Determining which breed of dog would be a good match for your family can be a challenge. There are many factors to take into consideration: temperament, size, grooming requirements, activity level, trainability, expense, and propensity to drool. Do your research now, before you are tempted by an irresistible puppy.
Raising a puppy will consume a lot of your time. Do you have the necessary time to dedicate to training, exercising, and socializing a puppy? Are you prepared financially? The cost of the puppy is just a fraction of the expense incurred during the life of a dog. You should consider the cost of quality food, veterinary care (routine and urgent care), and supplies, such as collars/leashes, bowls, crate, and toys. Everything is more expensive for a giant breed dog.
Once you decide upon a Saint Bernard, your focus will turn to locating a breeder. Below are a few things that are important to consider when selecting a breeder:
Visiting a breeder’s home is imperative. It provides an opportunity for you to meet their dogs, assess their living conditions, and get a feel for their temperaments. Spend some time getting to know the breeder personally. It is important you feel comfortable purchasing a pup from them.
It is important that a breeder actively participates in conformation shows. Exhibiting their dogs in the show ring provides the breeder with an objective evaluation of their breeding stock. Some breeders may also participate in other activities such as, obedience, rally, agility, or therapy work?
The breeder should supply a written contract. This may include health guarantees, identification number (microchip and/or tattoo), a requirement that you contact the breeder if you are unable to keep the dog, and may include general care instructions.
It is illegal in Canada to offer a dog as purebred without providing registration papers. If the breeder is in Canada and claims that the parents are registered with the American Kennel Club, the dam must also be registered with the CKC (Canadian Kennel Club, not the Continental Kennel Club) for the pups to be registered in this country. The breeder is required to supply you with your dog’s registration papers within six month after the date of sale.
The Saint Bernard Fanciers of Canada maintains a list of breeders that are members in good standing with the SBFC.