Talk:St. Bernard (dog)

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I’m a curious reader just stopping by. There seems to be a big missing piece to this article: exactly how the dogs accomplished their “rescues”.

Were they used as search and rescue (I.e., with handlers nearby?) Were they just let out to wander around and find people? Were they used only after an avalanche? Etc, etc.

There seems to be no information at all about this in the article. (It doesn’t even refer explicitly to the barrel myth, I.e, that they carried barrels of alcohol to warm travelers they came across!)

01:51, 8 July 2021 (UTC)

Breeding Goals at Barry Foundation in Martigny[edit]

The article states the following - but notes lacking citation: "The dogs at the Barry Foundation are reportedly smaller than the average St Bernard."

I'm in the process of buying a puppy from the Barry Foundation breeding center. I spent an afternoon at the station in Martigny (NOT the museum - it's a different location), exchanged several emails and phone calls with their breeding director, Manuel Gaillard. He told me that this statement is correct. Specifically, he told me that the Barry Foundation is currently seeking to reestablish the breed along the lines of the "Barry" dogs as they existed in the 19th century - i.e., relatively small, athletic and more often short-haired. Their ideal weight for a fully grown male is the 70-80 kg range, females 60-70 kg.

Since Manual sets the breeding guidelines, this information is as reliable as it gets; however, I can't provide an inline as it'S all verbal. Is it OK to include this? (Sorry, I don't even have a Wiki account, just wanted to help. (talk) 20:14, 9 November 2019 (UTC) )Reply[reply]


I'd fix it myself, but I'm on an iPhone and don't want to screw up the layout for anyone else. The images are way too intrusive as they are, they need to be shrunk down and/or rearranged. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:27, 19 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Saint Bernard named Benedictine[edit]

Here is reliable source provides a 367 pounds st bernard. DogExpert (talk) 00:30, 15 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What year was it published, and where in there does it say anything about a 357 or 367 pound St. Bernard? As the talkpage archives show, there have been a bunch of circular references all dating back to an entirely unsourced and frankly ridiculous claim (seriously, said St. Bernard was supposed to have lived to be 14) that was in the Wikipedia article in 2000-2010. I didn't see anything to support such an extraordinary claim. Compare that with the sourcing for Zorba, it's not even close. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:25, 15 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All that reference proves is that the AKC published a book on dog breeds. Mjroots (talk) 07:44, 15 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Mjroots book published by American Kennel Club "Meet the Breeds" 5th Edition (also earlier editions) pqge 182 Saint Bernard, section size. "The heaviset one weighted 367 pounds" You can check the book yourself. DogExpert (talk) 19:58, 15 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You can check from google books. Saint Bernard a dog registered by AKC. So it is the most reliable source. DogExpert (talk) 20:06, 15 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The problem is, both of those links only show the front cover of the book, not the actual page. If you can link to the actual page, that would be really helpful. Mjroots (talk) 06:01, 16 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm an uninvolved editor who just wanted to chime in. Based on previously established consensus here, and the possibility that some sources may have been created *because* of the unsourced material in Wikipedia, I think that any attempt to add this fact will need to be backed by a couple of good-quality sources that were, ideally, published before the unsourced material was added to the article here. That way there's no way they could have been influenced or based on the article exclusively. Also, from what I am reading, this seems like it's not a particularly important piece of information about the breed itself, and the murkiness around the origin of the claim means it should be treated with a higher level of scrutiny than normal. Just my two cents! MrAureliusRTalk! 17:52, 16 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

MrAureliusR this is not some random resource, it is AKC which is setting standards for the dogs. They don't do it from internet sources for sure. So thank you for your note but this case it is unreasonable. DogExpert (talk) 15:59, 17 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

