CHAPTER IV. THE ST. BERNARD

During the past twenty-five years St. Bernards have been bred in this country very much taller and heavier than they were in the days of Tell, Hope, Moltke, Monk, Hector, and Othman. Not one of these measured over 32 inches in height, or scaled over 180 lbs., but the increased height and greater weight of the more modern production have been obtained by forcing them as puppies and by fattening them to such an extent that they have been injured in constitution, and in many cases converted into cripples behind. The prizewinning rough-coated St. Bernard, as he is seen to-day is a purely manufactured animal, handsome in appearance certainly, but so cumbersome that he is scarcely able to raise a trot, let alone do any tracking in the snow. Usefulness, however, is not a consideration with breeders, who have reared the dog to meet the exigencies of the show ring. There is still much left to be desired, and there is room for considerable improvement, as only a few of the more modern dogs of the breed approach the standard drawn up by the Clubs that are interested in their welfare.