Saint Bernards originated in the Swiss Alps as working dogs that helped find and save injured and lost travelers.
Their large head and muscular body made them ideal for guard duty, but the monks at the Great St Bernard Hospice soon used them to rescue travelers using their keen sense of smell and direction.
Today, Saint Bernards are popular family dogs to have at home, but they are known for their considerable drooling.
It is caused by the shape of their head, as hanging lips means they cannot maintain saliva in their mouths.
However, a dry mouth Saint Bernard is a variant of the breed known for, as you might’ve guessed, their dry mouth.
If you’re looking for a dog that doesn’t drool profusely, you may be interested in getting a dry mouth Saint Bernard.
Here are some of the things you should know about this dog breed variant before bringing one home.
What is a Dry Mouth Saint Bernard?
This large dog’s excessive drooling is not ideal for most people to have in their homes, so breeders created a variation of the breed to drool less.
The dry mouth Saint Bernard is a crossbreed between Saint Bernards and other large dog breeds.
They can grow up to 2 feet and 6 inches tall at the shoulder, weighing up to 180 pounds.
Dry mouth Saint Bernards have the same look and qualities as a traditional Saint Bernard, but they have a longer and slightly narrower muzzle to minimize drooling.
They do not have long hanging lips around their lower jaw, making it easier for them to swallow without collecting drool in the lower lip pockets.
However, their muzzle shape makes them fall outside of this breed’s current standard, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Since many pet owners do not usually mind if their dog meets breed standards, dry mouth Saint Bernards have become more common among breeders.
Benefits of a Dry Mouth Saint Bernard
Saint Bernards are very affectionate, gentle, and loyal dogs, making them a great addition to the family.
They do well with small children and are very active, so they need plenty of exercise.
They are quieter dogs, and their gentle and calm demeanor makes them popular dogs for rescue missions and therapy.
Dry mouth Saint Bernards have all of these same traits with the added benefit of drooling much less.
Though they shed a lot, this breed does not require specialized grooming besides weekly brushing and regular baths to keep their coats clean and shiny.
Since Saint Bernards shed seasonally, they will need brushing daily during those months.
A dog of this size needs to be trained early to ensure obedience in the future.
If Saint Bernards are not appropriately trained, like any large dog, they can become disruptive and very difficult to manage if they do not listen to instruction.
It’s important to start training your Saint Bernard as soon as possible.
When they are well-trained as adults, they make steady, friendly, and reliable companions for the whole family.
These dogs have a friendly and affectionate temperament, and they love spending time with their owners and family members.
They do require a lot of care and attention, so it is vital to make sure you can meet your Saint Bernard’s needs to keep it happy and healthy.
Like many large dogs, Saint Bernards have several potential health problems.
Their life expectancy is relatively short. They can live between eight to ten years.
Saint Bernards also are at high risk for hip and elbow dysplasia, especially if they grow too quickly, making movement difficult.
They are also at a high risk for eye problems, such as ectropion and entropion, immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, osteochondrosis (bone cancer), gastric torsion, and immune-mediated thyroiditis.
Obesity can cause significant health problems in this dog breed. It can raise their risk for many of these health issues.
Saint Bernards are also prone to a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), where the heart becomes so large and weak that it cannot pump blood to the body effectively.
Taking these health conditions into consideration is important, so you know what to expect before bringing home a Saint Bernard.
The dry mouth Saint Bernard is a wonderful family dog for the right household, especially ones with small children.
Though drooling may be a concern for you, it should not be the defining feature in looking for a new pet. Instead, you should consider other factors, such as the dog’s temperament and the time you can commit to caring for it.
Bring home a Saint Bernard puppy only if you are sure you will be able to care for its needs and manage its large size.
You can tell the difference between a traditional Saint Bernard and a dry mouth Saint Bernard by looking at its muzzle or the parents’ mouths.
If you’re looking for a loyal, quiet, and loving companion with minimal drool, the dry mouth Saint Bernard is an excellent family dog to have.