Saint Bernard vs. Labrador Retriever

Are you considering adopting a dog for your family and are unable to decide between either the Labrador Retriever or. that of the Saint Bernard? Both breeds of dog are popular pet breeds that are loved by families. Although both breeds share certain traits that are similar however, they are quite different.

Labradors are among the most loved breeds in America as well as the UK. Saint Bernards have a famous status as animals that rescue people, and have been popularized in films and cartoons. However, how do they do as pets for families?

If you’re deciding between the two dogs you’d like to have as your next pet for the family, or just want to know the differences between these breeds This article will provide you with information about the characteristics of both breeds. We will compare the two types to assist you determine which one is best suited to your needs.

Saint Bernard vs. Labrador Retriever

Breed History

The stories of both breeds The stories of both dogs are fascinating, to not be understated. Both breeds have absorbed in their homeland’s cultural traditions, earning a name all over the world for their courage and intelligence. Both breeds are also dated back to the past and are derived from many generations of dogs that work. Let’s find out a bit more about the places both breeds originate, and the purpose for which they were bred.

Saint Bernard

It is believed that the Saint Bernard has an exemplary background that distinguishes it from other breeds. While many breeds of dogs are renowned for the work they in or for the love they brought to the dog, this breed was famous for something more important: saving lives.

Around 1660 around 1660, around 1660, the Saint Bernard hospice monks, situated in a region of danger that lies between Swiss as well as the Italian Alps were discovered to own the Asiatic mastiff breed to assist them in their tasks.

The breed was medium-sized with short white and reddish fur, and an extended tail. They were great watchdogs and were adored by monks for their friendship.

In 1750, monks had entrusted the dogs with escorting monks’ servants to a township nearby in Switzerland. Their large chests were able to clear the way of snowy ice, and the staff quickly realized that they were able to provide an extremely keen sense of smell and direction..

In the end, the dogs were given the task of locating lost travellers buried on the frozen ground. In this time, they were bred for long, thick fur, a longer tail, and a more smellier sense. They helped save thousands of lives during their time in the hospice, and gave the birth of the myth of the breed.

Nowadays, Saint Bernards are not frequently used to protect individuals from avalanches. The appearance of Saint Bernards has changed because of the frequent crossing of breeds, but their reputation as affectionate, loving, and intelligent companions hasn’t diminished.


Contrary to its name, it is not a Labrador Retriever. Labrador Retriever originates in Newfoundland, Canada, not in neighboring Labrador. The lineage of the dog comes from a breed that is known as”the Saint John’s water dog. The first recorded record of the water dog during the early 1500s in the period of French as well as British settlement of this region.

The dog was originally a fisherman’s dog originally, the Saint John’s water dog thrived in the field of work. It would retrieve fishing lines, swoop into the water to catch fish that would fall off the hook and even haul in whole fishing nets on its own. Farmers and fishermen in the region were extremely fond of the breed for its dedication to work as well as its intelligence and energy.

Despite its popularity in the local area however, it wasn’t until the 1800s that water dogs were introduced to other areas. The potential of the water dog in the popular breeder’s field led to it becoming useful to royalty. Many royals worked together to develop from a water breed into hunting dogs, and it was that the Labrador Retriever was born.

As time passed and the Labrador earned a name in the eyes of American farmers as a great working dog that was perfect for hunting as well as a variety of farming jobs. Since then it’s popularity only increased and it was commonplace to see the Labrador in a farm or in a posh family.

Today, the Labrador is among the most sought-after breeds of dogs across both the US as well as the UK. Labs also have distinct breeding lines according to where they come from. There are a few other breeds are able to be close to American household status, such as those of the Golden Retriever.


There aren’t two breeds of dogs you can confuse. While the Labrador is an average-sized to large-sized dog however, a Saint Bernard is one of the most massive dogs in the world. Labradors of males weigh around 65-80 pounds, with females being slightly lighter between 55 and 70 pounds.

Saint Bernards On their own are a massive breed that weighs 140-180 weight in the average. They are massive breeds that are only surpassed by a handful of other breeds.

Labs come with an easy-to-manage short coat that is available in black, the black, yellow, or chocolate shades in regards to appearance. They sport a large skull with chiseled features creating an distinctive style that many have come to appreciate. Labs have slim legs which support their strong and muscular frame.

Saint Bernards generally share the same color spectrum even if they are slightly different, and have brown and white patches all over their bodies. They are covered in large fur designed for colder weather , a large tail, and an oversized chest. Although their muscles aren’t obvious but you can be certain that they’re hidden under their fluffy coat of fur.


Labs are known as being very energetic dogs. Although they are generally charming and smart however, they can be notoriously a bit naughty and can be quite a bit of a jerk even into adulthood. They are extremely friendly with kids, small and large and make great playmates for all the family members.

Although their size may seem daunting, spending time with the Saint Bernard can show you how they are incredibly welcoming the breed is. They are well-known for being kind and attentive, as well as intelligent and lively. They are also very gentle.

Both breeds are excellent companions, particularly for children. Although a mature Saint Bernard is huge but it will not be able to carry its weight around as if it’s not aware of. Also, properly trained Labs will not get rough with children even if it’s running about like an innocent maniac.


As we’ve mentioned, Labradors are full of energy and require workout every day. A stroll around the block won’t suffice. In general the average adult Lab requires about two hours of physical activity each day to stay physically and mentally healthy. This could include playing in the backyard or in the lake or pool or having fun with the other dog in the park for dogs.

