Houston Touch Sensitivity Puppy Training

Training Philosophy

Designed for Houston’s puppies to treat puppy touch sensitivity before it fully develops.

Does your puppy avoid physical touch from you or other family members? Or maybe they get overly agitated while being handled? Your puppy might be touch-sensitive meaning they show fear-related behaviors in certain scenarios relating to physical touch. Our science-based puppy training programs are here to help your puppy! Common contexts for puppies to be touch-sensitive include going to the groomer, having a harness or collar put on or taken off, and getting woken up while on a bed or couch. We recommend addressing your puppy’s touch sensitivity as soon as possible so that it doesn’t progress into aggressive behavior as your puppy matures.

Has your puppy tried to nip or growl when handled at the groomer? Led by Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Dr. Echterling-Savage, we only utilize the latest research in dog behavior in our programs. Our Houston in-home puppy training programs are scientifically proven to significantly reduce touch sensitivity in your puppy. During training, you should already be able to see a difference in your puppy’s behavior within the first week of training! Throughout our touch sensitivity puppy training program, your puppy will learn through classical conditioning that good things happen when they are touched. Your trainer will do various training exercises with your puppy, mock grooming veterinary exercises, and collar exercises to equip you and your puppy with all the tools you need to be successful. Your trainer will also teach your puppy relevant obedience commands that you’ll be able to use in everyday situations in which touch sensitivity was previously prevalent.

Training Programs

All-Inclusive Puppy Touch Sensitivity Training Program


Learn more about insurance options below.

Our All-Inclusive Training Program is for Houston puppy owners looking to treat their puppy’s touch sensitivity. This Houston puppy training program is specifically designed to reduce and eliminate touch sensitivity.

To treat your puppy’s touch-sensitive behavior along with teaching relevant obedience commands including but not limited to:

  • Growling and stiffening up in response to being picked up, handled, or touched
  • Shying away, displaying whale eye, or any other signs of agitation or hesitation while being petted
  • Growling or nipping when putting on or taking off equipment
  • Aggressive behavior in response to being handled at the groomer or during veterinary examinations

Unfortunately, fear-based behaviors like touch sensitivity in puppies do not improve with age. Instead, they worsen with maturity and in severe cases, could lead to a bite towards a family member. Environmental impact, such as how you or your family reacts to your puppy’s behavior, could be even more critical than maturity. Your trainer will teach your puppy that good things happen when they are handled through classical conditioning. New positive associations will be formed in the situations that previously caused fear. Research by Stellato et al. supports that counterconditioning is effective in reducing fearful behavior in dogs that previously experienced high levels of fear during veterinary examinations. According to our Co-Founder Sean Savage, “Together with loving owners, my trainers and I work to correct fear-related behaviors such as touch-sensitivity early such that they don’t strengthen with age, creating more serious adult dog behavior.”

The All-Inclusive Puppy Touch Sensitivity Training Program encompasses 22 training sessions across eight weeks! Your trainer will customize your puppy’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 puppy’s training plan, your trainer will work with your puppy 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 puppy to maintain their level of training post-program. Please note that our indirect behavior assessments will confirm the severity of your puppy’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 puppy 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 Puppy Touch Sensitivity


Want to learn how to prevent puppy touch sensitivity from turning into severe aggressive behavior from the comfort of your home? Schedule a 1-hour virtual consultation with one of our behavior experts! Our CAAB Dr. Echterling-Savage or one of our Houston behavior consultants under her direct supervision will give you expert training advice on specific steps to take to help your puppy be comfortable with being handled in all contexts. After completing 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 under her supervision depending on the severity of your puppy’s touch sensitivity. Pricing for a 1-hour virtual consultation with Dr. Ectherling-Savage is $375. Pricing for a 1-hour virtual consultation with one of our Houston trainers is $150.