About us

When it was founded in January 2005, the Barry Foundation took over the kennels and the breeding programme of the famous St. Bernard dogs from the pass that gave them their name from the Congregation of Canons of the Great Saint Bernard Pass.

Since then, the foundation has owned the world’s oldest breeding programme for the Swiss national dog. The non-profit organisation is committed to preserving the over 300-year-old breeding tradition of the St. Bernard dogs at their place of origin. Another objective of the foundation is to bring joy to as many people as by providing them with an opportunity to interact with the legendary St. Bernard dogs. In doing so, it actively contributes to improving relations between humans and dogs.

The Barry Foundation is a member of the Swiss St. Bernards Club. Our institution is recognised to be of public utility, in accordance with the Swiss Civil Code. As a model dog breeder and respectful of animal species, the foundation has carried the Certodog quality label since 2008.

The story of the legendary Barry

Barry lived at the Hospice from 1800 until 1812, and was without doubt the most famous of all the rescue dogs on the Great Saint Bernard Pass. He alone saved the lives of more than 40 people. Barry’s story earned him global fame and is surrounded by legend, greatly contributing to the St. Bernard’s good reputation. The Barry Foundation took its name in tribute to Barry I. Moreover, the most beautiful male puppy in a litter is traditionally named Barry in his memory.

In 1812, when Barry I was old and tired, the hospice’s prior sent him to Bern, where he was well taken care of up until his death in 1814. The following year, he was stuffed and exhibited at the Natural History Museum in Bern. The restored body of Barry was once again presented to the public from 1923.

Our mission

  • To ensure the survival of the original breed of Great Saint Bernard dogs by maintaining the original breeding programme of the Great Saint Bernard Pass and managing its legacy and heritage
  • To ensure the presence of our dogs in their place of origin at the Great Saint Bernard Pass in the summer and at Barryland in Martigny throughout the year
  • To take every measure to ensure the survival, promotion and continued existence of the Great Saint Bernard breed of dogs
  • To offer the dogs from the Great Saint Bernard breeding programme a new role through animal-assisted activities (activities, education and animal-assisted therapy)
  • To contribute to the cultural and tourist development of the District of Entremont and its surrounding region, of Martigny and its surrounding region and of the Valais, and to guarantee the conservation and promotion of objects of value linked to the history of the dogs, the pass and the Great Saint Bernard Hospice
  • To manage activities in the field of cultural mediation (museum, temporary and permanent exhibitions, events) linked to the legacy of the dogs of the Great Saint Bernard Pass

Founding members of the institution

  • Maison Hospitalière du Grand-St-Bernard, Bourg-St-Pierre
  • Christine Cerletti-Sarasin, founding benefactor, Bottmingen
  • Rudolf Thomann, former president of the Swiss St. Bernard Club
  • Communauté de Montagne du Grand Combin, Gignod (Valley of Aosta)
  • Association Pro-Grand-Saint-Bernard, Grand-St-Bernard
  • Musée et Chiens du Saint-Bernard, Fondation Bernard et Caroline de Watteville, Martigny
  • Municipality of Martigny

Board of Trustees

  • Jean-Maurice Tornay
    President, Honorary Prefect of the district of Entremont, Orsières
  • Claude Moret
    Vice-President, former Director of the Banque Cantonal du Valais in Martigny and its surrounding region, Martigny
  • Dr Roland P. Bühlmann
    Entrepreneur, Basel
  • Eric Cachart
    Hotelier, Chalet d’Adrien, Verbier
  • Marc-Henri Favre
    Entrepreneur, former President of the municipality of Martigny, Martigny
  • Esther Gassler-Leuenberger
    Former State Councillor for the Canton of Solothurn, Schönenwerd
  • Corrado Jordan
    Regional Councillor for the Valley of Aosta, St-Rhémy en Bosses
  • David Martinetti
    Vice-President of the municipality of Martigny
  • Jean-Henry Papilloud
    Former Director of the Valais Media Library, Martigny
  • Gilbert Tornare
    President of the municipality of Bourg-St-Pierre
  • Roger Mège
    Secretary, non-member, former Municipal Councillor for the Municipality of Martigny, Martigny

Annual report

The annual report summarises the year in facts and figures and provides an overview of the issues that we have focused on and dealt with over the past year. You can obtain a printed copy of the annual report by sending an e-mail to: media@fondation-barry.ch.

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