Saint Bernards require a bit less exercise in order to remain healthy. Veterinarians advise approximately an hour of daily exercise which includes walks as well as moments off leash in a secure area. While they’re certainly at ease playing alongside other dog breeds, you should be aware of the fact that their size could be a source of fear for other pet owners.

While all dogs require exercise, these breeds tend to be much more energetic than the majority. If you’re planning on choosing one of these breeds as your puppy, you’ll need to live a full and active life to keep up with their routine.


The training of both breeds of puppies are alike, however there are certain areas you must focus on more than other things based on the breed of puppy you own.

Both breeds must be properly crate-trained to transport them and at occasions when you require them to be to be out of the way. It is essential to have an big cage for both breeds, particularly Saint Bernards, whose size restricts any smaller than the largest dog crate you can find.

Positive reinforcement is essential to encouraging positive behavior in dogs and cats. Rewards and treats can help a lot when shouting or other negative reinforcement methods fail.

If a breeder does an act that isn’t right, it’s best to promote good behavior instead of reprimanding undesirable behaviour. Dogs will quickly understand how to behave and what not to do by receiving positive reinforcement.

Particularly, you must teach the Saint Bernard not to leap at an early age. This is a major issue as they age because of their size.

Similar to training Labs to not be able to chew on or scratch is also crucial. Labs are often extremely curious dogs, however you shouldn’t let them stick their noses where they should not be!


All breeds of dogs are able to have health issues that are specific to breeds, and this is no exception. Both breeds are prone to developing joint problems as they age, particularly Saint Bernards, due to their size. Your veterinarian may suggest shorter play time to lessen the stress on their knees and hips.

But, you must encourage plenty of exercise when your children are younger. Dogs have an greater risk of being overweight than other breeds. Running, for example can reduce the possibility of becoming overweight as they age.

Saint Bernards tend to suffer from dental problems as compared to other breeds. Treats that encourage dental health and regular brushing their teeth can stop this from occurring.

Addison’s disease is a severe genetic disorder that develops when adrenal glands cease functioning normally. Saint Bernards are more likely to suffer from this disease. Fortunately, regular tests will detect the condition before it becomes serious and treatment is that is available.

Labs are susceptible to skin issues that many dogs are able to avoid. They can be extremely uncomfortable and can be painful for dogs and can be unpleasant to look at also. Contact a veterinarian if your pet is suffering from an lump or rash to determine exactly what you can do.


A balanced diet is essential for keeping both breeds healthy and happy. For Labradors it’s fairly simple since the diet they consume is pretty like to other similar breeds of dogs.

Saint Bernards are, however, in need of some extra care in the diet they consume. Because of the size of their breed, they require more food than other dogs. But, overfeeding can lead to overweight and a host of health problems Therefore, it is important to be aware of their calories.

The type of food you give your dog can dramatically impact their weight and energy levels. If you stick to low-cost, processed food the health of your dog will show this. There are nutritious dog food options available to both breeds however they might cost more.

Another option is to make the dog’s food yourself. Although this is likely to require more effort from you but the end result is a healthier dog and who could place a value on this?


The grooming procedure for both breeds is quite different, and it is important to keep this in mind when deciding between these two breeds.

Both breeds shed a lot Particularly Saint Bernards, whose fur sheds in clumps frequently. It is necessary to brush the breed at least once a week using a big grooming rake in order to remove excess hair off and avoid excessive shed.

Labradors need grooming every week. While they shed quite a bit also but they’ve got a shorter coat that doesn’t shed often. The excessive grooming of the Lab could cause skin conditions, so make sure that you don’t scrub them excessively.

Bathing is essential too. Due to their long coats, Saint Bernards need to be bathed at least every 8 weeks or at least once. They also are large droolers and require that they require more grooming maintenance. However, you are able to bathe Labs whenever they require they require it. If you’re looking for to have a routine, a gentle bath every month is acceptable.

Puppy Prices

While you may be able to locate purebred dogs at an animal shelter, it’s more likely to purchase the puppy from breeders. The cost of puppies will be contingent on the caliber of the breeder as well as the pedigree of the dog.

Labrador puppies are typically priced between $1,000 to $1,500. Chocolate Labs, however, might cost more due to the color of their coats. Other uncommon Lab colors such as red, and silver are also able to sell more than the $1,500 mark, in spite of their controversial nature.

Saint Bernard puppies can be quite expensive. While they may cost as little as $1000, it’s common to find them at about $2,600 and as high as $10,000. Anything less than $1500 must be handled with caution.

Be cautious of puppies priced lower than the price mentioned previously. There could be health issues or the breeder could not be caring enough for the puppies and their parents. It is best to avoid supporting the puppy farming industry or breeding mills that do not treat animals with respect.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article provided answers to any questions you might be asking yourself when looking at the Saint Bernard vs. Labrador Retriever breeds of dogs. Both are great options, particularly if you’re raising children, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Whichever breed you pick make sure you be a healthy and happy new member of the family by ensuring the proper diet, training and exercise. Your new pet is waiting for you to be welcomed into your family!

Becky Roberts

Becky Roberts

One of Becky's favourite things to do every morning is to browse the top pet-related forums, looking for issues and questions that people have. She then shortlists the most common ones, and turns them into blog posts for Fuzzy Rescue. She's had over 4 cats and 2 dogs over the past decade, so she does know a thing or 2 about raising/training, and more importantly, loving them. She's the only one on our team that doesn't like coffee, but it seems to us she really doesn't need more energy :). We're very fortunate to have her on board as she does most of the heavy listing for the site, outputting an insane amount of content each month. Read More

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