Kansas City’s Touch Sensitivity Dog Training

Training Philosophy

Touch sensitivity is a complicated behavior we understand and treat, allowing Kansas City’s dogs to remain safe and live life to the fullest.

Has your dog ever bitten you, another family member, the veterinarian, or the groomer before? Does your dog flinch or stiffen at your touch or in response to putting on their collar or harness? Like many dogs we’ve treated over the past two decades, your dog might be touch-sensitive. Our science-based dog training programs were designed to specifically treat touch-sensitive dogs using the latest research in dog behavior. Dog touch sensitivity is frequently seen when dogs are having equipment put on or taken off, being disturbed while resting in a comfy spot or being handled during a veterinary examination or at the groomer. Touch-sensitive dogs might show aggressive behavior such as growling, snapping, or biting in response to being touched. They also might shy away from the handler while looking in the opposite direction and slowly licking as a plea to stop touching them. Based on the data we have collected from thousands of dogs over the past two decades, we have found that many dogs that are touch-sensitive also tend to resource guard. Our behavior consultants are able to detect any problem behavior present and treat it accordingly.

Under the guidance of Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Dr. Echterling-Savage, our pre-training team will work with you to pinpoint instances of touch sensitivity in your dog and assess the severity of the behavior. Using our Indirect Assessment of Canine Behavior, we craft a detailed treatment plan tailored to address your specific concerns. Our training sessions will allow your dog to go at their own pace ensuring significant behavioral improvements while accommodating each dog’s unique needs. Through classical conditioning, your dog will learn to associate touch with positive experiences. Our trainers conduct a variety of exercises including mock grooming and veterinary simulations, as well as collar training, equipping both you and your dog with essential tools for success. Additionally, your dog will learn obedience commands applicable to everyday situations where touch sensitivity previously posed challenges. You should notice progress as early as the first week of training, with touch sensitivity greatly diminished or eliminated within just one month.

Training Programs

All-Inclusive Dog Touch Sensitivity Training Program

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

Our All-Inclusive Training Program is for Kansas City 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

We help Kansas City touch-sensitive dogs create positive associations with being handled in the contexts that previously elicited fear. After gathering decades of research based on treating thousands of dogs, our unique process can reduce or eliminate touch sensitivity in any dog. Research has shown that aggressive dog behavior can be treated with classical counterconditioning and positive reinforcement. Research conducted in a 2019 study by Stellato et al. supports counterconditioning as a highly effective method in reducing fearful behavior in dogs that were experiencing fear at veterinary examinations. According to Dr. Echterling-Savage, our resident CAAB, “Contrary to popular belief, sedatives can make veterinary visits more difficult for touch-sensitive dogs in my experience. Behavior modification with proper management is the superior method to treat dog touch sensitivity.”

The All-Inclusive Program for Touch Sensitivity encompasses 20 training sessions across 5 intensive weeks with 2 follow-up sessions spanning a total of 22 training sessions over 8 weeks! After you submit your training contract and Indirect Assessment of Canine Behavior, our pre-training team, led by Dr. Echterling-Savage, uses the information provided to craft your personalized dog training program. Then, your Kansas City trainer will put your training plan into action! 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! This structure is designed to produce seamless learning and long-term behavior change. After the 5-week-long training, there are 2 follow-up sessions to support your progress. 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. When behavior training is under the direction of a CAAB or a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist, most companies with behavior policies such as Trupanion will cover behavioral training.

Virtual Consultation for Touch Sensitivity


Want professional advice regarding your dog’s touch sensitivity but don’t live in the greater Kansas City area? We offer 1-hour virtual dog training sessions where you will have the opportunity to speak with Dr. Echterling-Savage or one of our other Kansas City behavior consultants under her direct supervision. Our pre-training team will create a personalized plan to help with your dog’s touch sensitivity. After reviewing the Indirect Assessment of Canine Behavior, we will recommend one or multiple sessions with Dr. Echterling-Savage or with one of our other qualified Kansas City dog trainers. Pricing for 1-hour virtual consultations with Dr. Ectherling-Savage is $375. Pricing for a 1-hour virtual consultation with one of our Kansas City trainers is $150.