Odd behavior change with guests

We have had Jazzy since she was a puppy. We have a semi-large family, and have had a houseful of people on a regular basis since she moved in.
She has never had problem with visitors, and has always been ready to greet everyone as they enter, and usually is able to sucker guests into letting her curl up in their laps for a cozy nap.

Lately, however, she seems to be uncomfortable with visitors. She seems to prefer having just her family home {with the exception of a few neighborhood kids, whom she also views as belonging to her "pack"}. When visitors come over, she wanders about with her tail uncurled, looking uncomfortable. She does not try to get into laps, etc. and Saturday gave a little "I'm not comfortable with this" growl when a friend rubbed her tummy – usually a favorite.

Any ideas on why this is going on? I am aware of nothing happening to affect a change like this.

Hi JazzysMom,
Nala has gotten a little odd around people coming to our house recently too. We have a large family too and lots of visitors. I'm not sure how old Jazzy is, but Nala will be 8 and I noticed her behavior changed in the last year. Her hackles (sp.?) are up and she's very stiff around people and doesn't like it if they reach down until SHE's ready to let them. She makes "ugly" noises at my best friend and her husband (never kids, thank goodness) but she knows them and loves them. I'm not sure if it's just a "crotchity" phase or what. All I can say is you are not alone! I know my friend's husband just says, "You have to know how to handle her, just don't let her be the boss." He picks her up and just lets her make those noises and pats her on the bottom. She hasn't snapped or bitten him (yet) so maybe that's the way to handle it.
Let me know what works for you!
Sharon

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Is she coming into heat soon? Our girls get grumpy about things that normally wouldn't set them off when they are about two weeks from coming into heat. She also approaching two years old, right? Sometimes they start to act more like adults...as in letting you know what they don't really like around that age.
I would definitely talk to Brian about it, and see what he thinks.

<_>

Uh, well, that's not how I would handle it. A dog growls as a warning…if the warning is ignored, a lot of dogs will bite. I don't know if Nala is one of those dogs...but why force her to interact with people that she feels uncomfortable around?

Chances are her behavior is escalating around those people, because she suspects this man will force her to interact in a way that makes her uncomfortable. What is wrong with letting her decide when she is comfortable with an approach?

I would suggest to these people that they simply ignore her when they come into the house...eventually she may seek out their attention, or she may not....her choice._

I guess I should have wrote LOL after that, Andrea. I also should have added that I DO warn people when they come to my house to ignore her and let her approach them. They only problem that I find with that is that it creates fear in some people and then she can sense it. I do believe that you know your dog individually and you might handle each differently. That is why I said, "Let me know what works for you".

@nala121498:

I guess I should have wrote LOL after that, Andrea. I also should have added that I DO warn people when they come to my house to ignore her and let her approach them. They only problem that I find with that is that it creates fear in some people and then she can sense it. I do believe that you know your dog individually and you might handle each differently. That is why I said, "Let me know what works for you".

Sorry, I didn't know you were being sarcastic 🙂 Absolutely, each dog is an individual, and you might handle situations differently. I didn't realize that you weren't looking for advice. I am just really tired of the whole "you have to let them know who's in charge" advice…sorry if I overreacted :x

No, you didn't Andrea, I think I did! Sorry. I didn't mean to seem ungrateful. I know you are one of the people who has a wealth of great information on this forum and I didn't mean to offend you. I really respect your advice.
Nala has been much better since we had a few large parties and I gave those instructions to people upon approaching her. I think she was getting more territorial for whatever reason.
The other thing I do is tell her (however weird this sounds)…"Jean is coming!" a few times before guest arrrive and she starts to look out the window and get excited. Maybe it prepares her for company arriving...

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Cute! Good idea too!
I am truly not offended 🙂 I think I just misread the post. Nothing worse than giving advice when it wasn't wanted...and I felt bad that I might have stepped on your toes 🙂

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