Friesian Bernese

Friesian Bernese Preservation breeder * Quality AKC Bernese Mountain Dogs * Puppies on occasion, carefully bred according to the AKC standard out of fully health tested parents.

Located in LAUREL, MONTANA

Operating as usual

Sneak peek at Fayes win. Such a fun puppy! 4 point major in Helena MT
09/29/2021

Sneak peek at Fayes win. Such a fun puppy! 4 point major in Helena MT

Sneak peek at Fayes win. Such a fun puppy! 4 point major in Helena MT

Happy National Dog Day! From my pack you yours!
08/26/2021

Happy National Dog Day! From my pack you yours!

07/11/2021
Faye as a little wee one, always reaching out to touch you with her paws ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿพ
07/11/2021

Faye as a little wee one, always reaching out to touch you with her paws ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿพ

Happy 4th of July! ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ โค ๐Ÿพ
07/03/2021

Happy 4th of July! ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ โค ๐Ÿพ

Happy 4th of July! ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ โค ๐Ÿพ

07/01/2021

๐—œ๐—ณ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ด...๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚! .

Over the past few months, I've had an above average number of senior dog owners contact me in the hope that I can work with their dog who has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis. Many of them are desperate to do anything they possibly can to improve their senior dog's quality of life. Their commitment to their dogs reaffirms my belief in the inherent goodness of humans, but I feel so bad because many of them are at a loss in terms of next steps...so hopefully this helps.

๐Œ๐จ๐›๐ข๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ. A dog who can move comfortably is able to participate in family life, access various areas of the house and back yard, defecate independently, walk, and play. But what can be done to establish and maintain mobility?

๐Ÿ. ๐„๐š๐ซ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ˆ๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฏ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง
I'm a huge advocate of recognizing and addressing mobility issues early, but too often early signs of discomfort are dismissed simply because dogs communicate and provide feedback differently than humans do. Typical signs of pain I ask my clients to watch for include:

a) ๐‚๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐ ๐š๐ข๐ญ. You may notice that your dog has slowed down, or is limping or bunny hopping.

b) ๐ƒ๐ข๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ข๐œ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ฌ. For example, they may be slow to get up from laying down, or hesitant to sit.

c) ๐€๐ฏ๐จ๐ข๐๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž. This is one of the biggest ways that dogs communicate with us, but it's often dismissed as stubbornness. You may find your dog avoiding specific parts of your house, such as the stairs or slippery floors. You may find that they start to avoid jumping on furniture or into the car, or hide when it's time to go for a walk. They may choose not to participate in activities like playing fetch or going for walks. They may avoid the family in general, and hide in quiet rooms.

d) ๐๐ž๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐‚๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ฌ. You may notice your dog sleeping more, and possibly either ignoring or growling at family members (canine and human). Your dog may lick their joints obsessively, or start trembling or shaking unexpectedly. They may vocalize unexpectedly, for example, when changing position.

e) ๐’๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐š๐ฅ ๐‚๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ฌ. You may notice changes in your dog's stance, or a change in muscle mass. Unfortunately when we see a dog every day, it can be really difficult to notice these changes. It can be helpful to look at pictures from the past to compare, or ask a friend/dog trainer/groomer etc. if they have noticed any changes.

f) ๐‚๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐ซ ๐๐ž๐Ÿ๐ž๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ž๐ฌ. You may notice your dog struggling to defecate or urinate, especially with squatting or leg lifting. Your dog may start having accidents in the house, or need to go to the washroom more frequently.

g) ๐‚๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐›๐ž๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐š๐ฆ๐จ๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐๐จ๐ ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž๐ก๐จ๐ฅ๐. This is really important to watch, especially if the behaviour change results in aggressive behaviour toward the senior dog.

h) ๐ˆ๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐žโ€™๐ฌ ๐š๐ง ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ž? This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it's a starting point. If your gut is telling you there's an issue - listen and make the vet appointment. Recognize and react early.

๐Ÿ. ๐•๐ž๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ซ๐ฒ ๐‘๐ž๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐œ๐ž๐ฌ
Your veterinarian can be a fantastic source of information when it comes to โ€œnext steps.โ€ I strongly suggest walking in with a list of talking points in hand, and doing your research in advance. This will ensure all your concerns are addressed, but will also ensure you are being respectful of the vetโ€™s time.

