May 1927, Vol. 12. For back issues of Dog World, click here.