The Gentle Rescuer
A true saint, this breed has rescued countless lives lost in snow and avalanches across Europe.
Thousands of years ago, Saint Bernards were found mainly along the Swiss valleys in farms where they would pull cats, guard property and livestock and alert farmers if there was danger. The original Saint Bernards were members of the Molosser family, a foundation breed to many of the giant canines that exist today. Thus, up until the 19th century, the modern day Saint Bernard did not exactly look like the gentle giants we know now.
In 1670, the breed was given to monks by farmers to initially ward off bandits. Yet, after discovering that these canines had a keen sense of smell and were able to sniff out lost travelers, the breeding began. In turn, not more than a century later, the Saint Bernard garnered a legendary reputation as a rescue dog.