There are also reports of some Eastern breeds being introduced, most notably the Armenian Storm Dogs, one of the mountain Gampr types, but this theory requires more research. No longer the ferocious guardian, the St.Bernard has become an amenable companion of the monks, who have realized that their dogs could be employed to find stranded travellers in the snow-covered mountains, thanks to their love of humans and aptitude for rescue work, courtesy of the Newfoundland heritage. The famous stories of their life-saving prowess slowly spread throughout Europe, sparking the interest in the breed outside of its home region. Whether all of the original St.Bernards were really used as rescue dogs at all is not completely clear, but the popular legend persists. The monks weren't the only ones that bred this type of dog, either. Other Swiss and German breeders were also responsible for developing the St.Bernard, some dedicated to creating only the short-haired dogs, while others were breeding for the increasingly popular long-haired variant. The modern Saint Bernard is a reincarnation of those 2nd and 3rd generation dogs, developed from specimens still found throughout the Swiss Alps, as well as from Spanish Mastiffs and the Landseer. The breed was standardized in the 19th century and by the 1920's the St.Bernard was a fully recognized and well-loved Molosser.
Intelligent, calm and loving of humans, the Saint Bernard is a loyal family pet and children's playmate. The breed's size makes it better suited for rural areas or homes with spacious backyards, but many Bernadiners make agreable urban companions. The breed isn't very dog-aggressive or confrontational, although some dominant males can be effective defenders of their territory when provoked. Good-natured and well-behaved examples of this breed have helped promote the mighty Saint as a gentle giant and this lovely mastiff is today a popular pet all over the world. The coat still comes in two varieties of smooth and rough, that being the only difference between the two types. Both the short-coated and longhaired puppies are found in St.Bernard litters, due to the common and planned matings between the two types, in order to preserve the original phenotype. This is a wide-chested and well-boned mastiff, with a large head and fairly loose skin.
Regardless of coat type, the Bernardiner is densely undercoated and weatherproof. The colouring is usually either white with red, orange and mahogany patches or white with a solid fully coloured back of those shades, with minimal black markings, except for a partial black mask on the muzzle. The average height is around 30 inches.