Saint Bernards usually live eight to 10 years. Only one in five Saint Bernards lives past age 10. These dogs have a very high growth rate that requires careful management of food and exercise.
Saint Bernards were originally bred by monks in Switzerland to aid in search-and-rescue operations. The Saint Bernard is one of the largest dog breeds with an average weight range of 140 to 264 pounds. Benedictine V Schwarzwald Hof was the largest Saint Bernard on record, reaching 315 pounds. The breed is subject to heart disease, epilepsy, osteosarcoma, eczema and hip dysplasia. Saint Bernards are also prone to bloating and need several small meals rather than one large meal daily.