The most famous St. Bernard to save people at the pass was Barry (sometimes spelled Berry), who reportedly saved somewhere between 40 and 100 lives. There is a monument to Barry in the Cimetiere des Chiens, and his body was preserved in the Natural History Museum in Berne.
The classic St. Bernard looked very different from the St. Bernard of today, because an avalanche killed off many of the dogs used for breeding. To further the breed, they crossed the remaining dogs with other dogs, but in the process lost much of their use as rescue dogs. The St. Bernard is among the heaviest and largest dog breeds in the world.
The Saint Bernard is consistently regarded as the heaviest breed of dog in the world. The world's heaviest and largest dog in known history was a Saint Bernard named Benedictine, which weighed 162 kg (357 lbs). Benedictine surpassed Zorba, the largest English mastiff on record, which measured 8 feet, 3 inches long and weighed 343 lb. Although heavier Newfoundland dogs have been reported, Benedictine currently holds the world record for the heaviest dog that ever lived.
The name "St. Bernard" originates from a traveler's hospice on the often treacherous St. Bernard Pass in the Western Alps between Switzerland and Italy, where the name was passed to the local dogs. The pass, the lodge, and the dogs are named for Bernard of Menthon, the 11th century monk who established the station.
"St. Bernard" was in widespread use until the middle of the 19th century. The dogs were called "Saint Dogs","Noble Steeds", "Alpenmastiff", or "Barry Dogs" before, and in parts of North America, they're still called "Saints".