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Occupation


Beschäftigung

The Saint Bernards from the Barry Foundation not only enjoy their twice daily walks, but also benefit from a varied, well-balanced activity schedule. The hospice dogs are trained and occupied in the following areas:

Pulling dog

The Saint Bernard is a typical pulling dog. It is ideally suited to pulling loads on account of its size and strength. The dogs from the Barry Foundation pull carts in the summer and sledges in the winter. They are usually harnessed on their own or in teams of two. The dogs also practise passing obstacles whilst pulling the dog carts. We set up special agility courses for them to negotiate. Every year we also enter several teams of dogs to compete in the international cart dog championships in Bigenthal.

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Social and visiting dog

The Barry Foundation offers a wide range of animal-assisted interactions in social areas with its dogs. Our visiting dogs love contact with people, have a high tolerance threshold and are trained as a "Therapy dog team" together with their reference person. Saint Bernard bitch Salsa and dog keeper Cécile were the first to successfully complete the training to become a therapy dog team in 2007. Since then, several therapy teams have been visiting homes for the elderly and social institutions. The half-hour long visits take place once or twice per month.

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Prevention dog

The Barry Foundation is taking part of the Valais canton’s campaign for the prevention of dog biting by visiting schools and nurseries to teach children how to behave towards dogs.

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Avalanche dog


Easy (4.5 years old), a female Saint Bernard dog, has undergone basic training as an avalanche dog. This type of training is a useful occupation for an athletic Saint Bernard dog and helps us to keep up a very old tradition

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Target search

Searching for a target is very hard work for dogs because it requires total concentration. When taking part in a target search, the Saint Bernards have to use their sense of smell to detect an object that has been hidden beforehand. If the dog manages to find the object, it designates the item by lying down next to it.

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Tricks


The Saint Bernards need to pay close attention and utilise their full mental capacities when learning to perform little tricks. Training the dogs to perform tricks is great fun for both dogs and dog keepers alike.

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Intelligent dog toys

We often work with intelligent dog toys to encourage our dogs to use their mental abilities. The principle is always the same. A small item of food is hidden inside the toy. The Saint Bernard can only reach it by moving certain parts of the toy (either by pushing, pressing, turning or pulling). There are all kinds of different toys, ranging from simple to complex play facilities.

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