If you are thinking about bringing a Saint Bernard into your home, you will probably want to know if this breed drools. Besides, a slobbery dog can be quite off-putting. Here’s everything you’ll want to know.
So, do Saint Bernards drool? Saint Bernard dogs do drool, and heavily. In fact, they are one of the most slobbery breeds known. While all dogs will drool when excited or anticipating food, Saint Bernards do tend to produce and release more drool during these times due to the shape of their mouths and their tendency to shake their head.
Of course, there are a number of different contexts and circumstances that will increase drooling.
And there are ways you can minimize it, somewhat.
So let us delve deeper into when you can expect an increase in slobber, how this breed compares against others, and then what you can proactively do should you decide to own one.
When Are Saint Bernards Likely To Drool?
Saint Bernards are likely to drool when they are excited, anticipating food, something is stuck in their teeth, or they are experiencing certain health issues.
When They Are Anticipating Something Nice
Saint Bernards will drool when they are excited because they’re anticipating something they enjoy.
If your dog sees you’re about to take them out on a walk, fill his food bowl, or give him cuddles, he’ll drool with happiness.
Drooling is an automatic response to perceived pleasure – think of when we salivate at the smell of frying bacon.
Saint Bernards will drool heavily if they see or smell food – or even when they hear you scooping it out or opening the bag.
If Something’s Stuck
If your Saint Bernard has something stuck in his teeth, mouth, or throat, he will drool to help dislodge whatever it is.
If They Have Health Issues
There are several health issues that can cause excess drooling, such as:
- Dental problems. Tartar buildup on the teeth, gum inflammation and other dental problems can cause drooling. Sometimes it’s a broken tooth that gets infected.
- Suffering from the heat. Dogs who are too hot will drool excessively, and for a Saint Bernard, that means a lot of drool!
- Feeling nauseous. Like us, dogs will produce excess saliva if they’re feeling nauseous.
- Poisoning. Dogs will drool if they’ve ingested something they shouldn’t. Even something like licking off his flea medication can cause your Saint Bernard to drool.
- Growths. Tumors like benign fibromas or melanomas can cause drooling.
Note: If you see any of the following, contact your vet:
- A swollen mouth
- Drool that’s brown or red, or that smells worse than usual
- A reduced appetite
- Pawing at their mouths or dropping food
- Lack of coordination
- Swelling or a growth of any kind
- Sudden weight loss
Do All Saint Bernards Drool A Lot?
Although Saint Bernards are known for drooling a lot, some will naturally drool more (or less) than others.
Older Saint Bernards are prone to drooling even more than younger dogs, mostly because they are more often affected by certain health issues (see above).
Dental problems or growths, for example, are more likely in older dogs and will produce more drool.
Dry Mouth Saint Bernards
If you haven’t heard of dry Saint Bernards, these dogs don’t have a health condition that causes dry mouth.
They simply drool a bit less than other Saint Bernards – they will still drool, but not quite as much.
Because many people don’t want large dogs that dribble all the time, breeders have been crossing Saint Bernards with other large dog breeds to create a dog with a longer, narrower muzzle.
However, know that these dogs fall outside of the official breed category and are not suitable for showing.
If you are after a dry mouth Saint Bernard, look at the puppy’s mouth and the mouths of his parents.
The only way you will know how much your dog will drool is to check the shape of his muzzle.
Some breeders will advertise the puppies as dry Saint Bernards, whereas others will simply call them Saint Bernards.
Saint Bernard Drooling Compared To Other Dogs
When compared to other dogs, Saint Bernards drool much more. In fact, out of all of the heavy drooling dog breeds, they come out number one!
Saint Bernards could be described quite simply as “the most slobbery dog breed in the world.”
To give you an idea of what drooling levels look like, Saint Bernards are extra-heavy droolers in the categories below:
- Low-level drooling: you may see a wet patch on the floor where your dog has been resting his head, because of drool around his lips or mouth.
- Moderate-level drooling: you may see moisture as well as some saliva bubbles, whether your dog is resting or alert.
- Heavy drooling: you’ll see the saliva drip from your dog’s mouth.
- Extra-heavy drooling: your dog will spread saliva everywhere when he shakes his head, and copious amounts of saliva will find their way onto the floor, the walls, or anywhere within reach. Lines of drool will frequently drip from his mouth, even when he is sitting still.
Saint Bernards Compared To Other Drooling Dog Breeds
As we’ve said above, Saint Bernards are known for being the number one most slobbery dog breed.
Even people who have done their homework to see how much they drool are surprised at how much saliva these dogs actually produce.
