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Mini Saint Bernard (Cocker Spaniel & Saint Bernard Mix): Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 5, 2024 by Dogster Team

Mini Saint Bernard (Cocker Spaniel & Saint Bernard Mix): Info, Pictures, Care & More!

The Mini Saint Bernard is a blend of a Cocker Spaniel and a Saint Bernard. Through this crossbreeding, this breed can come in two sizes.

Generally, the Mini Saint Bernard weighs about 40–60 pounds. They are typically between 15 and 20 inches in height and often live between 8 and 10 years. The dog can have either wavy and dense or straight and silky hair of medium length in many colors, including red, brown, cream, blue, silver fawn, and white.

Breed Overview

Height:

14–19 inches

Weight:

15–60 pounds

Lifespan:

8–11 years

Colors:

White, Black, Cream, Red, Silver, Golden, Brown, Blue

Suitable for:

Active singles, Active families, Watchdogs

Temperament:

Stubborn, Affectionate, Social

Mini Saint Bernards are lovable and adorable dogs that love pleasing their owner and are mostly easy to train. Nevertheless, they may be stubborn, so you must be firm when training them. They adapt well with everyone, including kids and pets, making them great family companions.

This breed is relatively new, compared to their parents’ lines. The breed’s uniqueness makes it easier to look to the parental lineages for personality and temperament indications.

Energy
+
High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Trainability
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Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Health
+
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Lifespan
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Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Sociability
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Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Mini Saint Bernard Puppies

Mini Saint Bernard puppies are generally good with children and make great family pets. But they can be stubborn, so they require patience and consistency in training. You can expect them to have big appetites, so be prepared to feed them regularly. Also, regular exercise and playtime are important for them to burn off their extra energy and stay healthy and happy!

If possible, it’s always a good idea to meet the puppies and their parents before making a purchase to ensure that they are in good health and have friendly temperaments.

Parent_breeds_Mini Saint Bernard
Image By: Left – rokopix, Shutterstock | Right – andriano.cz, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Mini Saint Bernard

The Mini Saint Bernard is an affectionate, social dog that enjoys being with their established family unit. They like being in homes with huge families or regular habitual visitors. They are fun-loving and like their toys, bringing them to other family members to show them off.

They are intelligent dogs, and if you are a clear leader, they will submit, making training relatively easy. However, you must be firm to prevent them from developing a stubborn streak. Early socialization is essential because they can become anxious when they are not around other animals.

In addition, the Mini Saint Bernard does not enjoy being alone for extended amounts of time and can get separation anxiety.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

Known to be gentle, loving, and tolerant despite their size, Mini Saint Bernards are good with families with disciplined kids. Since they are smaller than a regular Saint Bernard, they will not present the dangers of accidentally knocking over small children or being able to steal food from your table effortlessly.

Your Mini Saint Bernard will certainly love kids. They like to never be alone and love to play for long periods, so children will likely become exhausted before they do.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

A Mini Saint Bernard dog gets along well with other pets, but if there are small wild or non-canine pets around, the Cocker Spaniel in them might kick in and evoke them to give chase. But if they get early socialization and training, they should have no trouble adapting to other pets in the house.

 

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Things to Know When Owning a Mini Saint Bernard:

Mini Saint Bernards are high to moderate when it comes to maintenance. They require a lot of exercise, extensive grooming, and a fair amount of health attention.

Food & Diet Requirements

Mini Saint Bernard has a higher maintenance feeding requirement than other dog breeds. First, they require a balanced and nutritious food source with low-fat content. You should only feed dry food to your pup. More so, if your puppy is underweight, you can supplement their cuisine with canned food.

Due to their general structure, make sure your Mini Saint Bernard doesn’t lean down when eating or drinking. To limit this, elevate their bowl to a raised height. A Mini Saint Bernard cannot free-feed, so food should never be left out. However, ensure that there is a constant supply of water, and they can limit themself to what they require.

Allow your pup to eat for 10–15 minutes at a time. Do not limit the puppy food they eat during this time, but you can take the dish away when the time is over. Pups should be fed seven to eight times a day, while mature dogs should only be fed five times a day. To allow proper food digestion, don’t push them to do much exercise around the feeding times. Too much activity continuously occurring during these periods can lead to enduring health issues.

Exercise

The Mini Saint Bernard is more active than a purebred Saint Bernard. They require at least 45 minutes to an hour of strenuous exercise every day to keep them healthy.

These puppies can become overweight without an appropriate amount of activity. In addition, if they don’t get sufficient exercise, the Mini Saint Bernard might become anxious and bored.

Perfect activities for your pup include taking long daily walks and trips to a dog park several times a week and sometimes, every week to run free. They are not fast or athletic but they can enjoy agility training and flyball.

