The first of these lived at a Swiss hotel in the 1800’s.
The Great St. Bernard Hospice has been a monastery and a tourist destination since the 9th Century. It sits 8100 feet up the side of the Alps. Sometime around 1700, the records show the monks started breeding dogs to guard the grounds.
In 1800, a dog was born and the monks named him Barry. Barry was smaller than modern St. Bernard’s… he weighed less than 100 pounds. But that didn’t stop him from being perhaps the greatest dog of all time; Barry is credited with having saved at least 40 people. His most famous rescue involved saving a young boy who was trapped in an avalanche. Barry licked the boy till he warmed up and then carried him back to the monastery.
Monks retired Barry in 1812 when they moved him to Bern where he could relax. He lived to be 14. If you want to see Barry, he was taxidermied and he’s on permanent display at the Museum of Natural History in Bern.