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from the berner-l

"five month out puppy / working on it"

An hour or so after meals, take puppy to the park or woods for some fun and exercise (use a flexi if she has to be on leash). My dogs will often have a bm (always OFF trail :) in this context, even if they've already done their routine pooh at home. Seems that exercise gets more things moving than just the heart and breathing rate...

If she's not already, try sleeping very close to the crate and hopefully waking up as soon as puppy starts to move about to relieve herself. I do this with young pups and find that even then, there's always a few moments between when they wake and when they relieve. Before she's even fully awake, get her outside, off leash if the yard is safe, on a flexi if not. Praise and play with her for a minute or two after she goes, and even a bit before if necessary to put her at ease.

Also while outside the pup seems to be more interested in other things like eating ice and snow rather than doing her thing.

Sounds pretty normal for a 5 m.o. - Can your friend leave the pup in a safe area outside so she can enjoy these pleasures to her heart's content? Then go out and play with her to get her moving if she's just been lounging and hasn't been active enough to stimulate a bm. USE the snow to play in and have fun (if the yard's not fenced, snap a long line on her) together until the activity brings on a pooh...then play some more.

Give her the opportunity to relieve herself in a "private" area...a place with shurbs she can go under or inbetween. Guy has always chosen to go into the various shrubs around my yard to pooh...even when they're just a collection of bare twigs in winter. He never goes in the open lawn areas they surround (wish the girls followed his lead ;-}.

I didn't realize how important this 'cover' was to Guy until a visit to my folks house. We walked and we walked, but he 'held it...for at least 24 hrs.... until I thought to take him over to the hemlocks along the back yard. Once there he walked into/under the evergreen branches and poohed just as he normally would (not constipated). I swear, all the while he was 'in the pose' he was looking at me and saying, "Well it took ya long enough Ma!" Apparently, some dogs just like their privacy...

Try abandoning the crate. If puppy's gotten used to relieving herself in it then it's not serving any useful purpose and may actually be counter productive at this point.