Training

Training a Mini Saint Bernard is easy and quick compared to many other dogs. They are intelligent and learn fast. To facilitate a smoother training process, supplement it with praise, and give your pup plenty of positive reinforcement.

These puppies are eager to please and often listen when given a command. Showing them that you appreciate and are happy with their conduct can significantly encourage them to repeat the positive behavior. That also allows you to train off the dog’s stubborn streak or direct it toward a suitable activity.

Early training and socialization are essential for the Mini Saint Bernard because they can sometimes have anxiety problems. More so, the Cocker Spaniel in them can make them snappy when they feel threatened.

Grooming ✂️

Mini Saint Bernards are medium- to high-maintenance dogs. Their coat is dependent mainly on the parents. The coats of these pups can be thin, dense, rough, or silky.

The coat variation determines how frequently and with what you should use to brush them. Most likely, you will need to brush your pup daily with a pin brush or a standard comb to prevent tangles and mats. Although they are furry, the dogs retain more of their hair and don’t shed much.

The pups only require occasional baths, and when you do, you should use a mild dog shampoo. Their skin is sensitive to irritation and dryness, but mild shampoo can help avoid such issues.

Their ears are relatively floppy, inherited from both parents. To protect your dog from ear infections, check and gently clean their ears with a slightly damp cloth once a week.

Their eyes produce a lot of moisture. So, you may need to wipe under their eyes occasionally to maintain appearances and keep them free from harboring future infections.

In addition, keep an eye on their nails’ growth and trim them when necessary. Finally, clean their teeth once or twice a week.

Health and Conditions

Despite being crossbred, Mini Saint Bernards are prone to a fair amount of health issues. However, giving them regular exercise and maintaining a strict feeding schedule can help them remain healthy for an extended period, leading to a happier life.

Due to their small size, they are prone to many heart issues, hypothyroidism, and dysplasia. Some of these pups are also prone to epilepsy and eye disorders.

Heart problems, such as dilated cardiomyopathy, are an inherited condition in Saint Bernards. This disease can be identified by a swollen heart that causes the pup to become short of breath and tired. It is a progressive condition that often affects aged dogs and in time, leads to heart failure.

Keeping an eye on these signs in your pup and maintaining annual visits to your vet can help you discover anything serious as early as possible. To get a pup with higher chances of being healthy and living a long and happy life, buy from a reliable breeder and ask to see health clearances.

Minor Conditions
  • Retinal Dysplasia
  • Entropion
  • Skin-Fold Dermatitis
  • Ectropion
Serious Conditions
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Epilepsy
  • Boating

Male vs. Female

There are no perceptible differences in male and female dogs of this breed, neither in size nor temperament.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Mini Saint Bernard

Here are the three fun facts about Mini Saint Bernard dogs.

1. The Mini Saint Bernard Makes an Excellent Watchdog

Although the Mini Saint Bernard may not be the most aggressive dog out there, they can make an excellent watchdog. They are always attentive, rarely sleeping for a long time, and wary of any new approaching sound. The dog will know when to raise the alarm with proper training and are always ready to help inform the household.


2. The Mini Saint Bernard Has Two Possible Sizes

There are two sizes of the Mini Saint Bernard. The Micro Saint Bernard is 12–16 inches tall and weighs around 15–35 pounds. In contrast, the Nehi Saint Bernard is about 16–29 inches tall and weighs around 40–60 pounds.

The two dogs are often bred from Saint Bernard and Cocker Spaniels, though some breeders may cross them with other species. Still, they are usually at least 50% Saint Bernard. However, ensure that you find out this before buying one that you believe to be 50% Saint Bernard and 50% Cocker Spaniel.


3. They Got Their Name From the Alps

The Saint Bernard parent is the most vital part of this dog breed. The original aspiration when breeding these pups was a Saint Bernard that was not as big, that was less high maintenance, and that shed and slobbered less.

Saint Bernards initially got their name because of the location that they were bred in, the Alps. This dog was used for hauling things and delivering messages across the Alps. One of the places they would have to pass through was the Saint Bernard Pass, which exhibited a dangerous and challenging intersection.

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Final Thoughts

If you are thinking of getting another furry friend to add to your family, you should consider a Mini Saint Bernard dog. The pup’s size makes them a wonderful medium-sized dog with the desired qualities of a Saint Bernard.

Mini Saint Bernards are intelligent dogs, fast learners, and easy to train with a firm hand. They are uncomfortable with strangers, making them a good alert watchdog.

Anxiety and a stubborn streak mean that this dog is not for empty homes. They don’t enjoy a home where there are few people or people who are frequently out of the house.

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Featured Image Credit by: Katrina Brown, Shutterstock

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