The Gen­tle Res­cuer

Clubpets - - THEKENNEL -

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.

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