Subjects to discuss include:

a) ๐๐ฎ๐ญ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง. There are foods specifically designed to improve mobility, such as Hills J/D. Some vetsโ€™ offices also have qualified nutritionists on site who can provide appropriate advice.

b) ๐’๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ: There are a lot of supplements on the market that cost a lot of money, but have absolutely no proven impact on osteoarthritis. Two interesting supplements that Iโ€™m currently following the science on (studies posted below, but more are available through Google Scholar) are Green Lipped Mussel (available in supplements like YuMOVE), which improve the mobility of osteoarthric dogs, and Fortetropin (available in supplements like Myos Canine Muscle Formula), which can reduce muscle atrophy. Your vet is more likely to be up to date on the current science than I am, and will likely have other suggestions which would be appropriate for your dog.

c) ๐Œ๐ž๐๐ข๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง: Before attending the appointment with your vet, I suggest doing some research on available medication for canine osteoarthritis. There are quite a few options available, and if one doesnโ€™t work for your dog, talk to your vet about trying an alternative approach. Knowledge is power, and if you can walk into your vetโ€™s office with a basic understanding of potential medications, their likely benefits, and potential side effects, itโ€™s easier to have a fruitful discussion regarding next steps.

d) ๐€๐๐๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐œ๐ž๐ฌ: Depending on your location and the amenities available to you, you may also want to discuss resources such as laser therapy, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, a referral to a CCRP/CCRT, or any other resource available to you. Again, I suggest doing your research in advance on Google Scholar to find reliable information about the efficacy of various treatment options so that your conversation with your vet is as productive as possible.

๐Ÿ‘. ๐‚๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐ฒ ๐‚๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐๐ซ๐จ๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ
Complementary care integrates with conventional medicine, but itโ€™s important to note that it does not replace conventional medicine. Examples of complementary care services that may be helpful for a dog with osteoarthritis include massage, conditioning, chiropractic care, and hydrotherapy.

As a complementary care provider focused on conditioning and massage, I can tell you that massage can reduce stiffness and compensatory stress while improving range of motion, which positively impacts mobility. Conditioning can improve proprioception, balance, and flexibility, and reduce muscle atrophy, thereby improving functional wellness. The really nice thing about an effective conditioning plan is that it can build muscle more effectively and comfortably than a traditional walk - the dogs truly enjoy it. When pursuing complementary care modalities, itโ€™s important to ensure that the people who are working with your dog have the appropriate qualifications and experience. Depending on your location and other circumstances, a veterinary referral may be necessary.

4. ๐ƒ๐จ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ - and not just with words - consider photos and videos as well. Watch for changes in your dogโ€™s mobility - what makes it worse? What makes it better? This documentation will provide a path forward and can be a very helpful resource when talking to your vet. It may take multiple vet appointments to find a combination of medication/food/supplements/complementary care/treatment that works for your dog - and thatโ€™s okay. You and your vet are collaborators, and the more information you can provide to your vet, the better they can adjust their approach to meet your dogโ€™s needs.

๐Ÿ“. ๐‡๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž๐ก๐จ๐ฅ๐ ๐Œ๐จ๐๐ข๐Ÿ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ
Your senior dog likely spends the vast majority of their time in the house or yard, and there is SO MUCH that can be done to make their lives more comfortable.

a) If you have laminate flooring, hardwood, tiles, vinyl, or any other type of slippery flooring, consider laying down rugs or yoga mats. Even if you think your senior dog is fine on the slippery surfaces, try laying down some rugs - you may be shocked at how much your dog gravitates to the textured surface.

b) Consider trying an elevated food and water bowls. As each of my dogs has aged, Iโ€™ve found that they appreciate an elevated food bowl. When a dogโ€™s head is lowered, the weight shifts to their front assembly (which already bears approximately 60% of their weight). If any of the joints in the front assembly are sore, lowering the head to eat can increase that discomfort.

c) Changes in elevation can be particularly challenging for a dog with osteoarthritis. Whether itโ€™s the steps to go from the deck to the lawn, the stairs to go from the rec room to the kitchen, or the leap required to move from the floor to the couch, bed or vehicle, these changes in elevation can provide painful challenges to dogs with osteoarthritis. Consider the mental impact this can have on a dog as well, if the dog canโ€™t accompany family members as they move to different areas of the household, or struggle to sit beside you on the couch as you watch TV. If you have a small dog, you can often carry them (just make sure they donโ€™t fall or jump off furniture), but for larger dogs more innovation is required. Some of my clients have built long ramps with a gradual slope, others have changed their stairs to decrease the rise and increase the run. Others have changed where they let their dog out, bringing them out through a door that leads directly to the ground. Iโ€™ve had clients think outside the box, and simply change how they use their living space, using the living room on the main floor as a rec room so their dog doesnโ€™t feel left out when the family is watching a movie or playing a video game. Other clients have changed their bedroom to the main floor for the same reason. Many clients have incorporated pieces of furniture that allow for easier transitions between the floor and beds or couches, such as ottomans with varied heights. I donโ€™t generally recommend the commercially designed pet stairs for any dogs except for the smallest, due to the steep slope and limited depth of the runner. However, there are talented builders on Etsy and in towns everywhere who have the ability to build furniture that will work well for your pets.

d) A comfortable bed is also important for a dog with osteoarthritis. Many prefer bolstered, supportive beds that area easy to get onto and off of, but ultimately listen to your dog. If they like firm, bolstered beds - great. If they like softer, flat beds, also great!

