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Hi everyone,
I have been seeing an issue developing in my 2 1/2 year old shih tzu, Bella recently. When she was younger, she was the sweetest most loving dog, and she still is, for the most part. The thing that has changed, however, is that she used to love every dog/person/animal she ever met, and now, she doesnt tolerate certain ones. For example, she snaps at my sisters dog Brody, everytime he tries to play with her, but she loves to play with her other dog Winston. Also, i've noticed her snapping at my dog Chloe, a 1 1/2 year old scottish terrier, at certain times; like, if im holding Bella and Chloe tries to get in my lap, or even if Chloe just comes too close to her than she likes. It doesnt happen everytime, just randomly. Sometimes she plays great with Chloe, and other times, she doesnt? Im so confused.
Also, she was recently groomed and the groomer said this was the first time Bella has ever snapped at her while she was grooming. This is the only time I have ever seen her snap at a person, is when they are grooming her.
Im starting to worry that this will progress. Shes sweet most of the time, it just seems shes getting "moodier" towards dogs especially, as she ages.

Does anyone else have experience with behavior like this and should I be worried?

I appreciate any input! Have a great afternoon!
 

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I don't really have any first hand experience with thisbut I'll give it a shot. At 2&1/2 she is reaching maturity,who she is and what her place and status are and she is probably trying to set limits with other dogs andthe people in her life. You say, she snaps, which is a warning bite. The dog she snaps at may be exhibiting what your dog considers bad doggie ettiquette and she may be rebuking him or her. You need to watch the circumstances carefully, and the body language. When any 2 of mine get a little cranky with each other a loud, sharp, HEY!, is usually enough to make them rethink what they were doing. As far as the groomer goes, I think, barring pain or medical reasons, she is just saying she doesn't want that particular procedure done, and should not be allowed to go on to the next step which will be an actual bite. I would muzzle her during grooming, so that she never becomes successful at having a snap or bite make the groomer stop what she is doing. I would ignore that behavior and just continue with the grooming confidently. This works with my 160lb Newf/ Irish Setter in the bath tub.
BTW, I read a great book called "How to Speak Dog" (I can't remember the author) which is really, really helpful in understanding canine body language. Hope this helps.
 

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The part that would bother me the most, snaping at the groomer, I have never had this kind of change in personality, but hearing others that have had such problems, the consensus was to see the vet to rule out any extenuation of a medical problem before you go the behaviorst route. Thats fairly long time to go with this change kind of change in behavior. A good dog does not just turn bad without a legitimate reason. Just wondering if the groomer may have intimidated your dog at a previous visit. Assuming that is the only time your little guy is ever out of your direct observance?
 
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