E334: Irith Bloom - What is Arousal?

In this episode Irith and I dive deep into what arousal is, what it means, and what we can do about it. Irith breaks down both the science and the practical, applicable skills we can apply. 


Melissa Breau: This is Melissa Breau, and you're listening to the Fenzi Dog Sports Podcast, brought to you by the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, an online school dedicated to providing high quality instruction for competitive dog sports, using only the most current and progressive training methods. Today I have Irith Bloom here with me to talk about animals who are overexcited, over the top and out of control. Hi Irith, welcome to the podcast!

Irith Bloom: Hi Melissa. It's so good to see you. Thank you for having me. I am super excited to talk about this. It's such a big topic.

Melissa Breau: Yeah, yeah, it definitely is. So, to start us out, do you wanna just remind listeners a little bit about you and maybe your current canine crew?

Irith Bloom: So, I'm Irith Bloom. I have like a whole bunch of certifications that I'm sure are probably somewhere on the Fenzi website, so I'm not gonna go through the whole list. Okay. And I run a company called The Sophisticated Dog in Los Angeles, which offers online training and behavior consulting services to people all over the world. We do cats, dogs, birds, theoretically horses, though very few people come to us with horse questions. We wish more did. And we also do in-person services in a very limited area. I'm also part of something called the Freak and Awesome Dog Project, which offers coaching for fellow dog professionals. And we've also published a book on puppy rearing called Your Puppy. And you and I don't know, I just, I love animals and behavior and people and that's kind of why I'm here. I am between dogs at the moment. We had our dear dog pass away and my very, very well-trained spouse was not prepared for another dog for a while. And then when we got prepared for another dog sort of life, things got in the way. And it's a good thing we don't have a dog right now 'cause we've actually just had to relocate homes very suddenly. And I'm glad I didn't have to bring a little pooch through the trauma of all that. So yeah, so that's me. Yeah.

Melissa Breau: So I mentioned that I wanted to have you on to talk a little bit about those dogs who are just over the top. So arousal's become a bit of a buzzword lately. I think it makes sense therefore, to kind of start out making sure we're all on the same page. Do you wanna just talk about what arousal is and kind of what it means for our conversation today?

Irith Bloom: Yes. So this is a really great question and like many, many things that you will find, if you start delving into the scientific literature, you're going to find that the word arousal has about as many definitions as there are papers about the topic. It depends if you're talking to like a neurobiologist or a behavior person, it's kinda like the word threshold, which is another one of those words where neuroscientists are like, we do not mean by threshold what you mean by threshold.

You know, so there's a psychological definition, there's physiological definitions. What I use sort of as a functional definition for the purposes of talking about these over the top big feelings kinds of dogs is arousal. When it's at the right level, when it's at its optimal level is being awake, aware and attentive. So I'm here with you, I'm present, I'm paying attention. And the the attentive part implies my frontal cortex is working, my prefrontal cortex is working and I'm able to actually think through stuff. Now physiologically what arousal is about is about the sympathetic nervous system. For those of you who know what I'm talking about, I'll explain it in a second. The sympathetic nervous system becoming more active, the sympathetic nervous system is part of what's called our autonomic nervous system, which is the part of your nervous system that you don't think about. Like you don't think about digesting your food, you don't think about breathing unless you've got certain kinds of conditions or unless you're meditating. All of these things that happen automatically so we don't have to put a lot of brain power into them, are moderated by something called the autonomic nervous system. And most scientists divide the autonomic nervous system into sort of two functioning halves, which are physiologically different nerve neural systems. One's called the sympathetic nervous system. And the other is called the parasympathetic nervous system. Because scientists like to pick terms that don't necessarily mean anything if you don't know what they mean. So the easy way to remember this is the sympathetic nervous system is the part of your nervous system that becomes more active in times of stress.

So for stress, for sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous system is the part of your, of your nervous system that, or your autonomic nervous system, I should be specific. That sort of calms down when you're not in stress and helps you become calm again. And my friend Dr. Christina Spalding likes to use the analogy, which I think she got from one of her professors, but I'm not sure parasympathetic, it's like the parachute, it starts to slow you down. So when the sympathetic nervous system is firing, which is what's happening in arousal, physiologically what that means is your body is ready to deal with a potential threat among other things. Like something has signaled to your body, you need to activate and be ready to run or fight or jump or whatever else it might be.

