So you are interested in buying a puppy.
Before you buy, please print this page and carefully screen your breeder (as carefully as they will be screening you). A poorly bred puppy will cost you big bucks in vet bills down the road. Be very careful before you buy!
- If you are looking for a Saint puppy, please be very careful. The Beethoven movies are producing many backyard breeders and puppy mills. Please be aware of the following health problems in the breed and then choose your puppy carefully. All Saint Bernard puppies are cute, but not necessarily healthy!
- A poorly bred Saint puppy can cost you up to $6000 in unnecessary veterinary bills. Buy from a reputable breeder that takes genetics into consideration to breed the healthiest puppy possible.
- All Saints Drool! If someone tells you they have a dry mouth Saint Bernard, run away as fast as you can! If the dog is bred correctly, it should have flews that hang. These flews hold the spit and they will drool! Some drool more than others, but they all drool to some extent.
- Saint Bernards shed twice a year. The Longhairs need more grooming than the shorthairs due to mats. Because they shed, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic Saint Bernard. They do not exist.
- Be aware of Hip Dysplacia! Many breeders do not x-ray their breeding dogs. This means that they are not taking into consideration the ball and socket of the hips. Saint Bernards can develop Hip Dysplacia at an early age.
- Make sure you see the OFA or Penn Hip certification or denial from both parents so you know the breeder took it into consideration.
- Make sure you have a written contract with your breeder should your puppy develop Genetic Hip Dysplacia. Please also note that Hip Dysplacia is a polygenetic disease as well as partially environmental and is not purely traced to genetics.
- Many Saints have Genetic Epilepsy. Inquire to your breeder about any known epileptic dogs in your puppies background. Make sure you have a written contract with your breeder should your puppy develop Genetic Epilepsy before the age of 4 years.
- Make sure you meet the mother of the puppies, and inquire about the father. Ask to meet the other dogs in the kennel. If you can’t touch every one of them, don’t buy even one of them! This means every dog in the kennel. The sire is sometimes not on the grounds, but other than him, every animal should love you. If the sire is not on site, make sure you see at least a picture and a three generation pedigree. Please realize that all Saint Bernards go back to Swiss lines and there is no such thing as a pure Swiss line. Also a Swiss line does not guarantee a superior animal.
- Saint Bernards will grow and grow and grow some more. Should you find yourself in love with a puppy, first fall in love with the adult. Do you want something sweet, lovable and drooly? Visit http://www.saintrescue.org to see how many people wanted the 8 week puppy, but got rid of the sweet 6 month old as they didn’t realize how big it would get! If you have small children under the age of 8, consider and adult dog first. They are usually wonderful with small children, but a 90 pound bundle of puppy bouncing on a 65 pound (or less) child can be an unhealthy situation. Consider a sweet rescue and wait for a great puppy when your child is old enough to really enjoy it!
- Ask your breeder if they show and if they are members of the Saint Bernard Club of America and the local Saint Bernard Club. It is not a guarantee, but at least they have SAID they will subscribe to a code of ethics about breeding…..Its a start!
- Please NEVER EVER EVER buy any animal at a pet store, in the mall or on impulse. Most of the pet store animals come with AKC papers, however, most of the greatest puppy mills produce AKC registered puppies.
- Please realize that an AKC registration is only a registration. It is not a guarantee of a healthy puppy that meets the breed standards. Establish a good working relationship with a reputable breeder and then stick with the breeder.
- Please try to find a puppy from a breeder that actively shows. That breeder is trying to prove that his/her dogs meet the standard required for the dog. Also read your standard and know what it is. See The Standard, listed under St. Bernard Info at the top of this page. A good dog also has a good pedigree with numerous CH (champions) in the background. Ask to see a three generation American Kennel Club (AKC) generated pedigree for both the sire and the dam and make sure that at least half of the animals have a CH (conformation title) or CD, UDX, UD, CGC, DD, or other title in front of their name or after their name.
- You should interview your breeder as much as the breeder interviews you. Any breeder that is willing to sell you a puppy without a detailed background check or immediately quotes you a fee should be considered with a grain of salt. A good breeder will insist on a LIMITED REGISTRATION AND MANDATORY SPAY/NEUTER for animals sold to pet homes. A good breeder may do you a favor by steering you to a different breed based on your answers. Please rely on your breeder, and trust him/her to help you select a puppy that meets your lifestyle. The good breeder is as much concerned with the well being of the puppy as he/she is with making sure that the puppy and family are a perfect match.
Feel free to contact us. We love to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of the breed, and are always happy to point you in the right direction! If you get our machine, be patient, we go to A LOT of dog shows and are often gone for a week or so at a time. Leave a CLEAR slow number. Some calls are not returned because we can’t figure out the number you are leaving!