๐Ÿ”. ๐๐ก๐ฒ๐ฌ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐Œ๐š๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž
Itโ€™s important to maintain you dogโ€™s nails and coat in their senior years. Long nails can further impact their stance and gait, and matted hair can pull on skin that may already be extremely sensitive. Regular dental care will ensure they can continue to eat comfortably, which is important for proper nutrition. Maintaining an appropriate weight is also important - as weight decreases, the pressure placed on joints also decreases, You can find multiple studies on the impact of weight loss on osteoarthritis in humans on Google Scholar.

๐Ÿ•. ๐Œ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ฅ ๐‡๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ญ๐ก
One of my clientsโ€™ biggest concerns when I talk to them about their senior dogs is their mental health. They often feel guilt because their dogs canโ€™t accompany them to certain areas of the house, or go on car rides, or enjoy long walks. Household adaptations resolve some of those concerns, but what else can be done?

I encourage my clients to incorporate sensory walks instead of always going on purposeful/destination walks. If they have the ability to put their dog in the car and drive to the destination, I encourage that approach instead of walking to the destination since it will preserve energy. Otherwise I ask them to choose a park or trail close to home. On these sensory walks, the sole goal is to enjoy your time with your dog. Use a long line if possible, and allow your dog to walk at the speed they want, sniff what they to sniff, and rest when they want to rest.

A piece of equipment that can be helpful for transporting dogs to various locations is a pet trailer. These trailers can be attached to a bike, or pushed while walking or jogging. Itโ€™s a great way of allowing your dog to spend time with you, see the outside world, and get them to a destination where you will both enjoy walking.

Look for classes in your area that cater to senior dogs. Locally, Pawsitively Social offers a class specifically designed for seniors called โ€œSenior Momentsโ€. If you canโ€™t find a class offered for seniors, contact the class organizer and ask if they have classes that would be ideal for your dog - options may include trick, nosework, or conditioning classes. This will allow you to continue to bond with your pet and stimulate them mentally, while working within their capabilities.

If you live in a household with multiple dogs, it can be easy to forget the seniors. Please donโ€™t. Set aside time for them, even if that time consists of you petting them and telling them how much you love them, or laying beside them in the back yard. These seniors have given us their time, patience and adoration for years and years - now itโ€™s time to pay it back.

๐Ÿ–. ๐‘๐ž๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐œ๐ž๐ฌ
Here are a few resources that clients have found to be incredibly helpful:

a) Canine Arthritis Management: https://www.facebook.com/CAMarthritis

b) Hollyโ€™s Army: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2161091580843717

c) Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/
**Iโ€™m including this here because there is so much information available - all you have to do is research.

********

๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ: ๐—ฌ๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ด'๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐˜ƒ๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ, ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜ƒ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜‚๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ด'๐˜€ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ, ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ธ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜„๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฟ.

********

A few interesting links to get you started on your research:
**This is just a starting point - there are many more excellent resources available.
https://todaysveterinarypractice.com/laser-therapy-for-treatment-of-joint-disease-in-dogs-and-cats/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3525174/
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0231306
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32598445/
https://journals.co.za/doi/abs/10.10520/EJC99151

A couple more of beautiful Tinkerbelle! Ben - Aliz girl   ๐Ÿ’œ
05/03/2021

A couple more of beautiful Tinkerbelle! Ben - Aliz girl ๐Ÿ’œ

Beautiful Ben - Aliz daughter Tink cheering on her boy Kincade and his team! Such a sweet big girl! FRIESIANS GIRLS JUST...
05/03/2021

Beautiful Ben - Aliz daughter Tink cheering on her boy Kincade and his team! Such a sweet big girl!
FRIESIANS GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN aka ๐Ÿ’œ Huckleberry ๐Ÿ’œ
from our Good Humor litter summer 2020
Thanks Kristin Crow!

