Bristol's 'gentle giant' dog Hercules squashes owners by thinking he's a lapdog

Owners Nick and Katie were prepared for a big dog, but not as big as Hercules. Credit: Kennedy News and Media

People are falling in love with an adorable but gigantic 12-stone dog from Bristol who is so blissfully unaware of his size that he thinks he is a lapdog.

Owners Kate and Nick Bridge, both 29, say they regularly find themselves trapped underneath their giant pooch, Hercules, for so long their legs start to fall asleep.

The 12-stone St Bernard loves nothing more than cosying up on someone's lap for a cuddle.

But Kate and Nick say they have to warn guests their "loveable goof" may get them stuck if he decides to jump on them for a snuggle.

Care worker Katie, from Bristol, said: "You really have to brace yourself because he is heavy, he weighs more than me.

"And once he's on you, you can't move until he decides he's ready to move. You are there for the duration, there is no way you're shifting such a big dog off your lap.

"He'll sit on us until our legs have completely gone to sleep but he's so happy that we just can't bring ourselves to push him off.

Katie, 29, with the couple's four-month-old daughter Zoe and the loveable Hercules.

"We have to warn anyone who comes to the house never to sit on the floor because that's Hercules' favourite place to come up and snuggle you and sit on your lap.

"If you don't want a 73kg sat on your lap, do not sit on the floor.

"When we first got him we said he would never be allowed on the sofa and we'd be really strict on it but by the time he was four months we were calling him up for cuddles.

"He loves coming up for a snuggle, especially in the evening once we've put our little one to bed. He comes up for a cuddle and takes up nearly the whole sofa."

As well as their colossal canine, Kate and Nick have a four-month-old daughter, Zoe, who first met Hercules when he was just eight weeks old and already 1st 10lbs.

The couple said despite being prepared to look after a big pet, nothing could have fully prepared them for a pup which piled on almost 5lbs a week.

Hercules is now fully grown and stands at 5ft 9ins when on his hind legs and he is so big the couple had to invest in a new car to fit him in.

But Katie says the biggest change has been allowing hours for trips that should take minutes as everyone they pass wants to meet the mighty Hercules.

"Thankfully Hercules is as big as he's going to get now. I don't think our car would take much more. When he gets in you can hear that the suspension is struggling," she said.

"We already had to buy one new car with him in mind. There was absolutely no way he would have fit into our old small Mazda2.

"It has been an adjustment sharing our space with such a big dog. As he's grown, we've had to move everything in our house higher and higher up so it's out of his reach.

"He loves to steal fridge magnets so we had to move them further and further up until they were all in the top third of our fridge.

"And he's always in the way so we've got used to constantly stepping over him or finding ways into cupboards he's sleeping in front of.

"We have to apologise to other people when we're out and about because he's slobbered over their pet or child. That's the worst.

"But the biggest adjustment by far has been how long it takes us to go anywhere when we've got Hercules with us. We get stopped all the time by people in the street.

"Everyone wants to meet him and ask questions about him. They all comment on how massive he is, how huge his paws are and so many kids shout 'it's Beethoven'."

No matter how many changes they have to make for their big but incredibly loveable St Bernard, Katie and Nick say they wouldn't have it any other way.

Katie said: "He is a loveable goof and a gentle giant, especially with Zoe. I can't believe how gentle and lovely he is with her.

"He's so chilled out when he's at home and just mooches around and flops down for a sleep. He loves snuggles and wants to be cuddled all the time.

"Then when we take him out he has a good run around. He's obsessed with mud and water and will swim at every opportunity."

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