Being a good Saint Bernard Puppy owner?

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.


Barked: Thu Dec 13, '12 3:54pm PST 
I have been in love with Saints for as long as I can remember. I am really looking forward to owning one from puppyhood to adult, but I wonder if I can do it. The only 2 dogs I have gotten from puppies (one 5 wks and the other 9 wks) are terribly socialized. The other 3 dogs I cheated and adopted them post puppyhood, so they came to me socialized. Our lab mix was adopted at 9 months and she is an excellent dog, although still went through normal puppy behaviors. The 2 Saints I have rescued, the first was 6 yrs old and has since passed and our current Saint is almost 3, adopted at 1, and she is also very well behaved...she is protective of me outside of the home but not in an over the top way.

So does living with Saints prepare you for really raising one? I do love adopting but the countless medical issues is weighing heavily, I would like a chance of getting a healthy Saint, although I am grateful for the wonderful temperaments of the ones I have had. Our current Saint has hypothyroidism, early renal disease, and a bad heart ( 2 moderate leaking valves, and a hole between the L and R atrium)

I know a lot about living with a Saint and our adopted ones came with normal issues...pulling on leash, jumping, counter surfing, bolting, etc...all of which were easily resolved. So I am just looking at info on the puppy version smile in the next year we will be buying a bigger house, and so I want to start finding acceptable breeders or just go the cheating way and adopt again....I would just really like a puppy one time. It is a little hard finding Saint rescues that fit perfectly into our family with kids under 5, 4 dogs , 2 cats, and a house bunny....surprising a lot will not adopt to people with small children.

I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Thu Dec 13, '12 8:20pm PST 
My experience is a pretty normal puppy experience. Nothing out of the ordinary. My main concern was getting him dialed in with loose leash walking and luckily I didn't have to work very hard at it. It was automatic for him from day one. Why? Couldn't tell you, but I don't fear being dragged down the street now or once he's full grown.

Moose has lots of energy to work with. Eager to train? Uh, not so much. Structured training fizzles out quickly, so I just do teeny tiny bits of it. He's got a bit of stubbornness and that's been a bit of a hurdle for me.

I made sure he wasn't running around on my hardwood floors. Didn't want hip, elbow or knee issues. That was tough to keep on top of since he zoomied alot.

I think, if you're up for it, you'll be glad you went the puppy route. I've been loving it. I thought I'd be super eager for him to grow up already, but I'm enjoying this stage. Not looking forward to adolesence though.
If you've got the patience for all the potential mayhem that puppies can bring, then I think you'll love having a puppy.

Barked: Fri Dec 14, '12 3:19pm PST 
Thanks for the response Moose! I would be thrilled to have a Saint with energy. We have fostered 2 and adopted 2...none of them had much energy at all. Bella our current Saint loves the dog park but after 5 min she wants to lay down and half the time she cheats playing chase...she waits for them to run by and then starts chasing them. Also thanks for mentioning the floor problems..that is something I might not of thought of right off the top. Our youngest foster was 6 months, but at that time we lived with carpet. Bella was one when we got her and we have all laminate floors but she has dog beds and yoga mats placed throughout the house.

In your opinion Moose would you frustrating raising small kids and Moose in the same house? That has been the biggest concern of rescues and breeders that I have found, and that we have a 5 lb dog.

Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Fri Dec 14, '12 3:52pm PST 
Firstly, Moose's owner got Moose through a Saint mentor I recommended. When the time comes, contact them. They have a very good network of people who are breeding for excellent temperament. There are a lot of problems in this breed, unfortunately some that can and do occur at the topend ("responsible" breeder) level. The last thing you want is a dog who starts to display serious behavior problems after he has become part of your family and everyone is in love with him frown

Raising a Saint and kids will not be a problem. Assuming the kids are dog savvy and know not to overwhelm. It's really more up to the kids than to the puppy. Most think about kids being too rough, but the other part is that puppies are very arouse-able and kids, of course, LOVE being aroused, which can be a migraine inducing combination wink, and greatly slow training and manners progress. In terms of the 5 lb. dog, that requires supervision and, again, depends on a 5 lb dog who knows how to confidently say "no, that's too much." Puppies will push until they get their cue. Can you tell me a bit about your tiny?

Barked: Fri Dec 14, '12 5:27pm PST 
Our chihuahua has no problem telling another dog no means no. My 2 small dogs min pin x and chihuahua and more dominant dogs and are good with others as long as when they say stop the other dog stops, they tolerate puppies better than pushy adults. We have successfully integrated 2 adult saints into life with the little one. We obviously monitor all play sessions, the little one likes to play with the big dogs and she will get to running with them and I have to go get her...she runs between their legs..so not very safe. When adopting we have always looked for submissive matches and going that route we have had success adopting 3 adult dogs and having limited issues. Our 2 little dogs are getting older 11 and 8 but still young at heart, they have actually become more even tempered as they aged...I mentioned before I poorly socialized them as young pups, so we had a lot of back peddling to do.

My young children are spit fires, and they do get very wound up at times. My 5 yr olds favorite thing to do is train her lab mix. Well she works with all of the dogs but the lab is the one who excels at her tricks and fun games.

I am very interested at getting a puppy, I just really want to start out right. I know rescues get puppies but I will run into the same problem...don't know background and end up with a mess of health issues and then there is still the childrens age (they dont place young boisterous dogs with young children).I guess I am lucky Bella does not have hip or knee issues. The rescues I worked with and adopted with contact me about senior dogs, they have a 10 yr old Saint they want me to foster ( I have a weakness for senior dogs) but it was extremely hard on my daughter to lose our first Saint and she was only 2.5 then, he was with us for 2 yrs (age 6-8).