The gentle and dignified St. Bernard would have been a welcome sight to the weary mountaineer braving the treacherous alpine passes between Switzerland and Italy, for it would have meant he had reached the Great Saint Bernard Hospice, the mountain refuge where the breed was developed. This powerful breed was employed as a cart dog, guard dog, and avalanche dog used to rescue snow-bound travelers. They are a very recognizable breed with their large size and iconic brown and white coat that comes in smooth and rough varieties. Their sweet manners and trainability make them great family pets but their size makes them best suited to suburban and country environs. Oh, and they drool. Have towels ready!