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  • Post category:Behavior / Dogs
  • Post last modified:August 21, 2023
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Are St Bernards Aggressive? [Are they good family dogs?]

We all love a St Bernard, don’t we? But then, the huge size of this big brown and white dog can often mistake a first-timer to consider it an aggressive dog. 

And you are one of them, aren’t you? So, you are probably reading this on having just met one and found it cute, and now you want to sort out the confusion. 

Are St Bernards aggressive? Read on, and you will come to know the truth.

Are St Bernards Aggressive?

Are st bernards aggressive? A fluffy brown and white St. Bernard puppy sits on green grass with its tongue out, looking happy and playful.

No, on the contrary, these can make some of the most friendly dogs with their love for people and friendly nature, especially when given the right training. 

As pets, they are calm, gentle, and tolerant to the point that they can surprise a first-time owner considering their huge size. 

In other words, a St Bernard can best be described as a gentle giant yet fiercely loyal and protective of its owner. 

St. Bernhard’s Characteristics: Temperament, Personality, Size and More.

BreedSt. Bernard
HeightMales: 70–90 cm; Females: 65–80 cm
WeightMales: 64–120 kg; Females: 54–91 kg
Coat typeSmooth or rough, dense and thick, with an oily waterproof quality
Coat colorWhite with red, brindle, or brown patches
Lifespan8–10 years
TemperamentFriendly, outgoing, gentle, loyal, smart and protective
TrainabilityEasy to train, but can be stubborn
Exercise needsModerate to high, require daily walks and playtime
Health concernsHip dysplasia, bloat, obesity, and ear infections

Must Read: Are cocker spaniels hunting dogs?

Why Is My Saint Bernard Aggressive?

St Bernards are generally not aggressive, and so if an owner is experiencing signs of aggression, chances are there is something that he is going through, like an illness or injury he is keeping from you. 

This is a typical dog quality that he displays by hiding his pain, which is often mistaken for aggression. 

Apart from this, the only other time that this gentle giant is being aggressive is when he is trying to protect his owner. 

What To Do When Your St. Bernard Is Aggressive?

Are st bernards aggressive? A majestic St. Bernard stands tall on a green lawn outside of a beautiful house. Its thick coat of fur shines in the sun.

One of the first things one needs to do when a St Bernard is unexpectedly and unusually showing signs of aggression is to plan a visit to a vet who can visit him and get to know what the dog has been going through. 

At the same time, a little training would also be helpful. St Bernards are highly responsive and cooperative and will take the cue with just a little eye contact and verbal comments that tell him what he should and should not do. 

Are St Bernards Easy To Train?

Yes, St Bernards are one of the most friendly dogs and are often a pleasure to train, so much so that an owner is going to enjoy taking him through the training period all the way. 

However, an owner must take care that the training is done at an early stage before the dog gets big and could probably be a bit harder to train. 

Are Saint Bernards Good Family Dogs?

Despite their size, which could scare a kid, a St. Bernard is one of the best dogs that a family can get, extremely patient around kids and fiercely protective and loyal towards their owners. 

They are well-behaved and exceptionally understanding to the point of treating the kids in the house like their own siblings. 

Are St Bernards Good Guard Dogs?

Are st bernards aggressive? A fierce-looking St. Bernard wears a red and gold armor suit and holds a large shield. Its eyes stare straight ahead with determination.

Gentle they may be, but a St Bernard can also be highly intelligent. They guarded the saint that they were named after, and they will definitely guard the rest of their owners. 

And so, while a St Bernard can be highly patient and well-behaved with a misbehaving kid, he is not going to be the same with an intruding burglar. 

This is a dog that is highly instinctive and can easily spot a person who poses a threat, and in turn, he will do his part to protect his owner and help him deal with it. 

Recommended Reading: Are all puppies born with blue eyes?

Are Saint Bernards Good With Cats?

St Bernards are good with everyone except robbers and troublemakers, and this includes cats and other animals too. 

The big St Bernard in the house will pose absolutely no threat or problem with the tiny kitten that comes home, but will rather give him a huge friend to be entertained with. 

The cat may be terrified at first, but it’s only going to be a matter of time before the gentleman dog, with his instincts, will handle the situation till the two become the best of friends.

Final Thoughts!

Are St Bernards aggressive? Now you are convinced that they are not. So, go ahead and get St Bernard that you have been dreaming of adopting without worrying about how they are going to be around you and the kids and the other pets in the house. 

You have a new member in the house that you are sure to love, the kids get a good playmate, and you get a powerful guard dog. 


Q1. Saint Bernard Bite Force

Ans: St Bernard is known to have a bite force that can go above 400 psi. However, this need not pose much of a problem as a St Bernard is generally not known to bite. 

Q2. Are Saint Bernards Smart?

Ans: Yes, St Bernards are smart and highly intelligent, and this is what makes them so easy to condition and train. Their highly instinctive nature makes them good guard dogs and wonderful to have as pets.

Q3. Are St Bernards Protective?

Ans: St Bernards are fiercely protective and will do anything to ensure the safety of their owners. Added to this are their size and their loud bark, which can scare the bravest burglar away. 

Q4. Are St Bernards Friendly?

Ans: A St Bernard is one of the friendliest dogs that one can possess, be it with their owners, children, and even cats and other animals. They can be a bit shy and reserved around strangers, but given time, they will come back to being friendly giants just like they are with their owners. 

Q5. Are St Bernards Lazy? 

Ans: Sadly, yes, the huge size of a St Bernard can make him more of a slow mover, but he can be trained in time to speed up as well. His affection and love will make him respond to his owner. Give him lots of exercises so that, in time, he is going to adapt to a more active routine and change for the better.

Q6. Do Saint Bernards Like Water?

Ans: Yes, a St Bernard loves to swim, but just don’t let him go too far into the water, that is, if you are at a beach. Throw the ball a short distance away and go no further, as they are not distance swimmers but just the kind that would enjoy a short dip. 


Hey there, pet lovers! I'm Pratik, a lifelong animal lover, and pet care expert. My passion for animals began at a young age and has only grown stronger over the years. Through my blog, I hope to share my knowledge and expertise with other pet owners and provide them with valuable information on pets.