Ever heard of the St. Bernard Australian Shepherd mix?
It is a peculiar mix, I must admit and not as famous as other shepherd breeds.
It is quite uncommon to find most dog lovers considering it as first choice for adoption.
However, families and breeders who prefer the Saint Bernard Australian Shepherd mix treat it with lots of care and love.
I know the question running through your mind right now is; why breed these two together?
In this article, we are going to discuss in detail the outstanding qualities of both the St. Bernard and Australian shepherd dogs, the resulting personality of the hybrid and how to care for it.
The Saint Bernard
The St. Bernard is known to have originated from the Alpine region of Switzerland and northern Italy.
It was initially used as a rescue dog.
Its ancestors are the Swiss cattle dogs and mountain dogs who descended from the Molossians breeds that existed during the ancient Roman empire.
Researchers say that this breed was seen in the company of monks at the Great St. Bernard Pass during the late 18th century.
An exclusive club was opened for the first time in Basel, Switzerland in honour of the St. Bernard.
To this day, it remains the national dog symbol of Switzerland. (source)
The St. Bernard has a majestic appearance and easily intimidates those who come close to it.
It is huge and has very powerful muscles. (source)
The St. Bernard has a long tail that is masculine and if not properly watched, can easily knock down objects in the house when it is excited.
Its fur can either be short or long depending on the breed you selected and it is mostly white with black, mahogany or red markings.
It is gentle, patient, friendly, kind and playful which makes it a favourite to most children.
It is protective and an impressive guardian as it is capable of sensing any threat that approaches.
The St. Bernards is very intelligent making it a quick learner. Hence, it is always advisable to train it while it is still a pup for better retention.
Training is important especially for this breed because they have an enormous body size and are fond of jumping on people.
It has a life span of about 8 to 10 years. This breed is generally in good health but are prone to genetic diseases, especially bone related.
Grooming should be done 2 to 3 times a week to prevent matting.
It doesn’t need frequent bath but it is always good to wash it whenever dirty.
The St. Bernard has very impressive qualities, and you can easily see why one would consider it as a crossbred candidate. (source)
The Australian Shepherd
The Australian shepherd is a hardworking labour dog and was used for herding.
It is smart, very focused and is the ideal best friend.
Read more about The Australian Shepherd here.
It has amazing qualities making it ideal for crossbreeding, too.
The St Bernard Australian Shepherd Mix
Where researchers have opted for hybridization, the major reason is always to improve the genetic traits and personality of certain dog breeds.
The St. Bernard Australian Shepherd is a pretty rare breed.
But just imagine of a cross-breed from a big, gentle doggy known for its many rescue accomplishments and another small, very active, intelligent and loyal dog.
Don’t you think this is the real deal?
The two perfectly make a very active working and family dog, with a higher IQ level, good attitude to kids and people around it as well as the determination to succeed.
You might also be interested in: The Australian Shepherd Husky mix
The mix gives a loving, protective not forgetting very outgoing nature.
If you’re that person who loves spending long hours seated at the couch, this is not the ideal dog for you!
The St. Bernard shepherd mix is known for its gentle and warm nature which obviously rubs off on the offspring making it great with kids.
The breed is relatively smaller, which makes it suitable for a house pet and relate well with other homestead animals like cats.
This breed portrays some higher level of intelligence, loyalty and devotion to its owner.
Although it seems friendly and playful around most people, it’s wary of strangers. Thus, making it a great, reliable watch dog.
Also, it is agile. Therefore, an outdoor space for play would do it good.
All dogs have the risk and potential of developing genetic disorders and other normal health problems, though others are more susceptible than others.
The expectation of most people when getting a crossbred puppy is to get one that has lower health risks.
Breeders are therefore expected to offer a health guarantee on such pups.
When looking for a breeder, consider one that will be honest about the health problems in a certain breed and one that can provide a health clearance for it.
The mix is prone to certain health problems like:
- Joint dysplasia
- Eye problems
A clean canine is always the ideal pet.
Therefore, the St. Bernard Australian Shepherd breed needs a little grooming every now and then.
The two breeds will produce a moderately shedding dog, but this will depend on which side it takes.
It will need brushing at least 3 times a week and bathe only when necessary, in order to prevent its skin from becoming too dry.
There are some specific exercise requirements that every owner should fulfil.
The mix is known to have offset its energetic nature from the Australian shepherd.
To cut down on this excess energy, you should take it for long walks in the park and hikes whenever you can. This will help to control it from being destructive in the homestead.
A tired dog will only obey given orders.
A little training is necessary, too. This dog is an intelligent breed that is easy to train, but if done from a tender age.
It is strong and at times stubborn; therefore, it needs an equally strong trainer.
To ease it the trouble of training, make sure you always reward it when it does well.
Make sure it gets enough exercise to make training easier.
In addition, let it be around many people in order to learn how to socialize with people and other dogs from the neighbourhood.
To sum it up, the St. Bernard Australian mix will only be good for you and your family if you do research about it before adoption.
Make sure you know about the parent breeds and the professionalism of the breeder.
You might be lured by its cute face or the gentle nature. But what you should know is that what matters more is the health condition of that breed.
Be sure to make a smart choice!