You really want to Learn about The St. Bernard ! RIGHT?
Here are some things that you for sure don't want, when you are looking at photo's of Saints or looking at one in person, so watch out for these problems or short-comings when looking at a St. Bernard.
1-A Head that has a too long a muzzle that is shaped like a Collie's head and muzzle, with a pointed snippy muzzle. Nor do you want to see a St. Bernard that has too short a muzzle, and resembles a Bull Dog, with a bunch of wrinkles on top of the muzzle or one that has a nose that is sitting on top of it's muzzle. The nose is supposed to be out front of the top of the muzzle not pointing up toward the sky.
2- A head that is smaller than the muzzle, the skull is supposed to be broad, also you don't want to see a St. Bernard that has too much Pendant Lip, or Lip that is turning outside on the bottom jaw. Nor do you want to see any color of Lips but Black, the Standard says always Black.
3- A head that has too large size ears, or too small a size Ears. Or Ears that are set too low or too high.
4- A head that has the Occiput stuck up too high, where there is a point at the back skull, litterally a bone sticking up there.
5- A head that you can't see the dog's eyes, expression is very important for this breed, to have good Expression and a dog can not have good Head Type if it doesn't have well set eyes, to show the expression.
6-Markings of the head also contribute to the Expression the dog has, and the Standard calls for a Nose Band and it is impossible to have a Nose ban if the dog doesn't have a mask over both of it's eye's. How the dog's eyes are set also contribute to the Expression of the dog, and remember it is important for the dog to have well set eyes, along with a good color of eye, Dark Brown, is much better than yellow, light brown or green eyes.
7-The Breed Standard describes a Head that has particular angles to it, so when you are looking at a picture or a dog in person, looking straight ahead to the front of the dog's head the ears should be set well where the top of the dog's head there is a straight line you could draw from one ear to the other one, no lumps or bumps at the back skull, no rounded edges at the back skull.
8- The muzzle shouldn't be arched on the top of the muzzle looking down on it, or if you are looking at the front of the muzzle it shouldn't have over arched sides of the muzzle. Never a Dome appearance on the top of the muzzle and never arched on the top sides of the muzzle. Dog's like this will usualy have too many front teeth if you opened their mouths. Later on having wore down teeth. And their teeth are important to proper digestion, something of which this breed really needs to be healthy.
9- Now about the Front of the dog, this is a really big problem with this particular breed these days, too many really bad fronts or shoulders, that are pitiful. This giant size breed needs good strong shoulders, to enable it to carry all it's heavy size. Here are some problems to watch out for when looking at a dog or picture of one.
10- Shoulders that are not well angulated meaning, dog's with what is called straight shoulders. Or dog's that have Bad Pasterns, or Weak Pasterns, where they look too much like a Rocking chair in the front end. Dog's that feet turn out different directions instead of straight ahead of the dog. Dog's that have bad feet, too long a toes or too short a toes.
11- Shoulders that are actually up higher on the dog's body than the chest cavity of the dog. This is seen a lot these days too. Any time you see a dog looking from the side view of that dog and it's Body, or chest is actually lower, than it's Elbows, this is a problem front end. Why? because how is this dog supposed to be able to develop good shoulder muscle, when it's front end is not easily carried like this?
12-Chest, where is the Brisket, is it dropped to where it can not even be seen? Because the entire front on the dog is incorrect? Are the shoulders set well into the back bone or is there a break there are the withers? Check out these things.
13-This breed needs a good strong set of shoulders just like it needs a good strong Topline, without it being sloped like a German Shepherds, it's not supposed to be higher in the rear unless it's still a growing puppy in height, nor is it supposed to be sway back.
14- The hindquarters should be shaped well so as to enable this growing puppy or once it's finished growing to develop good strong muscle in the thighs. Also the stifle shouldn't be twisted, or turned. The croup should be angulated correctly too. Which will help this dog to develop good muscle in the rear end. Watch out for Bad Hocks, weak Hocks, buckling hocks, straight hocks, or hocks with too much angulation of the rear stifle.
15- The tail set shouldn't appear too high up on the dog or the dog will have a Gay tail the tail should be the right length not too long and not too short.
16- Color and Markings are all listed in the Breed Standard, most people do learn and understand them first of all.
17- Coat texture is another problem these days because there are too many dog's that don't have what is correct coat texture for this particular breed, some of them are too long a coat to be considered a short-haired and not enough length of coat to be called a long-haired dog, so watch out for that problem.
18- I shouldn't even have to mention this one but I will, watch out for Temperament. This is probably the most important thing to everyone. Now, some people do not understand that a St. Bernard can be and will be protective over it's own domain and family or property, it is to warn of an approaching stranger,( by Barking) but once it's owner has told it that the person approaching is okay, then it should be okay with that dog too. A lot of temperament problems are Enviromental Behavior Problems where people have not done as they should have in training the dog from a puppy to get to know other people as well as other dog's. A St. Bernard should be intelligent and easily trained, but owners need to remember if they allow the dog to develop some bad habits then expect some bad habits from the dog.
19-Balance is not actually mentioned in our Breed Standard but it is described in every paragraph of that Standard, Balance for this particular Breed. That means the dog should be the perfect picture of all the parts fitting that dog. The bone, the coupling of the dog, the size of it's head, the length of it's legs, the amount of muscleing on the dog, the muzzle that fits the size of it's skull, the depth of it's muzzle fitting the size of it's muzzle, it's front skull having a well developed stop, being broad, and deep so that it's eyes are set well. It's ears being the right size for it's head, it having the right amount of teeth and it's nose being set where it's supposed to be and large enough. The chest being wide enough that it has the brisket where it's supposed to be and the shoulders set correctly where it is able to develope good muscle in them. And all the bones and joints being shaped well enough to enable to dog to develop good muscle tone all over the dog.
20- Then and only then do you get to see this well balance dog that is Proportionately a Tall figure, and not proportionately a short figure. No, if everything is in Proportions you will see a well balanced St. Bernard dog, where every single part fits him and things are not out of balance, or proportions, and that is everything from his head to his toes and then to his tail. Just keep reading that Breed Standard, and learning all you can about what is really correct for the Great St. Bernard Dog.