mjroots I gave the page number of book and second link not only showing the cover but also on the right it shows text from page. If you provide your email I can send you screen shot of the page 182. Ps: AKC doesn't give name etc Benedictine but gives information about max height 35" and max weight 367lbs. Which confirms info on the page. DogExpert (talk) 16:03, 17 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Giving link that shows page 182 is prohibited by Wikipedia. So I can't give direct link to page here. If you need to see book page 182 either google the book and check page or provide your email then I can send the image. DogExpert (talk) 18:23, 18 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@DogExpert: I think we've got enough info here to at least say something about the breed, without mentioning the name of the claimed heaviest dog. Something like "The animal can reach 35 inches (89 cm) in height and 367 pounds (166 kg) in weight.[1] Lets leave this here for a few days for discussion. If there are no objection then it can be added to the article. Mjroots (talk) 07:17, 20 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Mjroots, that data has been refuted over and over, and reliable sources do not mention it. This source does not mention a source for that information either, and they may very well be basing their information on the sources that have been refuted here over and over, making them just again another circular source as before. Dirk Beetstra T C 08:03, 20 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This source is not different from Talk:St._Bernard_(dog)/Archive_1#Benedictine_--_real_or_not?. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:05, 20 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Beetstra: Are the AKC not a reliable source? Could this be qualified by adding "According to the American Kennel Club," at the beginning of the sentence? Mjroots (talk) 08:35, 20 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Mjroots, the last time I checked, the Readers' digest is a reliable source .. but in this case they got their information from a faulty source and it turned out that they were wrong. I am afraid that, since we are talking about exactly the same numbers, this comes from unreliable sources. Dirk Beetstra T C 11:24, 20 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Beetstra:, would it be worth exploring what the Guinness Book of Records has to say on the subject? They have a reputation for independent fact checking. Mjroots (talk) 11:30, 20 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Mjroots, sure, that was discussed in the thread I linked: 1981 GBoR entry, [5] and [6] talk about earlier dogs. user:Dodo bird notes there "If this third dog is real, you would expect a world record like that to to get more coverage from reliable sources than what exists." I go with that as well: if there are no further GBoR entries than the 3 mentioned here, then I do not believe that the third Benedictine is real and that the whole claim is fabricated and has started an own life.
Of interest is also Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_82#St._Bernard_(dog). Dirk Beetstra T C 11:39, 20 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Beetstra: none of those three links work for me, but it don't matter. Suggest we go with the last verifiable entry previous to claims for the dog in question for now. Probably best to attribute the claim to Guinness. Mjroots (talk) 11:46, 20 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Mjroots, this gives some snippets. The issue is also discussed here. Of interest may be the 1995 "Atlas of Dog Breeds of the World" who leaves it at 305, and Dodo bird in above thread apparently verified the 2001 GBoR where the heaviest dog (a Mastiff) was at 335 pounds. If the third Benedictine existed it must have been after that. Dirk Beetstra T C 12:07, 20 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

AKC is the only most reliable source. Guinness even removed heaviset dog section because it may cause animal abuse and Guinness is not as reliable as AKC is a reliable official institution which is not just St Bernard but for all dogs. The AKC is the largest registry of purebred dogs in the U.S. and is the only not-for profit registry, as well as the most well-known and the most influential. DogExpert (talk) 18:26, 20 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree that info can be added without name and reference below:


Meet the Breeds: A Guide to More Than 200 AKC Breeds. New York: American Kennel Club. 2016. p. 182. DogExpert (talk) 18:29, 20 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also, tallest st bernard 35" (mentioned in AKC book) has a valid news resource from NYT. This part also need to be recovered in article. DogExpert (talk) 18:25, 21 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Comment, I have just reviewed the 2013 version of the AKC book, the exact wording in it is "The tallest Saint Bernard had a recorded height of 35 inches; the heaviest one weighed 367 pounds."[2] Given both of these examples were the tallest/heaviest ever, to say The animal can reach 35 inches (89 cm) in height and 367 pounds (166 kg) in weight would be misleading, the article should quote the FCI heights & weights then mention these as tallest & heaviest ever recorded. Cavalryman (talk) 06:06, 22 September 2020 (UTC).Reply[reply]
    Cavalryman, are these tallest and heaviest referenced to independent sources in the book? Earlier sources stating the same were dismissed as fabricated or based on a circular reference. I doubt strongly that AKC has done their own research for this, so they likely retrieved it from some primary or secondary source. Dirk Beetstra T C 07:01, 22 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, there are no sources cited. From experience the AKC can make some big errors, their website is only useful for their own breed standards, at a minimum they should be treated as a primary source. If these claims have previously been refuted then I say exclude, they certainly seem fanciful. Cavalryman (talk) 09:16, 22 September 2020 (UTC).Reply[reply]

The FCI has members, associates and partners in 98 countries, but some major kennel clubs like the American Kennel Club in the US, The Kennel Club in the UK, and the Canadian Kennel Club in Canada are not members. So what is the reason referencing St Bernard standards from IFC in english wikipedia instead of AKC or KCU? DogExpert (talk) 19:03, 22 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for the tutorial. To answer your question:
  1. The breed standards from the kennel clubs you list and the FCI are identical.
  2. The St. Bernard is a Swiss breed, the Société Cynologique Suisse (Swiss Kennel Club) is a member of the FCI.
Cavalryman (talk) 20:48, 22 September 2020 (UTC).Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Meet the Breeds: A Guide to More Than 200 AKC Breeds. New York: American Kennel Club. 2016. p. 182.
  2. ^ American Kennel Club (2013). The American Kennel Club's meet the breeds: dog breeds from A to Z. Irvine, CA: BowTie Press. p. 173. ISBN 978-1-935484-59-2.

Merger proposal: Alpine Spaniel[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was merge. Cavalryman (talk) 15:06, 28 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I propose to merge Alpine Spaniel into this article. The sources cited either suggest or outright state they are the same thing, further contemporary sources list “Alpine Spaniel” as an alternate name of the St Bernard.[1] I acknowledge this involves a GA but it is well below that standard and if retained it is in drastic need of reassessment. Cavalryman (talk) 11:42, 1 December 2020 (UTC).Reply[reply]

* Support merge per nom. William Harris (talk) 09:01, 9 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

* Support merge per nom. --LoraxJr 11:22, 22 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Morris, Desmond (2001). Dogs: the ultimate guide to over 1,000 dog breeds. North Pomfret, VT: Trafalgar Square Publishing. p. 642. ISBN 1-57076-219-8.
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.