Now we wait! โค
04/17/2021

Now we wait! โค

Now we wait! โค

Ben's son (ben Anya) Yukon keeping up with his big uncle Denali ( Ben's half brother)
04/12/2021

Ben's son (ben Anya) Yukon keeping up with his big uncle Denali ( Ben's half brother)

Ben's son (ben Anya) Yukon keeping up with his big uncle Denali ( Ben's half brother)

Friesian Time To Shine Sunshine getting ready for Nationals โค
04/12/2021

Friesian Time To Shine Sunshine getting ready for Nationals โค

Preservation breeding defined
03/24/2021
Preservation breeding defined

Preservation breeding defined

Purebred dogs are history and art. They are beauty and brains. They are living, breathing conduits to our past and to our future. They are our heart and our soulโ€ฆand they are so much more.

National Puppy Day โค
03/24/2021

National Puppy Day โค

National Puppy Day โค

Friesians Blizzard On Denali "Denali" a gorgeous Rhett x Sunny boy that we co-own with Kelly HypesSennwarts Ghiorgio Rhe...
03/13/2021

Friesians Blizzard On Denali "Denali" a gorgeous Rhett x Sunny boy that we co-own with Kelly Hypes
Sennwarts Ghiorgio Rhett x Mokusvolgyi Ursula BG#152847

It is another freezing day in Montana today! โ„๐ŸŒฌ
02/14/2021

It is another freezing day in Montana today! โ„๐ŸŒฌ

It is another freezing day in Montana today! โ„๐ŸŒฌ

โ„๐Ÿ’™โ„
02/07/2021

โ„๐Ÿ’™โ„

โ„๐Ÿ’™โ„

โค they really are so very special
01/17/2021

โค they really are so very special

Friesian Bernese
01/01/2021

Friesian Bernese

Merry Christmad everyone!
12/21/2020

Merry Christmad everyone!

Snow fun!!
10/24/2020

Snow fun!!

1/2 sisters Friesians Singing In The Rain "Faye" 18 weeks (Ben/Aliz) ๐Ÿ’›and Live Laughs Sparklers At Sunset "Josie" 16 wee...
10/18/2020

1/2 sisters Friesians Singing In The Rain "Faye" 18 weeks (Ben/Aliz) ๐Ÿ’›
and Live Laughs Sparklers At Sunset "Josie" 16 weeks (Ben/Anya) ๐Ÿ’™ both enrolled in obedience this fall - love these 2 girls โค๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ

Updates from a few of our Ben puppies! Hagrid, Anna, Monte, Tinkerbelle
10/11/2020

Updates from a few of our Ben puppies! Hagrid, Anna, Monte, Tinkerbelle

Eureka Dog Services
08/12/2020

Eureka Dog Services

๐Ÿ›‡ Use your Manners! ๐Ÿ›‡
The Sniff test - Stop doing that!
The sniff test - a badly engrained habit that society has been taught, without a clear understanding of what they're actually doing.

๐ŸšฉWhen you reach out towards a dog, you are using body pressure AT them, giving them no time to assess whether you are safe & whether they require further investigation to pick up your information. You are forcing an interaction of a relationship that hasn't had time to develop. To some dogs, this is quite rude & the reason a lot of dogs snap at or bite people. This can cause alot of behavioral issues because of layered stress due to forced interactions.

๐ŸšฉIf they are on lead, they have no where to go if they are sensitive to spacial pressure, so can end up shutting down, shying away or snapping at your hand so you back off. This is an example of how a dog is now using pressure to turn off pressure & make you back off so they aren't so stressed.

๐ŸšฉPeople think by offering your hand it can give the dog time to sniff to know you're friendly... they can sniff without being forced to sniff your hand.Their noses are far more superior than ours & they don't need close contact forced upon them to smell you.

๐ŸšฉSome dogs might not want to know you. You have no relationship with them and that's perfectly fine. They aren't your dog so you don't need to touch them or steal pats for your own satisfaction.

๐Ÿค” If you are meeting a dog, what should you do?
โš Ask the owner if you can interact with their dog. Not all people want strangers touching their dogs. Especially strangers who you are unlikely to see again.
โš Stand up straight & relaxed, with your hands at your side.
โš Ignore the dog & talk to the owner.
โš Don't stare at the dog & don't try to force an interaction by going in for a pat. If the dog wants to know you, it will come up to you & sniff around. Usually they will move away & then come back for a second sniffathon. Some dogs will bunt your hands & wag their tails, which are good signs that you're likely an accepted new friend. Give them a few slow pats down their back (NOT THEIR HEAD) & then stop. Is the dog happy? Has it accepted your interaction? This will determine whether you can give it more pats.

๐ŸถThis is a more stress free option for dogs & a reason why in consultations we can develop a good level of trust, especially with fearful dogs & aggressive dogs, without a bunch of negative side effects from forced interactions.

Address

Laurel, MT
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