The St. Bernard is a breed of very large working dog from the Italian and Swiss Alps, originally bred for rescue. The breed has become famous through tales of alpine rescues, as well as for its large size.
The St. Bernard is a large dog. The average weight of the breed is between 140 and 264 lb (64–120 kg) or more and the approximate height at the withers is 27½ inches to 35½ inches (70 to 90 cm).
St. Bernards as rescue dogs with brandy barrels around their neck. The brandy was supposedly used to warm the bodies of trapped people in avalanches or snow before help came.
The earliest written records of the St. Bernard breed are from monks at the hospice at the Great St Bernard Pass in 1707, with paintings and drawings of the dog dating even earlier.
The most famous St. Bernard to save people at the pass was Barry, who reportedly saved somewhere between 40 and 100 lives.
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