Houston Touch Sensitivity Dog Training

Training Philosophy

We are Houston’s leading experts on dog touch sensitivity.

Does your dog flinch at your touch? Or maybe your dog has bitten one of your family members before when they go to pet them? Your dog might be touch-sensitive, but don’t worry, we’ve treated hundreds of cases of touch sensitivity in dogs. Our science-based dog training programs are here to help your dog! Common contexts for dogs to be touch-sensitive include being handled by a groomer, having a harness or collar put on or taken off, and getting woken up while on a bed or couch. Your dog might flinch followed by an aggressive behavior such as a growl, snap, or bite. Your dog might also act avoidant and shy away from you looking in the opposite direction or slowly lick your hand. Many dogs that are touch-sensitive also tend to resource guard as the behaviors are highly correlated.

Led by Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Dr. Echterling-Savage, we only utilize the latest research in dog behavior in our programs. During our touch sensitivity dog training program, your dog will learn through classical conditioning that good things happen when they are touched. Your trainer will do various training exercises with your dog, mock grooming and veterinary exercises, and collar exercises to equip you and your dog with all the tools you need to be successful. Your trainer will also teach your dog relevant obedience commands that you’ll be able to use in everyday situations in which touch sensitivity was previously prevalent. During training, you should already be able to see a difference in your dog’s behavior within the first week with the problem behavior eliminated a little after one month.

Training Programs

All-Inclusive Dog Touch Sensitivity Training Program


Learn more about insurance options below.

Our Houston in-home dog training programs are scientifically proven to reduce and eliminate touch sensitivity in your dog.

Our All-Inclusive Training Program is for Houston dog owners looking to treat their dog’s touch sensitivity. We treat touch-sensitive behaviors including but not limited to:

  • Aggressive behavior like growling, snapping, or biting or fearful behavior such as hiding or shying away in response to being handled in certain contexts including but not limited to:
    • Attending veterinary appointments
    • Going to the groomer
    • Picking your dog up
    • Putting on or removing equipment
    • Being moved from a comfortable spot

Our behavior consultants treat touch sensitivity primarily through classical counterconditioning. We create new, positive associations with your dog being handled in the contexts that previously elicited fear. In a 2019 study by Stellato et al., counterconditioning was found to be effective in reducing fear responses in dogs that experienced high levels of fear during veterinary examinations. According to our resident CAAB Dr. Echterling-Savage, “Sedatives are not the only solution for touch-sensitive dogs. In fact, from my experience, they can make the next veterinary visit even more difficult. With proper management and behavioral training, you can treat your dog’s touch sensitivity.”

This Houston dog training program is specifically designed to reduce and eliminate touch sensitivity. It encompasses 22 training sessions across eight weeks! Your trainer will customize your dog’s training program based on the Indirect Assessment of Canine Behavior that you will complete pre-training about your dog’s history, behavior, and training goals. After crafting your dog’s training plan, your trainer will work with your dog one-on-one for three (1) hour sessions during the week. The fourth session each week is dedicated to your training! After the 5-week-long training, there are (2) follow-up sessions to support your progress. At the end of your program, your trainer will give you detailed instructions on everything you need to practice with your dog to maintain their level of training post-program. Please note that our indirect behavior assessments will confirm the severity of your dog’s behavior and if deemed severe you may incur a small additional fee.

If you are a pet parent with an insurance policy covering behavior modification, our touch-sensitive dog behavior modification is likely covered. Most companies with behavior policies such as Trupanion cover behavioral training when under the direction of a CAAB or a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist.

Virtual Consultation for Touch Sensitivity


Looking for expert advice regarding your dog’s touch sensitivity but don’t live near any of our service areas? Our virtual consultations are here to help! During each one-hour virtual training session, you will have the opportunity to speak with Dr. Echterling-Savage or one of our other behavior consultants under her direct supervision to come up with a personalized plan to help with your dog’s behavior. Depending on the severity of your dog’s aggressive or avoidant behavior from the Indirect Assessment of Canine Behavior, we will recommend one or multiple sessions with Dr. Echterling-Savage or with one of our other behavior consultants. Pricing for 1-hour virtual consultations with Dr. Ectherling-Savage is $375. Pricing for a 1-hour virtual consultation with one of our Houston trainers is $150.