St. Bernards are very patient and empathetic and they love children. They are like giant stuffed animals, to which one can snuggle up wonderfully while reading or watching television. Even when they are fully grown, they have a lot of nonsense in their heads and are considered very playful. The do not like lots of exercise, but they do love the cold and nothing makes them happier than to play in the snow. Previously they were used in the Swiss Alps as rescue dogs. The avalanche dog Barry is said to have saved the lives of about 40 people during his time as a rescue dog.