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I got a Shiba about a week and a half ago, now named Sophie. She's 4 years old. I believe her previous owners may have been abusive (as he did admit to barely feeding her, not even naming her, and pulling her choke collar hard when she wouldn't listen to him).

The first few days she would lay in the corner all day, refuse to eat or drink, and we had to carry her outside as well as back in to use the bathroom.Now we have gotten her to eat and drink, and we still have to carry her outside but she will comeback inside when called. She still winces like we are going to hit her every time we come near her, but I think that will resolve over time as she becomes more comfortable with us.

The only huge issue we have ran into is the fact that she whines at night, and it is becoming more frequent. The first few nights we had her she never made a noise. It wasn't until around 5 days in that she started whining. She pants and whines a lot. At first we thought she had to go the bathroom, but even after she still comes back and whines. She stands in her bed and whines a lot. It is becoming more frequent as the days go on. I don't what the problem is. I have read online that it could be that she has separation anxiety, but I don't think a dog can have separation anxiety to someone who she is scared of.

I don't know what to do. Please help!!
 

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Panting can be a sign of anxiety, and obviously whining is too. Even though her new routine is going to be a lot better for her, it will still be unfamiliar and she doesn't know yet that everything is going to be ok. There may even be an element of whatever the canine equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome is - her old life was bad, but she was accustomed to it and so on.

What is the sleeping arrangement in your house - and do you know what it was like in her previous home too?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Panting can be a sign of anxiety, and obviously whining is too. Even though her new routine is going to be a lot better for her, it will still be unfamiliar and she doesn't know yet that everything is going to be ok. There may even be an element of whatever the canine equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome is - her old life was bad, but she was accustomed to it and so on.

What is the sleeping arrangement in your house - and do you know what it was like in her previous home too?
I have no clue what it was like in her previous home. She has a bed in the corner of our dining room during the day. She lays and sleeps there almost the entire day. She only moves when we make her go outside. She is naturally drawn to that room because she can be alone and not in eyesight of people, so we have put her a bed, water and food in there. When she comes inside she runs right into that bed and lays down. At night, we take her upstairs to sleep. She has her own bed as well up there in the corner of our bedroom. I thought maybe the whining was because she didn't want to sleep in the same room as us, so I brought her back downstairs. When I did that she immediately followed me back up the stairs which I didn't even know she knew how to do. She continued to cry but I guess she wanted to be in there with us.
 

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Aw, poor girl. I was going to suggest the room thing, either with you or alone, but you already tried that. She maybe is quite conflicted - wanting to be with you and at the same time a bit afraid of it too.

I take it you have tried talking to reassure her in a quiet voice too.

This may or may not work, but have you tried giving her a frozen Kong when she starts. Licking is a very self soothing behaviour and it might help her relax and fall asleep.

You can also buy one of the pheromone products. They come in a spray (for blankets etc., not for directly on to the dog), a collar and a diffuser. It replicates the hormone a bitch has after having puppies and has a calming effect on dogs.

Also, it's really early days, so don't expect too much too soon.

In time you can train a ”settle” but I think it might be too soon for that yet.
 

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The poor girl :-( I've no more advice to offer apart from a possible survival strategy - can you and your partner take it in turns to be 'on duty' at night, with the other person sleeping in a different room, with the door shut and maybe earplugs in? We found when out pup was young, and also when our human babies were young, that knowing that every other night we could just ignore the whining, roll over and (try to) go back to sleep really helped.

I hope it doesn't go on too long - lack of sleep is horrible.
 

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Poor girl.

Can they have SA from someone who abused them? Yes.. Our Benny was beaten and thrown in a canal to drown when that didnt work they chained him up outside to a fence yet for three weeks after we got him we only ever saw his tail wag when a car pulled up outside.. He would stand there , paws on the windowledge wagging away thinking 'his family' had come to get him. It broke my heart but for him the treatment he had suffered was his normal... It was the only thing he knew so he missed them.

Sheba on the other hand never seemed to miss her abusive owner but it took six months for her to walk across the room. She used to walk around the edge of the room behind furniture if at all possible.
with Remy who had a brain injury and panicked when left alone.. It was different again...at night he kept jumping onto the bed and sitting on our head. (yes laugh if you like but dog bum in your eye at 2am gets tiresome)..So I slept on a fold out mattrass thing with him under my arm for two weeks until he was sure we weren't going to vanish in the night..

Trust takes time.

With all these dogs we gave them a place to retreat to which it sounds as if your dog has during the day, at night is it possible to try a crate or other covered bed so that she is near you but not seeing you? That way she might feel more relaxed and safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Aw, poor girl. I was going to suggest the room thing, either with you or alone, but you already tried that. She maybe is quite conflicted - wanting to be with you and at the same time a bit afraid of it too.

I take it you have tried talking to reassure her in a quiet voice too.

This may or may not work, but have you tried giving her a frozen Kong when she starts. Licking is a very self soothing behaviour and it might help her relax and fall asleep.

You can also buy one of the pheromone products. They come in a spray (for blankets etc., not for directly on to the dog), a collar and a diffuser. It replicates the hormone a bitch has after having puppies and has a calming effect on dogs.

Also, it's really early days, so don't expect too much too soon.

In time you can train a ”settle” but I think it might be too soon for that yet.
Yes it definitely seems that she's conflicted. She is so scared when we try to touch her yet she doesn't want to sleep in another room. She has a few toys (we found out she was a chewer when she chewed up a piece of clothing in the middle of the night) but I haven't thought of the licking idea. Thanks! If that doesnt work I may order the pheromone products. She seems to have a lot of anxiety. We have never had a "rescue" dog so I am very new to these situations but very willing to work with her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The poor girl :-( I've no more advice to offer apart from a possible survival strategy - can you and your partner take it in turns to be 'on duty' at night, with the other person sleeping in a different room, with the door shut and maybe earplugs in? We found when out pup was young, and also when our human babies were young, that knowing that every other night we could just ignore the whining, roll over and (try to) go back to sleep really helped.

I hope it doesn't go on too long - lack of sleep is horrible.
Thanks! Yes, it is starting to get to us haha but we are trying to be patient!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Poor girl.

Can they have SA from someone who abused them? Yes.. Our Benny was beaten and thrown in a canal to drown when that didnt work they chained him up outside to a fence yet for three weeks after we got him we only ever saw his tail wag when a car pulled up outside.. He would stand there , paws on the windowledge wagging away thinking 'his family' had come to get him. It broke my heart but for him the treatment he had suffered was his normal... It was the only thing he knew so he missed them.

Sheba on the other hand never seemed to miss her abusive owner but it took six months for her to walk across the room. She used to walk around the edge of the room behind furniture if at all possible.
with Remy who had a brain injury and panicked when left alone.. It was different again...at night he kept jumping onto the bed and sitting on our head. (yes laugh if you like but dog bum in your eye at 2am gets tiresome)..So I slept on a fold out mattrass thing with him under my arm for two weeks until he was sure we weren't going to vanish in the night..

Trust takes time.

With all these dogs we gave them a place to retreat to which it sounds as if your dog has during the day, at night is it possible to try a crate or other covered bed so that she is near you but not seeing you? That way she might feel more relaxed and safe.
Wow, that's crazy. We have never had any rescue dogs so this is very new to us. Reading rehabilitation stories are reassuring that things will get better! I thought about the crate but I didn't want her to feel trapped. I don't know anything about the owners house besides he was a self acclaimed "hoarder" and apparently lived on a lot of land. Since those things contradict I'm not sure if she would prefer a lot of space or very little.
 
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