How did the St. Bernard get its name?
The dog gets its name from the monastery of St. Bernard, in the Swiss Alps. The Saint Bernard is a large, intelligent dog that has become famous for rescuing lost travelers. These great rescue dogs got their name because they have been raised and trained for many centuries by Swiss monks at a rest house, called the Hospice of Saint Bernard, high in the snowy Alps of Switzerland.
At one time, there were many foot travelers who crossed the Alps through a high, dangerous pass. They often lost their way or became buried in a sudden snowstorm.
The St. Bernard dog was trained to rescue them. With its keen sense of smell, the St. Bernard could find people who were buried deep in the snow. After it found the traveler, the dog would dig him out of the snow and bark loudly for help.
When the monks heard the dog barking, they would bring the traveler to the hospice. You have probably seen many picture of St. Bernard dogs with brandy keep around their necks. But the dogs never really carried brandy kegs on their rescue missions. Today, their rescue missions are almost never made. – Dick Rogers