Puppy recently started growling when paws are touched, but only in a certain way

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/puppy101/comments/hn7z1z/puppy_recently_started_growling_when_paws_are/

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8.5mo old female miniature Australian labradoodle

Has been in home since 8 weeks with myself and fiancée. Spends some days at family members house with other dogs and gets along well with them.

Within the last week or so we have noticed she has been more persistently grooming her paws, one of them in particular. When you try to touch the paw to inspect or take a look she growls and tries to snap away. She has not bitten either of us, but not sure what she would do if we persisted in the inspection. This reaction is new, previously could handle all paws without issue. Reaction is not always consistent with other paws, but once it occurs with one of them she is defensive of all of them.

All that said, it’s only when it’s an “inspection” touch. She can seemingly tell the difference. I can hold her in my arms and brace her weight on the paw, or if I’m picking her up, or if you have an arm across her body to pet her and it’s rests on her paws, etc it’s no problem at all. She continues to run around and jump and walk without limping etc. She does not appear to be in any pain. She doesn’t appear to be defensive of us in general. More than happy to jump on the couch and sit next to us, and just finished licking my hand for several seconds while it laid on top of one of her paws.

At the same time, and probably compounded by us now looking for issues, we’ve noticed some smaller bumps towards the top of her front legs, almost on her chest/shoulder. When I first noticed them she didn’t react, but now seems to be sensitive/defensive about these as well.

We are already at the point where we are going to take her to the vet out of caution, but thought I’d post here as well to see if anyone has had a similar shift in behavior.

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