Saint Shepherd is a mix of two large breeds of dogs the gentle giant Saint Bernard and the intelligent guard dog German Shepherd.
St Bernard German Shepherd Mix is a large dog who will intimidate any stranger and yet be a cuddly companion to you and your family.
While this sounds good, you should accept a lot of fur in the home and should have time set aside for grooming them.
Saint Shepherd – Specifications
|Height||25 to 30 inches|
|Weight||90 to 140 pounds|
|Lifespan||10 to 14 years|
|Color||mixed of black, brown or sable|
|Temperament||Friendly, Playful and easy to train|
Saint Shepherd – Appearance
The first thing that you will notice about them would be their large size. They would have a massive face with jowls. They may drool but not as much as St Bernards.
They would have flappy ears with dark brown eyes. They often have a short to medium muzzle and a black nose.
Often they have the brown color face of a German shepherd though other colors are also seen.
St Bernard German Shepherd Mix has a thick double coat with long hairs. Common colors seen are a mix of black, brown, and sable. This coat keeps them protected in cold but they don’t do well in the hot climate.
St Bernard German Shepherd Mix can grow to a height of 25 to 30 inches and weigh approximately 90 to 140 pounds. Their average lifespan is around 10 to 14 years.
St Bernard German Shepherd Mix Temperament
They get the best of the two dogs. Saint shepherd has the intelligence of the German shepherd and the friendly and cuddly traits of St Bernard.
They would like to be with you and would demand constant attention. They would not see their size while just sitting on your lap and slobbering you down with licking.
They are gentle and pretty good with kids as well. Though you should supervise them as they can easily topple down younger ones accidentally just with their sheer size.
With the intelligence of the German shepherd, they are easier to train than Saint Bernard.
One thing that you should be aware of is about their loud bark. They do not bark often but when they do, they can certainly be loud.
Hence you should not have panicky neighbors for the noise and they are definitely not suitable for apartment living due to this and their sheer size as well.
With their size, and being alert and protective of the family, they do well as Guard dogs as well.
Is Saint Shepherd good for the family?
We definitely recommend them as one of the few large size dogs suitable for families. Just be careful when they are with the children as we have discussed above.
They often do well with other pets and dogs though with the genes of a German shepherd it would be best to socialize them from the beginning.
As this is a new cross breed, not much study has been done on them about any health issues they may be associated with.
Let us have a closer look at the diseases that the parent breeds may be prone to that they may inherit.
Bloat – A medical condition which large deep chested dogs are prone to. This is a life threatening situation in which the dog’s stomach gets filled with gas and twists leading the dog into a shock.
Immediate medical help is needed.
Few tips to avoid this are
- Avoid exercise within an hour of eating.
- Split into multiple meals instead of one large one.
- Avoid elevated water bowls.
Entropion – This is a medical condition in which the eyelids rolls inwards and rubs against the eye. This is quite painful and may damage the eye.
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia – They are medical conditions of the bones not snugly fitting into the joints. They are inheritable and any dog suffering from this should be neutered.
Dilated cardiomyopathy – This is a heart disease that Saint Bernard are prone to in which heart is not able to pump the blood efficiently.
Pannus – This is a medical condition that affects the eyes and German shepherd dogs are prone to this.
These dogs do shed and you would see a bag full of fur almost daily. You would need to plan to brush them almost daily to keep the fur in check and keeping their coat clean.
We would recommend a pin or bristle brush to comb their double coat and remove any mats in their undercoat.
We would also recommend to give them a bath no more than once every four to six weeks.
You should also keep an eye on nails and trim them regularly. Be vigilant of their dental health as well and brush at least two to three times a week.
They are not very active large dogs and would be happy to just idle aroud in the house. They still require daily exercise to keep them fit.
An hour’s walk daily should be sufficient to keep them healthy and avoid becoming overweight. This would also help to give them enough mental stimulation to keep their smart mind engaged.
While Saint Bernard are not one of the smartest dogs, the genes of a German Shepherd makes them smarter. Thus being smart and with the eager to please attitude, they are considered easier to train.
You would like to train them since beginning with obedience training as it is a must for all large dogs. You would like them to follow your orders once they are grown up.
Their loud bark is another aspect you might want to train so that they do not do the same for no reason.
Socializing with humans and other pets is important from early age.
They are large dogs and we would suggest approximately 3 to 4 cups of dry dog food. We would recommend Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Large Breed for these dogs.
St Bernard German Shepherd Mix are prone to become obese so you should vary the food based on age, size and activity level of the dog.
Let us now have a closer look at the parent breeds of this gentle giant cross breed.
Saint Bernards are giant-size dogs who were originally bred in and around the Alps mountains of Switzerland.
They got their name from the Saint Bernard pass. A Saint Bernard used to guard a Hospice at this pass at about 8000 feet above sea level. They were bred as guard dogs who used to rescue any travelers from cold.
They are known as gentle giants who love to be along with the family inside your home. They are quite laidback and don’t need a lot of exercise.
With their long dense double coat they are protected from cold but don’t do well in hot weather.
German shepherd dogs are known for being loyal, brave, smart and confident.
They were originally bred in Germany by Captain Max von Stephanitz who bred this in the early 1900s to develop a superior herding dog breed.
As the industrialization happened in Germany, these dogs become popular as military dogs for their size and intelligence.
They have now become quite popular in the USA and world wide and are frequently seen in military and police service.
They do great as family dogs but suffer from separation anxiety. They are also not suitable if you have other dogs at home.