If you think you want to purchase a Saint Bernard puppy, you are not yet ready to make that decision. You must educate yourself to the point that you know that a Saint Bernard is the correct choice for you and your family. What are some of the information sources that you can utilize? The Saint Bernard Club of America's website is a good starting point. http://saintbernardclub.org/ See the information under "Looking for a Saint Bernard?" One of the subsections "thinking of buying a puppy?" offers a number of photos to guide you.
Visiting active kennels operated by SBCA members is an excellent source of information about the breed. You may quickly learn after being around several large Saints that a smaller or a different breed is a better fit for your family. Under "Getting Advice" you will find a number of Advisors listed by state that are longtime Saint fanciers. The Advisors might be able to suggest kennels closest to you that you might visit. They might also tell you when and where a Saint Bernard Specialty show is. At such shows, you will often find many fine Saints and knowledgable people that you might talk to.
A new publication is now available that I highly recommend for either those interested in getting a Saint puppy or have just gotten one,preferably the former. The SBU Owners Guide contains highly illustrated chapters on training, grooming, basic care, feeding, traveling with Saints, etc. The cost is $20 plus $5 priority shipping. Contact: Carole Wilson PO Box 396, Smithton, IL 62285. firstname.lastname@example.org
Cache Retreat puppies
Raising a large-boned Saint puppy properly requires enough exercise to develop a well-muscled rear. This compensates for the subluxation common in the hips of most Saints and reduces the chance that symptoms of severe hip dysplasia will surface. Thus we insist that a puppy be raised primarily outdoors for the first year. They must be able to exercise on their terms, not when it might be convenient for the owner to take them for a walk. Obviously a fenced yard and/or kennel is required. A puppy raised indoors, especially an overweight puppy on slick surfaces, has a greatly increased chance of developing skeletal/muscle problems. Puppies must be kept lean (not thin) through 12 mos. The set of four photos to the lower left of this page provides examples of various weight conditions in Saints. The 6 mos. old puppy in the lower left illustrates the proper lean condition for that age.
Cache Retreat offers companion (pet) puppies on AKC's limited registration. They may participate in all performance activities but cannot be shown in conformation nor can any puppies produced be registered. The following page shows several examples of companion puppies. They are generally as large and certainly as healthy as the show puppies but they do not represent the cream of the crop desired for the conformation ring. Companion puppies are $1,500 plus shipping. Examples of recently placed show puppies are also featured and show puppies are $1800 and up plus shipping.
You can expect to reveal your experience with Saints or other large breeds and the setting and conditions under which your prospective puppy will live. Because of heat and humidity, some areas of the U.S. are unsuitable for Saint Bernards. A smaller breed more conducive to indoor rearing might provide a proper option.