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The Golden Saint is a mixed dog, a result of the Golden Retriever and the Saint Bernard being bred together. She will live for 9 to 13 years and is a giant cross breed and one of the largest hybrids there are. She is certainly not known for her agility but she still needs regular exercise just because of her size. The Golden Saint is a very gentle and calm dog.
|Here is the Golden Saint at a Glance|
|Average height||up to 36 inches|
|Average weight||100 to 220 pounds|
|Coat type||Long, dense, rough|
|Tolerant to Solitude?||Moderate|
|Tolerance to Heat||Low|
|Tolerance to Cold||Very good|
|Good Family Pet?||Very good|
|Good with Children?||Very good|
|Good with other Dogs?||Good, better with early socialization and training|
|Good with other Pets?||Very good|
|A roamer or Wanderer?||Low|
|A Good Apartment Dweller?||Moderate – despite his size he can adapt if he has to, as indoors he is quite calm|
|Good Pet for new Owner?||Good to very good|
|Trainability||Very good to excellent|
|Exercise Needs||Fairly Active|
|Tendency to get Fat||Fairly high|
|Major Health Concerns||Epilepsy, heart problems, bloat, OCD, Von Willebrand’s Disease, cancer|
|Other Health Concerns||Joint dysplasia, eye problems, allergies, hypothyroidism|
|Life Span||9 to 13 years|
|Average new Puppy Price||$300 – $700|
|Average Annual Medical Expense||$485 – $600|
|Average Annual Non-Medical Expense||$920 – $1050|
Where does the Golden Saint come from?
Over the last two decades there has been a surge in demand and popularity for hybrid dogs. Also called designer dogs this is a deliberate breeding between two, sometimes 3 purebreds. Mixed dogs or mutts have been around for as long as dogs have been around. But these designer dogs are deliberate not accidental and are given a name that often indicates the two purebreds involved. There have been so many of these in such a short amount of time that most do not have details on who, when and why they were first bred. Research what you can about the Golden Saint and it will also help to read about the Golden Retriever and the Saint Bernard.
The Golden Retriever
For a while many though the Golden Retriever was a descendent of Russian sheepdogs but in fact he was bred in Scotland by Lord Tweedmouth. As with many gentry Lord Tweedmouth liked to hunt and was especially keen on waterfowl. He was dissatisfied though with the usual dogs used for retrieval the spaniels and the setters, as he felt they were not attentive enough or calm enough in the home. He bred the Golden Retriever to meet his needs, to be an excellent retriever, to be especially sensitive to his owners, to be calm, gentle and loyal in the home. They were recognized as a breed in 1911 and renamed Golden Retrievers in 1920.
Today the Golden Retriever is still very much the dog he was bred to be. Gentle, devoted, a people person, a great family dog, intelligent and sweet. He loves classes, obedience training, and that kind of mental stimulation. He loves to make his owner happy. He also loves his food so watch that or he will become overweight!
The Saint Bernard
The Saint Bernard comes from Switzerland and it is thought they are a result of crossing native Alp dogs with Mastiffs the Romans brought with them. In the Alps in a dangerous alpine pass called The Saint Bernard Pass. It is from here the dog gets his name. A hospice was built there to help travelers and the dogs were used to guard the grounds and guard the monks when they went out to locate travelers who needed help. Their location and job led the breed to being able to withstand harsh weather conditions and able to carry out search and rescue. In the 300 years of records the Saint Bernard helped rescue over 2000 people but they did not have an official name until 1880 when they were recognized by the Swiss Kennel Club as the Saint Bernard.
Today he is a friendly dog, steady in temperament and kind. They do love to get attention but will not be as demanding for it as some breeds are. He is kind and good with children despite his size. He does have stubborn streak and early socialization and training can help iron that out.