And so if you think about it, right, that's, that's like if I'm asleep, I don't need to be ready for my muscles to go. I'm not sending a lot of blood to that part of the body. Instead I'm sending blood to my brain and to my, my sort of intestinal tract because I need to be digesting my food and those kinds of things.

That's when the parasympathetic system is working. But when the sympathetic nervous system is working, we're gonna be more on alert. Our heart rate is higher, we're breathing faster, we're probably not spending a lot of our blood volume on the digestive tract. We're sending most of it to the voluntary muscles that are going to help me run away or deal with the task.

The thing about these two systems is that there's a balance between them and if only the sympathetic nervous system is working, which by the way you would actually die, that's a side note. They're both always working. But if, if the sympathetic nervous system is got like a lot going on, it's really, really, really big and the parasympathetics only functioning very, very slightly, sometimes your arousal gets to the point where it's too much arousal. And what that means is now your prefrontal cortex is no longer working. You find it harder to think. So essentially that sort of it I said earlier, awake, aware and attentive, that awake aware and attentive is a point where the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are just right for the scenario you're in.

Now, if I wanna go for a run, I need a different level of arousal for optimal functioning than if I wanna sit and talk to Melissa on a podcast. It's a different level of appropriate arousal. So arousal isn't bad, it's a matter of where it needs to be. And there isn't like a locked, like I can't say to you, oh we want your parasympathetic nervous system at 25%, your sympathetic nervous system at 75% and then you will function perfectly. 'cause that's not how it works. It's always shifting, it's always changing. The problem that we get is that certain dogs don't get into the right balance for the scenario they're in. They're ready to run a hundred yard sprint instead of pay attention to what Melissa is saying. And they're here on the podcast and so they're just in the wrong state of arousal. So yeah, so hopefully that helps explain arousal a little bit and I'll talk about this in much greater detail in the actual webinar. So Yeah.

Melissa Breau: Yeah. So thinking about that and thinking about kind of, so if that's happening on the science end of things, what are the exterior behaviors maybe that we're seeing that can accompany kind of that over arousal or inappropriate level of arousal for the situation? Can you give us a little bit of that?

Irith Bloom: Yes, I love that question. So things to remember about sort of arousal and the behaviors you see is animals can be stressed without showing signs of arousal. So that's the first thing you need to remember. Some animals seem to stress up and some animals seem to stress down behaviorally. So when they get really stressed they shut down.

Those aren't the dogs that you're going to be like, oh my gosh, I have a problem with over arousal. The dogs you have the problem with are the ones that tend to stress up and they stress up really easily. And the kind of things you'll see are all these things that they'll do because they're, they're prefrontal cortex. I'm gonna keep coming back to this is not working its best in that moment.

So think about all the natural dog behaviors that dogs do when they're super excited, like jumping up and down or the zoomies, right? Which is a technical term I believe in dog training and should really have a scientific definition. But like zoomies are a high arousal behavior. I have all this energy and so now I'm running around and I'm doing the little, you know, gauntlet of off the couch onto the kitchen table and off the kitchen table and run around the room and then slam into somebody or something and everyone's sort of standing back and flattened against the walls. That's a high arousal behavior. Things I tend to see in dogs who are very high arousal is I'll see primarily jumping, running and mouthing or biting.

And it can be, when I say mouthing talk about labels, mouthing to me is that the dog is putting their teeth on you. But the level of pressure is such that no damage is going to be caused to an ordinary human being with normal sort of levels of skin and musculature if you will. It gets into biting when there starts to be damage and the more excited a dog gets, the more that mouthing is likely to get to be higher and higher pressure. And then there's bruises or there's little cuts on your skin or in extreme cases of over arousal, you can't actually get like true damaging bites because the dog is just so excited that they can't tamp down their behavior anymore because they're functioning in this over arousal state. But mostly what I do see is the jumping and I mean everyone kind of knows you. You can picture the jumpy, mouthy adolescent, which is kind of normal for an adolescent to a point that's sort of your over aroused behavior in a nutshell. What are they doing? They're spinning in circles, they're jumping up and down, they're biting at you, maybe they're dashing from one place to another. Those are the types of behaviors we'll see.

Melissa Breau: So thinking about those types of behaviors, is that kind of arousal something we can actually influence in the moment when our dog is acting that way?

