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!
Each AKC approved purebred breed has its own national club. The mission of these “parent breed clubs” is to improve and preserve a particular breed by advancing knowledge about its history, its health and care requirements and by assuring that the breed’s form and function remain true to its historical physical type and character: A Dalmatian, for instance, should be athletic and have a natural affinity for working with horses. A Fox Terrier should have the right body size and shape, and a drive to go after vermin.
Pet owners, breeders, trainers, veterinarians, and others with a special love for a breed, join the parent breed club to meet like-minded enthusiasts and to support the club’s mission.
The national parent breed club is the first place for the public to go to learn about a breed or find a knowledgeable, experienced breeder.