That Ear Has a Name

Did you know that there is a village in Hamilton County, Ohio called Saint Bernard? Other than its name, it has absolutely nothing to do with our topic, but every so often, we get a “wild hair” notion to share a bit of unrelated trivia.

That done, we share the fact that there is a name for the unique coloring or marking of some Saint Bernards in which one ear is either dapple colored with muted black or gray and white spots, or it may be partially or entirely white, sometimes with ticking in the white area. The name for that is “hospice ear.”

The head is an important aspect of breed type, and show judges are advised that color and markings should be secondary to a correct head. Hospice ears are acceptable in a show ring, but our inference is that a Saint Bernard with a half mask or white face needs to be of superior quality to place over a well marked Saint Bernard.

Image found on Pinterest and happily credited upon receipt of information 

Saint Bernard owners, be sure to “share the love” of owning a working breed with National Purebred Dog Day’s official hat embroidered with “Working Dog: Getting Things Done” in stone washed navy blue.  Find product and ordering information here.


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