Irith Bloom: It depends. Isn't that the answer to every question? It depends, of course. Yeah. So let's say I just got a dog I've never met before who has no training history. The dog was found as a stray at eight months old on the streets of Los Angeles.

And this is the behavior I'm seeing, the odds that I'm gonna be able to do anything about it in the moment are somewhere between like 0.0,00000001 and zero. I mean, it's just the odds are really, really low. If it's a dog who has a training history, there might be things I can call on that will sort of help the dog get refocused, calm their body down a little bit and start thinking more productively. And one of the things that I will be talking about in the webinar is what kind of skills we can teach to help the dog be able to interrupt that high arousal state. But the higher the arousal, the harder it is to interrupt and the less practice the dog has regulating their own arousal, the harder it is to interrupt. And what I'll say just as sort of a side comment is there are dogs who are born able to regulate their arousal. I mean, they're not literally born that way, but they're either genetically blessed, they just pick it up on their own. And then there are the dogs that like any little thing puts them on this very high, like this buzz, they're just buzzing with energy. They're so super high arousal and they have no idea how to get themselves out of that. So, and you'll see combinations of anything in between, you know, the dogs that it takes them a while to get to that high energy, but once they're there they can't get out of it. The dogs that are instantly there but can actually get themselves out of it.

It just depends on the dog. What I will say is that's not the time when I invest a lot of energy in trying to change the arousal level. That's the time when I say what's causing the high arousal? Let's get out of there, let's get it away. Let's move the dog away from it. Let's turn off the television. If it's something on the television, let's move away from the barking dog if it's a barking dog behind a fence. Those kinds of things. So in the moment, am I doing training for this? No, I pre-train. So you, you started talking about two different things there that I wanna dive into a little bit more. So first, can you talk more about management and kind of what role that plays and then the role that training plays and kind of where those two maybe meet or intersect or kinda how it all kind of plays into things.

And then a little bit about just whether it's really important to prevent the rehearsal of these behaviors. 'cause I think that's a thing that we hear a lot, Right? Okay, so I know big question. No, it is a big question. I'm gonna try to remind me if I forget a piece of it. So I'm gonna start absolutely with the rehearsal of the behavior because I think it's important to know why we're doing what we're doing, if that kind of makes sense. So for anyone who's not aware of this, because we used to say this wasn't true like some decades ago, people were like, once the brain is formed, the brain does not change. And once you're an adult it's all set and there's nothing you can do about it.

And I'm just gonna tell you there is a very, very, very slight kernel of truth in that, in the sense of sort of sizes of brain structures and certain developmental milestones and issues. But fundamentally the brain is very plastic. By which it means by which I mean it can change. And what that means is every time we do a behavior we are either strengthening, well we are strengthening some circuit, which means some others, not that the brain has circuits, but like let's work with this analogy we're making, we're we're turning one circuit on and making that circuit stronger, which means some other circuits will either stop being used or be affected in some other way. And the actual neuron physiology is like totally fascinating and complicated and way above my pay grade.

But I understand it just enough to know I don't understand it if you know what I mean. Absolutely. But essentially if you think of it as like paths in the woods and anything that we do more often it's like we're coming through that path and we're tramping down the seeds so that nothing grows. And we're maybe even using a machete to cut down the little trees around us.

And the paths we go down the most often are gonna get wider and wider and wider and it's gonna take them longer and longer to get grown back over when we stop using them. The paths we don't use a lot are very narrow and they get overgrown quickly. And essentially because of the way the brain works and neurons work and the connections between neurons get stronger or weaker, almost like a path in the forest, it's a reasonable analogy for the function of what's going on. So what that means is if I don't want a dog to repeat a behavior, then I'd better prevent that behavior from happening as often as possible. I should prevent that scenario. And with arousal, often we're not even looking at a behavior, we're looking at a trigger and it's often a habit, which is a like another topic for another day. But, but basically what we're doing is the dog, the dog perceives something like they hear the barking dog behind the fence, that's the stimulus that sets them off and then they get over aroused. So every time I walk by that barking dog behind the fence, I'm strengthening that connection between hear barking dog, get excited, hear barking dog, get over excited. So now let me get back to the sort of second part. So that's why, why do I wanna prevent the rehearsal is because I don't wanna keep strengthening those circuits. So with dogs who are over aroused, it's even worse than what I just said because if they're prone to over arousal, a lot of it has to do with where their baseline level of stress is sitting.

