Think carefully before you decide to adopt or purchase a St. Bernard puppy. Sure, they're cute and cuddly, and they make terrific pets. They are loving, loyal, and great with children and families. They like other people and are tolerant with other animals. But that tiny St. Bernard puppy that fits in your arms right now will eventually grow up, and when he does, he will become a huge, furry problem for owners who are not prepared for the issues that come with large dog breeds.
The St. Bernard is a very, very large dog. In fact, he is one of the largest dog breeds in the world. This fact should give the prospective owner some pause as large dogs can be very problematic. The St. Bernard will grow up to be a dog that stands between 27 inches and 35 inches tall, and will reach between 150 and 200 pounds in weight. A dog that is heavier than most people and who is tall enough to rest his chin on the kitchen table can be a menace for the unprepared owner.
First of all, you need to assess whether or not your home is large enough to accommodate a big dog. Do you have enough floor space for this huge hound to lie down without tripping family members? Do you have enough room for the enormous crate you will need to crate train him for housebreaking? Is there a room where he can eat his food and not take up room in the kitchen or hallway? Where will he sleep? If he is to sleep in your bedroom, will he cause a serious fall because he is in the middle of the floor?
If you have the square footage to accommodate the St. Bernard, that's terrific! Now look outside. Do you have a large, fenced backyard? The St. Bernard does not need much exercise, but he does need a place where he can romp and play with the family. Keep in mind that your fence needs to be very high since the St. Bernard can and will jump short fences. Also, the fence needs to be set fairly low in the ground because the breed is also prone to digging.
If you live in a large apartment that can accommodate the St. Bernard, that is acceptable, but you need to make sure that you have the time to take him on a long walk every day. This will help him get the exercise he needs to stay healthy.
Also remember that a large dog like the St. Bernard will cost a lot of money to feed. This breed requires 6 to 12 cups of food every day. St. Bernard puppies cannot eat high protein puppy food; rather, they need a food with a 22% to 26% protein and 12% to 15% fat ratio; this will keep them from growing too quickly and causing bone problems. This kind of food can be hard to find and expensive, so assess your financial abilities before adopting your St. Bernard puppy.