Barry Foundation celebrates bumper crop of St Bernard puppies
Twelve St Bernard puppies were born at the Barry Foundation recently, bringing the year’s total to 32, well above the annual average of 20.
Four puppies were born to mother Malta in August and eight to Nevada in September, said the foundation in a statement.
The puppies will be open to visitors at Barryland in Martigny from September 25th.
Named after Switzerland’s most famous St Bernard dog -- 19th century rescue dog Barry -- the Barry Foundation has been breeding Switzerland’s national dog in Martigny and on the St Bernard pass for 12 years.
Dogs have been resident at the hospice on the pass for much longer, however, being used to protect and guard visitors since the 17th century.
The foundation's dogs spend the summer on the pass before coming down to the Barryland kennel and museum in Martigny for the winter.
This year on October 1st visitors can watch the dogs come down from the mountain pass in an organized dog désalpe/alpazug, a tradition more usually seen with cattle.
The route will follow the ancient Via Francigena and revives a “unique and important Swiss tradition,” the Foundation said.
More than 25,000 people visited the dogs in their summer residence on the St Bernard pass this year, it added.