And so not only am I gonna strengthen sort of the path between barking dog and now I get over aroused, but if they keep hearing the barking dog, then their entire sympathetic nervous system function is gonna be a little higher that entire day, which makes them a little more likely to explode at the next thing. So I really wanna manage those triggers and allow the dog to come back to more of a baseline normal level of stress.

So they're not constantly like, you know, popping up in arousal with every little thing that happens and it's kind of like trigger stacking but trigger stacking over the course of the entire day or week or month. And for some of these dogs who are over aroused, it's so ingrained in their brain that you could basically have them avoid triggers for weeks, like have them in the calmest possible scenario and they're still gonna have that tendency to get over aroused other dogs. You give them like a few weeks away from the stressors and you're gonna gradually see they're sleeping better, they're relaxing more, and then the next time they hear that firework that your neighbor set off or whatever it is, maybe they startle but they don't go into full blown panic or whatever was happening before because we've reduced their baseline stress.

So the management is really important to prepare the brain to deal better with the stress. With the stress soars, the things causing stress management helps lower the baseline level of stress so that the animal can deal with the stressors better. The training gives them actual skills for dealing with the stressors. So in the training I basically say to them, Hey, let's play with increasing our arousal and decreasing our arousal and increasing our arousal and decreasing our arousal.

Or maybe the dog doesn't know how to relax. If you've ever had one of those dogs in your life who basically does not sleep like that's a problem, sleep is really important to stress management. So maybe those dogs, we need to teach them actually how to relax. And so those are the main two things that you focus on when you have a dog who's really high arousal is you start saying three things.

Now I feel like I'm, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition for anybody beside me who gets that. So the main three things any second out it'll turn into four. We wanna manage baseline stress levels, we wanna teach the dog how to relax and we wanna teach the dog how to deal with high arousal and lower their own arousal. And when I say manage the stress, I'm not just talking about making a calm environment, I'm also talking about giving them productive outlets for whatever energy they have, which could be, you know, nosework or agility or training tricks or whatever else it is. But we give them somewhere to put that intelligence and energy that is coming out. Almost always these over aroused dogs are actually really, really bright. They're very smart dogs. So we give them somewhere else to put some of that energy which also helps reduce the baseline stress.

Melissa Breau: Okay, so I'm gonna go take that and I'm gonna go back a step 'cause the other thing that you brought up two questions ago that I wanted to talk a little more about is kinda the genetics, right? So you mentioned that genetics does play a role. You kind of mentioned this idea of a natural baseline in there and the fact that some dogs can tend a little bit more towards overarousal than others. Kinda what do we know here? Can you just…

Irith Bloom: So unfortunately the connection between behavior and genetics is not only complicated, it's almost impossible to say this gene causes that behavior. Like it does not work that way.

I mean there's probably an exception out there. I'm not a geneticist. I do have, I do have minor training in genetics because I was a biologist in, you know, I'm a, I'm a biologist by training, but I didn't delve deeply into genetics and I know enough to know that it's not a one-to-one connection, I'll put it that way. We, there's probably some behavior out there that you can say, oh dogs who have this gene cross their paws or don't cross their paws. But behavior is one of those things where there's so many factors involved. It is so complex that the genetic piece is usually just one little piece of what's going on.

But having said that, one of the places where genetics and arousal intersect is in that sort of development of the brain and stress coping. So dogs who tend to over arousal and have a hard time coming down are often dogs who don't cope with stress well fundamentally and stress coping has genetic components. It also has epigenetic components, which means influences on the gene from the environment for those who are not familiar with epigenetics and where we see the stress genetics, epigenetics connection the most strongly is during development. If animals have the wrong kind of stress or not enough stress in development, then they will be poorer at coping with stress throughout life. But some dogs the like wrong, stress doesn't seem to bother them as much. That's the genetic component where other dogs, the wrong kind of stress when they're three weeks old just sets them down this path that you can't seem to get them off of.

So it's like this complicated interaction between what was the mother doing when she was gestating the pups and how well did that all go and what are the genetic influences on the pups because we know that a male contributor to the puppies, even if that male contributor is not involved in the pregnancy or child rearing and all that male contributor is involved in, is creating the puppies that male contributor's stress coping can be reflected in the litter.

