Famous in the early twentieth century as rescue dogs, St. Bernards are popular today as family pets.
St. Bernards are very patient and empathetic and they love children. They are like giant stuffed animals, to which one can snuggle up to wonderfully while reading or watching television. Even when they are fully grown, they are considered very playful. The do not like lots of exercise, but they do love the cold and nothing makes them happier than to play in the snow. Previously, they were used in the Swiss Alps as rescue dogs. The avalanche dog Barry is said to have saved the lives of about 40 people during his time as a rescue dog.
The St Bernard is one of the heaviest breeds of dog in the world.