Kansas City’s Touch Sensitivity Puppy Training

Training Philosophy

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

Is it nearly impossible to put a harness on your puppy? Does your puppy avoid being picked up? Some puppy squirminess is normal but if a puppy engages in aggressive biting or extreme signs of discomfort in response to restraint, your puppy might be touch-sensitive. Touch sensitivity is when a puppy is overly sensitive to touch by showing signs of abnormal fear or aggression when handled in certain contexts. This can make veterinary or grooming appointments incredibly difficult later on. Our science-based Kansas City puppy trainers are here to help your puppy be comfortable with every aspect of their everyday life!

When low-level aggressive behavior like puppy snapping is reinforced, they will persist. If the aggressive behavior is punished and seemingly goes away, pet parents run the risk of the behavior returning seemingly random yet severe as the puppy’s fear remains. We recommend addressing the behavior of a puppy that is sensitive to touch as soon as possible so that it doesn’t progress into aggressive behavior as your puppy matures. Led by Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Dr. Echterling-Savage, we only utilize the latest research in puppy behavior in our Kansas City puppy training programs. After analyzing your Indirect Assessment of Canine Behavior, our pre-training team will create a science-based, personalized, in-home puppy training program to reduce or eliminate touch sensitivity in your puppy. You will see noticeable differences in your puppy’s behavior starting the first week of your puppy’s training program!

Training Programs

All-Inclusive Puppy Touch Sensitivity Training Program

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

Our goal is 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
  • Snapping or nipping when putting on or taking off equipment

Recognizing problem behaviors such as touch sensitivity early on is crucial because unfortunately the behavior only worsens with age. In severe cases, touch sensitivity in adult dogs could lead to a bite towards a family member. However, touch sensitivity can be addressed with our proprietary combination of classical counterconditioning and behavior modification. Your Kansas City trainer will teach your puppy that good things happen when they are handled through classical conditioning. We only use ethical training procedures that respect your dog’s boundaries. 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 touch sensitivity in dogs that previously experienced high levels of fear in scenarios such as veterinary examinations. 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. According to our Co-Founder Sean Savage, “Our trainers work diligently to address touch-sensitivity early so that it doesn’t strengthen with age and cause more serious issues later in life.”

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 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-sensitivity puppy 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 Puppy Touch Sensitivity


We can help treat your puppy’s touch sensitivity even if you don’t live in Kansas City! Schedule a 1-hour virtual training consultation with one of our behavior experts! Our resident CAAB Dr. Echterling-Savage or one of our Kansas City 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 any context that was inducing fear. 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 Kansas City trainers is $150.