Arousal: Science, Not Sex
High arousal. Over arousal. Low arousal. Arousal as a behavior description is ever-present in our conversations about animals within shelter, performance, and working environments. Across training settings, we’ve attached the label readily but without an agreed-upon definition of its meaning. What does arousal mean? What is the relationship between arousal and emotion? How does arousal relate to other descriptors we use (often interchangeably) like drive, frustration, aggression? Is there a functional component to arousal? Is use of the label beneficial for training conversation or does it muddy the waters? Let’s unravel the science of arousal and consider the applications within training practices and behavior-change plans. It's not sex, but for behavior nerds it's still sexy!