The Golden Saint is very much like her parents, gentle, loving, loyal, friendly and inclined to be obedient. She is eager to please and intelligent making her very trainable. She is affectionate to the whole family and is never aggressive despite her size and natural strength. She is fairly sensitive to your moods and makes a good dog for a new owner as long as you have room for her! She can be left alone for short periods of time, but may get anxious if left for too long as she is a people dog.
What does a Golden Saint look like
She is a giant dog, she can weigh anywhere between 100 to 220 pounds and be up to 36 inches tall. Her coat can be long, rough or smooth, or water-repellent and dense depending on whether she leans more towards the Saint Bernard in looks or the Golden Retriever. Common colors include white, golden, black, yellow, speckled, brindle, spotted, cream, brown or merle. Her skull is wide and she has flappy ears and almond shaped sometimes deep set eyes. Most Golden Saints look more like a very large Golden Retriever.
Training and Exercise Needs
How active does the Golden Saint need to be?
Just because of their size they are fairly active, but they are not high energy dogs always needing to be out. For this reason surprisingly they could suit an apartment even, if there is room for her and she gets outside daily. She needs a long walk each day and some play time. She would like a trip to the dog park, she loves to swim, to retrieve anything. She is not agile though and nor is she fast.
Does she train quickly?
She is intelligent, keen to make you happy, inclined to listen and obey. This makes her an easy dog to train in general. Now and then you get one with more of the Saint Bernard stubborn streak but usually that is something easy enough to work through. As mentioned she is not agile or physically quick so keep that in mind. Early socialization and training are important for any dog, but with this one her physical size means she needs to be at her best and to know how to behave just so that she does not do things like jump up to great people and knock them flying.
Living with a Golden Saint
How much grooming is needed?
She is easy to groom and has moderate grooming needs. She is a shedder so will need brushing each day to keep ahead of the hair everywhere. Bathe when she needs it and use a doggy shampoo not a people one. She may require a visit to a professional groomers now and then for long hair trimming and you could leave the bath to them if her size makes it hard for you to do. They can also deal with her nails. Dog nails are nothing like ours. They have live vessels and nerves so when trimming you cannot cut the nail too close to the quick. She will also need her ears cleaned once a week by wiping with a solution or damp cloth. Oral hygiene is as important for our dogs as it is for us. Brush her teeth daily or at least three times a week.
What is she like with children and other animals?
She is a great family dog but early socialization and training are important because of size rather than her nature. She is gentle with children and very good with them, and other pets too. Teach your children how be kind to her, no tail pulling, ear tugging, riding the dog like a horse!
She is a great watchdog as she will bark to alert you if a stranger enters the house. She is surprisingly adaptable too, she can live without a yard and deal with an apartment as long as she is still exercised. She is very good in cold weather but is not good at all in hot weather so look after her. She will need 4 1/2 to 6 cups of high quality dry dog food a day, split into 2 meals.
Both the parents have some health issues and these could be inherited by the Golden Saint. They include epilepsy, heart problems, bloat, OCD, Von Willebrand’s Disease, cancer, joint dysplasia, eye problems, allergies and hypothyroidism.
Costs involved in owning a Golden Saint
A puppy of this mixed breed will be around $300 to $700. You will need a collar, a crate, a leash and you will also need to have her checked over be a vet, spayed and micro chipped. These costs will be between $445 – $550. Recurring costs for medical needs such as shots, flea prevention, check ups and pet insurance come to $485 – $600. Recurring annual costs for non-medical needs such as training, a license, toys, food, treats and long hair grooming are between $920 to $1050.
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She is a lovely, gentle giant of a dog. The Golden Saint may not be able to curl up on your lap but she can offer you her devotion, and a steadfastness you can count on. Have enough room for her, be ready for the slightly higher costs that come with a giant dog and you will not look back once you have her.
Featured Image Credit: Dreadie, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.
- Where does the Golden Saint come from?
- What does a Golden Saint look like
- Training and Exercise Needs
- Living with a Golden Saint
- Health Concerns
- Costs involved in owning a Golden Saint