So there's definitely something genetic going on. But to sort of bring this to more practical terms, 'cause now I'm just having fun thinking about behavior and genetics to, to make this more practical, what it comes down to is you can have, let's make them litter mates because just 'cause dogs are from the same litter does not mean they're all gonna have the same personality.

You can have litter mates where one litter mate, when they're eight week old a thunderstorm rolls through and one of them is like whatever thunderstorm. And the other goes, oh that was the worst experience of my life and now I'm going to be scared of thunderstorms for the rest of my life and by the way, I'm gonna cope poorly with loud noises for the rest of my life.

So there are pieces to this that are outside of our control. We do the best we can to give optimal stress levels in babyhood and childhood and adolescence to our dogs or for that matter to our humans. We can only do so much and some dogs are just more difficult to make progress with and there was no perfect way to raise them where this wouldn't have happened if that kind of makes sense. But the main thing, the main takeaway, sorry, I'm just gonna say like so that everybody kind of remembers this main takeaway is there is no clear connection between one gene and one behavior basically in almost all behavior. If there's an exception out there, I can't think of one right now, but it would truly be like a one in a million thing where you can say, oh that gene causes that behavior. In other words it's super complicated. In Other words it's super complicated. Yeah, Yeah. So another piece of that, right?

Melissa Breau: So we talked a little bit about management and we talked a little bit about this idea of teaching dogs, okay, we're gonna get you a little more excited and then we're gonna get you a little more calm and then we're gonna get you a little more excited. Is there a point where dogs will actually start to manage their own arousal levels with some of that? Is it always something that we're externally managing? Can you talk a bit about kind of that, what it means and what it looks like?

Irith Bloom: Yes. So first of all, I'm going to say short answer, yes to most, yes most dogs will be able to learn to manage their own arousal at least in a certain set of circumstances. Like there might be situations that are just above their abilities, like outside their pay grade, whatever the right word is. But most dogs will be able to start to learn to say, oh wait, I know this feeling and I know what I'm supposed to do and I feel this feeling I'm supposed to take a breath or I'm supposed to plunk my butt down and lie down on the ground or I'm supposed to go grab a toy.

Which is actually a really common arousal management tool that a lot of dogs come up with on their own, which I find totally fascinating. So those dogs who, who do have that pre, that sort of ability to manage their arousal, even a little will often come up with that like grab the toy and that way I'm not biting mom and dad, they seem to like it when I grab the toy.

And it's a combination of like learning and creativity on the part of the dog. So never, never underestimates your dog's creativity. They can be highly creative. So I think of it as a very, very, very long term cue transfer. And it's the same thing as when I'm teaching this, this is actually an arousal lesson when I'm teaching dogs appropriate play, one of the things that I do is I call the dogs apart whenever they hit a certain sort of level of energy, which depending on the dogs and their history and whether they know each other and whether there have been any plays, play sessions that have tipped over into some kind of minor fight, it's gonna be different places where I call them apart. But essentially let's imagine I'm watching a dog and I'm looking for these body language signals.

So this is different than the behaviors like ha ha, earlier when I was talking about behavior I about the super over aroused behaviors, but also anytime you see your dog sort of start stepping up the oh, like their ears get taller, depending on what kind of ears the dog has, maybe the base of their ears gets taller. You know, the the they get, they stand up more on their toes in case you don't know by the way, dogs stand on their toes, that is actually how they're built, but they get taller on their toes or their hackles come up or those kinds of, you know, the tail goes from lower to higher. Again the base of the tail. 'cause depending on what the tail of the dog looks like, you'll see maybe they're breathing a little faster and you'll start to see signs their pupils get more dilated. All of these things have to do with physiological arousal. So I'm watching two dogs play and I'm like, ooh, the tail's starting to come up and I know that this dog tends to tip into a little bit too much excitement so I'm gonna call 'em over.

I'm gonna be like, Hey, you know Harry, come over here and I'm gonna like give you a couple treats and I'm gonna let you calm yourself down and then you can go back and play again. If I do this repeatedly every time Harry and his friend Fred play, then what's gonna happen is at some point Harry is going to say, Hey, every time I feel this way mom calls me. It's like a natural cue transfer and if people don't know what I'm talking about with the cue transfer, I will make sure to talk about that in the q and a of the webinar. But anyway, so they start learning, when I feel this way, this thing happens and so I should move myself away from the play session.

