Saint Bernard Club of America

Before You Buy That Puppy

Are you considering a Saint puppy?

We often receive inquiries from people a few months after they purchase their first Saint puppy complaining that their young Saint does not meet their expectations of how a proper Saint Bernard should look. This section is meant to give the novice an idea of what a better quality Saint should look like as a puppy by providing examples of good and poor Saint type. (see photos below)

Saint Bernard RescueIn no way do we wish to discourage anyone from adopting a rescue Saint. Many of these needy Saints will make ideal family companions.   Please visit the RESCUE FOUNDATION at for more information on rescue Saints.   

However for those who are seeking a puppy and a Saint that exhibits many of the proper traits featured in our Illustrated Commentary and Breed Study CD, this section should provide additional information to assist you in acquiring a puppy that meets your expectations as an adult. We caution you that physical appearance is just one of the factors comprising overall quality.

Please review in the Breeders Directory the sections titled “Hereditary Defects” and “Facts” prior to exploring the various websites and breeders for a possible puppy to add to your family.

If you do your homework prior to purchasing your first Saint, you will improve your chances of having an adult that represents the breed well. Our goal is to reduce the number of unhappy first time owners and also reduce the number of dogs entering Rescue Programs as a result of such dissatisfaction.

Good Luck in your search!

Well Bred Saint Bernards

Pictured in these two columns are examples of well bred Saint Bernards. The left column shows the puppies, the right column shows the adults they became.

Below are examples of well-bred Saints with “half masks”. The Official Saint Bernard Standard says the dark shadings of the head (mask) are the favorite. However, if the head is properly proportioned, the perfect mask is “icing on the cake”.

Poorly Bred Saint Bernards

Pictured below are examples of poorly bred Saint Bernards, some with questionable parentage. All came with “papers” of some kind.


Scroll to Top