I am only writing about, or giving pages to, the breeds of dogs we have owned. And we were blessed to own two of the best St. Bernard Dogs ever! Funny, really how I ever even came about them. Deron and I were moving to WI and on the way back to St. Louis, MO, in one of the moving trips, I found an ad for St. Bernards Puppies in a Newspaper in IL. I had wanted a St. Bernard for awhile. I wanted one to participate in Weight Pull competition with. Deron drove BACK about 100 miles the opposite direction of the way we were headed to go and look at the pups. I wanted one male.
The pups were adorable. Adorable. They had a very nice marked big male I wanted. While looking at him, his sister kept coming over to me, pulling on my pants leg, trying so hard to get my attention. You know the old, "let the puppy choose you". But I wanted a male. Deron went to pay and could not find his check book! Now this was not only alarming, but terrifying! He had just sold his home and the money was in the account! Everything we had was in that account! The folks offered for us to mail them a check.....no. What if we can not find it? What if it were stolen? We better wait. I told them I would call them when we got back to St. Louis and if the puppy sold, it sold.
To make a long story short. Someone in WI found Deron's check book and mailed it to him. It came in the mail as soon as we go back. What a wonderful thing...and from the place we were moving to. I called the folks that were selling the puppies and told them we would be back for the male puppy. They offered the little female too. I laughed, and told them I would love to have her, would give her a great home, but would only have the money for the male. To make that long story short. When we went to pick up the puppy I named Montana, they GAVE us the little female and we named her Millie. What a gift. What a blessing! So that year, I got Montana for my March Birthday and Millie for Easter that was in April that year....or that is what we say.
I started working with my puppies right away, the minute we picked them up. I never let them put their paws up on my unless I was asking for it. They both could and would "sit" on command the week I brought them home. As they grew and before they were four months old, they were very mannered, were great at obedience, and could each do a few tricks. I put harnesses on them, just to put harnesses on them. And at a year old I started them pulling light sticks and or a little bitty Christmas decoration sled just to get them used to something behind them. At 2 y/o I started them with a small child's wagon with no to little weight in it. From there, little by little I started working them with more weight.
As they grew they helped me with chores around the Farm/Range. Montana mostly, he pulled the heavy dog food buckets to the dog yard to feed the Siberian Huskies, he pulled wood for me as Deron cut it and I loaded it onto a sled or into a wagon. Both Millie and Montana backpacked and somewhere, I am hoping they too were not ruined in the mold we had trouble with, I have photos of these guys as puppies and as they grew, as well as in backpacks.
These two dogs were great with children and people too. This is a photo of Deron's youngest son, Blake, riding in the wagon. Blake loved these big dogs and he love taking a ride behind them.
I loved my Saint Bernards and I loved making them items. I bought these little wooden barrels and figured out how to put them on adjustable collars. I sold a bunch of these to other Saint owners too. I just think this dog was so handsome!
Please do your homework/research, far more research then you normally would, before buying a dog that is going to get this large. Make sure you have the room, can put up with the drooling (and they all drool, there is no such thing as a "dry mouth"), and make sure you have the time to train. A dog this large is even more dangerous that smaller breeds untrained. Just the size of the dog can knock over or jump up on a person and hurt them. This is a breed that needs to have a LOT of manners if no other training is going to be given. Take your time and really think about the size of these dogs before buying one.
-- The Working Big Dogs Team
Mon, 15 Jul 2013 10:51:25 -0400