Saint Shepherd: The St. Bernard German Shepherd Mix

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The Saint Shepherd is a cross between a pure German Shepherd Dog and a pure Saint Bernard, although subsequent generations may have different proportions of the two breeds in the mix.

This mix of two large working breeds with strong protective instincts is probably best reserved for experienced dog owners.

This is a friendly and outgoing dog who loves children and other dogs but must be socialized when young.

They may drool a lot like the Saint Bernard if they have the loose jowls, but this is uncommon in this breed.

They learn very quickly and know how to follow commands. They are very relaxed and laidback.

They make great family pets and terrific guard dogs, but they do shed a lot. You will need to brush them often.

Saint Shepherd Puppies – Before You Buy…

A Saint Shepherd sitting on a cushion
The Saint Shepherd is a protective and loving pet.

What Price are Saint Shepherd Puppies?

The price of Saint Shepherd puppies is anywhere between $500 to $800.

How to Find Reputable Saint Shepherd Breeders?

If you plan to buy a puppy from a breeder, you need to know how to recognize a responsible and reputable breeding operation and where to find them in your area.

If you don’t take the time to carefully choose where you get your puppy, you could end up with a dog that has a lot of serious medical issues or behavioral problems.

This can cause a great deal of money, not to mention frustration and heartache. Worse, you could end up supporting puppy mills without you knowing it.

Internet advertisements are not reliable. It is impossible to tell the difference between a reputable breeder and a puppy mill unless you do an actual visit.

Reputable breeders rely on their own websites, word of mouth, and their national or regional breed clubs for referrals.

To find a reputable breeder, contact the national or regional breed club. You can also get in touch with your local kennel club.

The breed club should have a code of ethics that members must meet to join.

You can also find rescue dogs available through breed clubs.

Dog breeding is a big responsibility. Those who don’t have the knowledge, time, space, love, and money to breed and care for dogs at a high standard should not be breeding.

Unfortunately, many people do it anyway because they can make a lot of money in the breeding business.

Good breeders put a great deal of time into caring for their dogs, researching, deciding which dogs to breed, and screening potential buyers.

They are very involved in their breed club. They participate in shows and other competitions and their dogs are a huge part of their lives.

They do all of this because they care and not because of money.

Ethical dog breeders usually make a small profit from the sale of their puppies because most of the money their clients pay goes to cover expenses, such as health screenings for genetic disorders, stud fees, vet fees, and registrations.

The only way you can know for sure that a breeder is reputable is to visit and see firsthand the conditions their breeding dogs and puppies are kept in.

Be sure you visit before you hand over any money. You’ll need to ask specific questions and request to see paperwork to make sure they meet the standards of a good breeder.

An ethical and reputable breeder only breeds one or two breeds and don’t have a large number of animals than they could provide for.

They require you to visit personally, and they will show you their dogs and where they are housed.

They have clean and spacious facilities, and their dogs are healthy and well-socialized.

They keep their puppies warm, clean, and well-fed. They allow them to stay with their mother until they are weaned.

Reputable breeders raise their puppies inside the home where they can grow accustomed to common household sounds.

They are also very knowledgeable about the breed and ask you many questions to ensure your lifestyle, attitude, and knowledge of dogs are a good fit for their puppies.

They will share openly about their breeding programs and practices. They will also talk to you about genetic disorders prevalent in the breed and how they are working to prevent them.

They provide ongoing guidance and support to puppy buyers.

3 Little-Known Facts About Saint Shepherd Puppies

  1. The Saint Shepherd is a great family dog who gets along well with children. They are fast learners.
  2. They are playful but also very calm dogs.
  3. They tend to bark when they are excited.

Physical Traits of the Saint Shepherd

A Saint Shepherd sitting in the snow
Saint Shepherds are considered gentle giants.

Saint Shepherd is a large breed that may grow up to 150 pounds when fully grown.

It has a massive head and big floppy ears. It has dark brown, oval-shaped eyes, as well as a short to medium size muzzle and a black nose.

Saint Shepherd has a thick and well-muscled body, with a straight back, and a pair of large feet and strong legs. It also has arched toes.

The face is usually black or dark brown, while the rest of its body can be black, brown, or white.

It can also be brown and white, or brown and black.

Saint Shepherd has a thick double coat that protects them from cold weather. But during really hot weather, it can cause overheating.

