This section is from the book "The Dogs Of Great Britain, America, And Other Countries. Their Breeding, Training, and Management in Health and Disease", by John Henry Walsh (Stonehenge). Also available from Amazon: The Dogs Of Great Britain, America And Other Countries.
Closely allied to the mastiff, but resembling the Newfoundland in temper and in his disposition to fetch and carry, is the Mount St. Bernard breed, until lately confined to the Alps and the adjacent countries, where he is used to recover persons who are lost in the snow-storms of that inclement region. Wonderful stories are told of the intelligence of these dogs and of the recovery of travellers by their means, which are said to extend almost to the act of pouring spirits down the throats of their patients; but, however, there is no doubt that they have been and still are exceedingly useful, and the breed is kept up at the monastery of Mount St. Bernard. The bight is about 28 to 31 inches; length six feet, including the tail. The coat varies a good deal in length, there being in England two distinct varieties founded upon this point, viz., the rough and the smooth. Mr. Macdona, who has been at great trouble and expense to import both of the best Swiss strains, leans to the rough, but there are many who still adhere to the smooth variety. The smooth dog is red and white, or brindled and white, a broad white collar of white of a peculiar shape distinguishing the true breed.
Fig. 30. - BOUGH ST. BERNARD, TELL.
Fig. 81. - SMOOTH ST. BERNARD, MONARQUE.
The rough dog is most highly prized when of a deep tawny brindle, still with some white, but not so much as in the smooth kind. Both dogs are remarkably good-tempered, and may be trusted with the care of women or children with great dependence. The absence of dew-claw on the hind leg is considered a defect by some judges, and there is no doubt that many imported specimens of the breed have the double dew-claw. The illustrations of the two varieties mentioned are portraits of dogs owned by Mr. Macdona.