Barry Dogs

Barry Dogs

When you think Saint Bernard, you probably picture a big shaggy dog with a barrel of ale as a collar (but seriously, where can we get one of those?) or that lovable scamp from Beethoven. But Saint Bernards have been winning the hearts of families everywhere long before  hashtags became the new black.

In fact, these gentle giants have been around for over two hundred years! Originally bred in the Swiss Alps, these courageous canines worked with monks for a hospice at the Great St. Bernard Pass. But before they were Saint Bernards, they were called “Barry dogs” for the most infamous canine to ever work there.

As the legend goes, Barry the St. Bernard was called to rescue a small boy that had been trapped on a ledge inaccessible to humans after an avalanche. In order to bring him round to consciousness, Barry licked the child’s face, but (due to injuries the child sustained during the avalanche) walking was impossible. So the boy grabbed onto Barry’s fur and was carried back to the monks for safety and care.

Barry went on to save 40-100 more people in the Swiss alps and there is even a statue devoted to him at the Paris Dog Cemetery.


If you’re as enamored by Barry as we are, you might want to check out one of thesecanine obsessed podcasts: Positively Podcast, It’s A Doggy Dog World, Creative Dog Training, or Bark And Swagger.


By Allie Sclafani

Photos courtesy of The Barry Foundation and Cool Stuff In Paris.