You will need to use a hard bristle brush, pin brush, or metal comb several times a week to prevent matting.

They only need to be bathed once a month. Bathe them too frequently and it can cause them to have dry skin and irritation.

You should also trim your Saint Shepherd’s nails when needed so they do not split.

Their teeth also need care. Brush them as often as you can, preferably three times a week.

How Big is a Full-Grown Saint Shepherd?

The Saint Shepherd is going to be a giant dog. Male Saint Shepherd dogs can grow as tall as 28 to 31 inches and weigh 95 to 150 lbs.

Females grow to 25 to 28 inches in height and weigh 85 to 140 lbs.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Saint Shepherd?

The life expectancy of the Saint Shepherd is 10 to 13 years.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Saint Shepherd

An adult Saint Shepherd on a walk
The Saint Shepherd is the mix of the German Shepherd Dog and the Saint Bernard.

This gentle giant has the looks of a guard dog and can be trained to protect the family, but they are typically very well behaved and loving.

They love playing with just about everyone and are wonderful caregivers as well.

However, they are large dogs, so you have to watch them with little children to avoid accidents.

You can train them easily to do anything because of their intelligence and quick learning.

They are diligent and obedient with the desire to please their humans.

If you do happen to get a stubborn dog, just be consistent and patient and they will eventually come around to your way of thinking.

The Saint Shepherd’s Diet

Since this is a large breed and it takes a long time for them to mature, it’s best to feed them good food formulated for large breed puppies.

These foods typically have fewer calories and calcium levels that are appropriate for large breed growth.

Most breeders recommend feeding this food until your puppy reaches about 90 percent of his adult size.

With a large breed puppy such as the Saint Shepherd, you should not switch to an adult food while the puppy is still growing.

Continue to feed a large breed puppy food or an all life stages food until your dog reaches maturity.

A giant breed such as the Saint Shepherd needs calcium and other mineral content that is not found in maintenance dog foods.

It’s wise to feed young puppies 8 to 16 weeks old about three to four small meals throughout the day.

When your Saint Bernard puppy is 16 weeks to 6 months old, you can move to three feedings per day.

From age 6 months onward, you can feed your Saint Shepherd two meals per day.

However, some owners prefer to go on feeding three meals per day, even for adult dogs, with snacks and treats between meals.

You need to avoid feeding one large meal per day. An empty stomach can lead to more air or gas which can result in bloat or torsion.

Split meals into several smaller meals spread throughout the day. Encourage your dog to eat more slowly.

Include pre and probiotics to help with digestion or add other supplements.

Feed good quality dog food with a protein percentage from the upper 20% level to the lower 30% mark. Fat percentage is suggested to be around 12% to 18%.

How Much Exercise Does a Saint Shepherd Need?

The Saint Shepherd tends to become overweight if they do not get enough exercise.

Take them out for a walk once or twice a day and let them run around in a fenced area for a couple of hours as well.

They usually need about 90 minutes of vigorous activity every day to stay physically and mentally sharp.

Without enough exercise, they can grow anxious and bored and develop bad behaviors, including aggression and excessive barking.

Some great activities for your Saint Shepherd include playing with other dogs at the dog park, playing fetch, hiking, swimming, and obedience and agility training.

Saint Shepherd Health and Conditions

Major concerns for this breed include gastric dilation volvulus, hip and elbow dysplasia, dilated cardiomyopathy, renal cystadenocarcinoma, and nodular dermatofibromas.

Minor concerns are pannus, dry eye, entropion, and ectropion.

Saint Shepherds can occasionally be diagnosed with hemophilia, degenerative myopathy, perianal fistula, and exocrine pancreatic.

Occasional tests that can be performed on this breed include cardiac tests, diagnostic imaging, blood and urine analysis, skin evaluation, and eye examination.

My Final Thoughts on the Saint ShepherdA Saint Shepherd with its tongue out

The Saint Shepherd is protective and loving toward family yet intimidating to intruders.

Keep in mind that the Saint Bernard parent is a big bear of a protective dog developed to work independently.

As a breed, Saint Shepherds are considered gentle giants.

They are really big that requires a huge level of commitment from their owners.

They will eat, drool, poop, and shed a lot. They will take up a lot of space in your home and your car.

In temperament, Saint Shepherds are placid, eager to please, and very good with children.

Their size and bark discourage most intruders, but they are quite friendly unless there is a real threat to their favorite humans or their territory.

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