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Hundreds of Saint Bernard dogs gather in Switzerland for world competition

The Saint Bernard competition takes place every year in a country member to the World Union of Saint Bernard Clubs. Keystone / Cyril Zingaro

Over a hundred Saint Bernards have descended on Martigny, in canton Valais to kick off the World Union of Saint Bernard Clubs competition.

The competition “will bring together a total of some 150 dogs from seventeen countries”, David Lüthi, breeder and president of the Groupe Romand du Saint Bernard, told Keystone-ATS.

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The World Union of Saint Bernard Clubs (UMSB/WUSB) competition brings together some twenty countries, mainly in Europe, but also in South Africa and the United States. The competition takes place every year in one of the member countries.

The aim of the competition is to preserve and present the standards of the Swiss breed, which are sometimes abused. “The Saint Bernard is a mountain dog, not a Walt Disney-style dog, round and furry like a teddy bear,” says Lüthi.

Compared to the famous rescue dog Barry, his successors have put on weight. “If they become too heavy and change their morphology, they risk health problems and a shortened life expectancy”, warns the breeder.

+ The Swiss dog that conquers hearts

The Martigny amphitheatre will host exhibitions and competitions as part of the Club show of the Swiss Saint Bernard Club, which is celebrating its 140th anniversary. Nearby, the Barryland museum will open its doors free of charge and offer activities.

“A dozen of our dogs will be taking part in the highly prized WUSB competition. They will have to win over the international jury by perfectly matching the breed standard,” notes the Barry Foundation in a press release, pointing out that the kennel has won the breeding batch competition in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2023.

Adapted from French by DeepL/jdp.

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