Did Saint Bernards really rescue snowbound people? Yes they did, but actually, the more popular rough-coated variety were often given away as pets by the monks in the Swiss pass as the snow would clump on their fur.
Do Saints really grow to over four feet in height? Well, no, not really. All dogs are measured at shoulder height and the norm is around 30 to 36 inches though bigger ones have been known. If someone tells you their Saint is over four feet tall they are either
a) measuring it to it's head
b) measuring it when it's standing up on two legs
c) unable to measure properly
Are they really gentle giants? Like all breeds, each dog has it's own personality and whilst a few vicious Saints have been known, it is fair to say that the majority are indeed big, loving, sloppy fools! They can be a bit too loving at times, Saints are people dogs who want to say hello to everyone and everything and not everyone appreciates a large, heavy and often slobbering dog, all over them. A couple of amusing stories....Firstly that of a seven month pregnant woman owner of a Saint who one night decided to have a bath whilst her husband was out. She ran the bath, left the door open so her Saint knew where she was and got in for a nice warm soak. Only to be joined a short time later by her loving Saint who promptly pinned her in the bath until her husband arrived home some hours later to rescue her! Secondly, a recent story of a Saint owner who lived in a first floor flat and decided to go for a drive. He left his Saint in the flat with the window open, went down and got into his car and started it up. The Saint obviously heard this and thought "oh no, he's leaving", jumped out the window and landed squarely on the car bonnet. The dog was fine but by all accounts the car was a near write-off!
Do they really weigh over 250 pounds when fully grown? Again, not really, most fully grown Saints are between 120 and 180 pounds, a 250 pound Saint is either a freak or severely overweight.
Do they really slobber a lot? YES!
Do they moult a lot? YES! A house with a Saint is a house with a coat!
Do they really drink a lot? YES! A normal sized dog water bowl will be empty in 10 seconds flat - save yourself some work and buy a large bucket.