Saint Bernards drool more than other dog breeds because their mouths are so big, and their jowls hang down.
They just can’t hold in their saliva as other breeds can. So it’s worth bearing in mind that all the slobber isn’t their fault.
Other breeds who tend to drool heavily either have large, hanging jowls, folds in their skin around their mouths, or are brachycephalic (short-nosed).
Here’s the full list in order of the top ten droolers:
- Saint Bernard. This breed makes for friendly, brilliant companions and family dogs – but they are the heaviest droolers!
- Dogue de Bordeaux. Also known as the French Mastiff, these dogs are brachycephalic.
- Bloodhound. They are most well-known for their highly developed sense of smell, but they drool heavily too.
- Bulldog. English or British bulldogs are another brachycephalic breed.
- Newfoundland. A giant and lovable Canadian dog breed.
- Neapolitan Mastiff. Another gentle giant of a family dog.
- Bernese Mountain Dog. These dogs are huge, fluffy, and droolers.
- Bullmastiff. A gentle and protective family dog with lots of facial skin folds.
- Boxer. Boxers are brachycephalic, goofy, and fun.
- Great Dane. This breed is known for being loving and easygoing.
How Do I Stop My Saint Bernard From Drooling?
While you can’t stop your Saint Bernard from drooling completely, there are some things you can do to reduce the amount of saliva your dog produces.
There are also ways to deal with the drooling that can help reduce the amount that gets on you, your clothes, or your furniture.
Prevent Dental Problems
Because dental problems can make drooling worse (as well as cause your dog pain), prevention is essential:
- Clean your dog’s teeth with dog-safe toothpaste on a regular basis
- Take him for regular dental checkups
- Give him dental chews
- Try dog-friendly dental additives in his water to help prevent plaque buildup
Keep Your Dog Comfortable In Hot Weather
Dogs suffering from the heat can drool a lot – and Saint Bernards are prone to suffer from the heat because of their thick, furry coats.
Do what you can with air conditioning or similar to keep your dog comfortable.
Avoid taking your Saint Bernard for walks or exercise during the hottest parts of the day: stick to early mornings and evenings for outdoor activities.
Make sure your Saint Bernard always has access to plenty of fresh water.
Change the water frequently (at least once a day, and more if it gets dirty).
Handle Mealtimes Differently
Try putting your Saint Bernard in a different room during meals so that he doesn’t sit dribbling next to you as you try to eat.
Try not to prepare his food while he’s watching you.
If you have a suitable yard, you can try putting him outside while you fill his food bowl and then let him in to eat.
Teach Him Not To Nuzzle People
If you have visitors, your Saint Bernard will most likely be very excited, as he’s such a friendly dog. Try teaching him not to mouth your visitors by using the ‘off’ command.
Let him meet your friends, and then get him to lie down in a comfy spot (perhaps a carpet on the other side of the room). As his excitement wanes, his drool will lessen.
If he’s lying down, he’ll also be less likely to shake his head and send drool everywhere.
Use A Drool Rag
A drool rag is what professionals use before showing their Saint Bernards.
They wipe away the drool – not just on the outside but on the inside of their dog’s mouth. They wipe the insides of the lips as well as along the lower jowl.
Because it will take your Saint Bernard ten minutes to build up drool again, you’ve bought yourself a bit of time to introduce him to people drool-free.
Keep a few drool rags in each room and in your car.
Use A Temporary Bib
Some people tie a bandanna around their dog’s neck to catch excess dribble while giving their dog a jaunty air.
You can use an old towel or a doggie bib as a temporary solution for certain situations.
Just remember that your Saint Bernard isn’t drooling to irritate you – on the contrary, these slobberers are very loving dogs who have a lot to offer apart from excess saliva!
If you are keen to keep an immaculate home, then owning a Saint Bernard is going to prove a little problematic.
And they drool a lot.
But it’s not just drool you need to think about.
This is a high-shedding breed so you’ll have lots of hair to contend with too.
Particularly when it comes to shedding season during the spring and again in the autumn.
But don’t let these things put you off.
Otherwise, you could be missing out on a gentle, friendly, calm, and affectionate dog.
Want to learn more about the Saint Bernard breed? Then check out my other guides below:
- How Big Do Saint Bernards Get? [Average Height & Weight]
- Are Saint Bernards Aggressive? [Is This A Dangerous Breed?]
- How Much Exercise Does A Saint Bernard Need? [Activity Guide]
- Can Saint Bernards Swim? [Are They Confident In The Water?]
- Are Saint Bernards Lazy? [Do They Lie And Sleep A Lot?]
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.