Curious about SaintBernards?  You are certainly not alone.  One sure way to get attention is to walk one of these gentle giants down a crowded street.  Their size and flashy colors are sure to draw questions.


The breed is named for an Augustine Monk, Bernard De Menthon, who founded a monastery and hospice located in the only pass through the Alps that lies between Switzerland and Italy, around 980 A.D.  Although there are few written records, it appears that the Monks began using the dogs in life saving work around the year 1700.  The dogs seem to have an uncanny ability to detect impending avalanches, and initially accompanied the Monks on their patrols looking for stranded travellers after storms.  Eventually the dogs were taught to work on their own, going out in pairs or groups of three.  The dogs were able to find buried victims and dig through the snow to rescue them.  If the victim was able to proceed the dogs would lead the way back to the Hospice.  If they were disabled then one dog would return to the Hospice to lead the rescue party, while the other(s)stayed with the victims to keep them warm.    The dogs we know today in the US come in two coat types, long haired and short haired. The shorthaired dogs are the original type, with the longhaired version being the result of crossbreeding (The Monks thought that the longer hair would enable the dogs to better withstand the cold. This did not work as snow and ice became clumped in the longer fur, weighing down the dogs).  The hospice eventually dispensed with the long haired variety, and kept only short haired dogs. 


The Northern New Jersey Saint Bernard Club is dedicated to the welfare and betterment of the Saint Bernard breed. The club is open to all who share interest in the breed, it does not matter if you own a Saint Bernard or not. The club's territory covers the Northern portion of New Jersey, basically from New Brunswick to the NY State line. (You will not be excluded if you live outside this area). Meetings are generally held on the second weekend of the month excepting July and August. All facets of life with a Saint Bernard are open for discussion, from having one live in your home as a pet, to grooming, AKC sanctioned events such as conformation showing, obedience, rally, and tracking. Also The Saint Bernard Club of America sanctions events such as weight pull and draft work.

© NNJSBC 2022