Understanding The Health Risks Of Purebred Dogs

Bernard breeding kennels in Martigny, Western Switzerland. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images) Two-week-old puppies play on June 4, 2009 at the Barry Foundation Great St. Bernard breeding kennels in Martigny, Western Switzerland. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images) Two-week-old Saint Bernard puppies play at the Barry Foundation breeding kennels in Martigny on June 4, 2009. The Saint Bernard dog was once the ubiquitous companion of monks at the monastery tucked 2,500m above sea level, guiding them through the Alps or helping them to rescue stranded or lost travellers in the snowy mountains. However, there are no longer any such dogs living permanently at the monastery these days. In fact, the monks decided five years ago to part ways with their pedigree breeding programme, as the work became too much for the four monks living permanently at the monastery to handle. The breeding kennels faced the risk of being shut permanently if not for a group of Swiss bankers and animal-lovers who set up the Barry Foundation to buy the breeding programme.

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