The Saint Bernard is a giant, strong, muscular dog. As long as the weight stays in proportion with the height, the taller the dog the more prized it is. The massive head is powerful. The muzzle is short, wider than it is long. The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. The nose is broad, with wide open nostrils, and like the lips is black in color. The medium-sized eyes are set somewhat to the sides and are dark in color. The medium-sized ears are set high, dropping and standing slightly away from the head. The legs are muscular. The feet are large with strong, well-arched toes. The long tail is broad and powerful at the base held low when the dog is relaxed. Dewclaws are usually removed. There are two types of coat: rough and smooth, but both are very dense and come in white with markings in tan, red, mahogany, brindle and black, all in various combinations. The face and ears are usually black. In the rough-coated dogs, the hair is slightly longer and there is feathering on the thighs and legs.
Saint Bernards are extremely gentle, friendly and very tolerant of children. They are slow moving, patient, obedient, extremely loyal, eager and willing to please. Be sure to socialize this breed very well at a young age with people and other animals. It is highly intelligent and easy to train; however, training should begin early, while the dog is still a manageable size. Teach this dog not to jump on humans starting at puppyhood. Bear in mind that an unruly dog of this size presents a problem for even a strong adult if it is to be exercised in public areas on a leash, so take control right from the start, teaching the dog to heel. The Saint Bernard is a good watchdog. Even its size is a good deterrent. They drool after they drink or eat. Be sure you remain the dog's pack leader. Dogs want nothing more than to know what is expected of them and the St Bernard is no exception. Allowing a dog of this size and magnitude to be unruly can be dangerous and shows poor ownership skills. Saint Bernards have a highly developed sense of smell and also seem to have a sixth sense about impending danger from storms and avalanches.