And somewhere around there you can start to fade yourself out of the picture and Harry just knows, when Fred and I are playing and I feel like this, I need to give myself a break so dogs can absolutely learn that play is one of the situations where it's actually a little bit easier for us to teach it because we can have a lot of control over play sessions, especially if one of the dogs is a really, really solid, I manage my arousal well kind of dog because what'll often happen is that dog will say, Ooh, Harry's getting a little fired up and that dog will take a break, which then teaches Harry to take a break. So it doesn't have to come from us, could come from the other dog.

If you can find that unicorn dog who plays great with everyone, We all want that unicorn dog.

Melissa Breau: Yes, all of Us. Okay, so you mentioned the webinar in there. Yes. Let's go ahead and talk a little bit more about that. What are you gonna cover? Who should consider signing up?

Irith Bloom: And just to make sure I don't not say it, it's on the 30th, Right? So, I'm going to be talking about, first of all, we'll delve a little bit deeper into the sympathetic parasympathetic thing so that everyone gets a little clearer in their head. We're gonna talk about optimal levels of arousal and sort of, there's sort of a visual aid that I'm using for that. Something called the Yerks Dodson curve or I don't know, I never know if it's pronounced Yorks or Yorkies by the way. So if anyone actually knew the guys back in 1908, please tell me and we're going to then start talking about practical sort of practical concerns. So one is, like we talked about, there's this genetic epigenetic learning history. The dog who is in front of you is a compendium of all the things that have gone into that dog's making both physically and experientially for the dog.

And that's gonna define how far you can move along the scale of arousal management. It also brought the dog to wherever they are in terms of how high arousal they tend to get. So we'll talk a little bit about that and then we're going to spend a lot of time looking at specific techniques that you can use to help dogs learn how to deal with escalating arousal and calm themselves down.

So the focus is mostly going to be on calming the dog down in a variety of different ways. Like I said, there's sort of the relaxation, all these different things we can do in their life to make their life a little bit more appropriate for them and teaching them this arousal management. We're also going to just touch very briefly on what if the dog's not aroused enough.

So I, yeah, I mentioned that there's like a wake aware and attentive, like there's the, I am so tired, I'm not paying attention, or I'm just so snoozy, maybe I'm not actually tired, but I'm just snoozy and I'm not paying attention. Like that's the sort of flip side of this coin, right? The under aroused dog, if you've ever had a giant breed puppy, they are really good examples of this. They're like, okay, we've been training for five minutes, I need to go sleep for 10 hours now because I'm growing four pounds a day. So like that's the sort of flip side and we'll touch very, very briefly on like things you can do to rev the dog up. Because basically everything we do to, to teach dogs to manage their arousal involves both of those things. Revving them up and calming them down. So if you have a dog who's over aroused and you kind of wanna learn a little bit more about them and what you can do to improve the connection you have when you're trying to train and trying to get things done, this is definitely a great place to go.

If the dog's a little under aroused, you're gonna learn a lot from that too. And anyone who's in sports like agility and your dog is, they're so excited from sitting on the sidelines in their crate that now they're running to the wrong obstacle. This all ties into that kind of thing as well. What whatever sport you're doing, I'm using agility as an example because over aroused agility dogs are kind of the classic example I think.

Melissa Breau: Yeah, fair. Yeah. Yeah. Any maybe final thoughts or key points you just kind of wanna kind of leave people with as we wrap up?

Irith Bloom: Yeah, I'll, I'll give you a couple. So first one is almost every dog, unless you have already been working on this for like a year, your dog's ability to control their arousal can almost certainly be improved.

How far it can be improved varies, but you can make progress. That's the first thing I wanna say. The other thing is sometimes we just have to accept that the dog in front of us is never gonna be like the dog who lives down the street, who always seems to have just the right level of arousal. So love the dog you're with, I guess is my sort of parting message. But do be aware that you can make those little changes that will make a lot of difference in your quality of life with the dog you're living with. Can you do your, your attentive, aware, just that little 3.01 more time? Yes. So basically arousal is awake, aware and attentive. Awake, aware and attentive.

Melissa Breau: Excellent. Yep. Alright, well thank you so much Irith for coming on the podcast.

Irith Bloom: This has been fantastic. Thank You. It's always so good to talk to you and thank you. Thank you.

Melissa Breau: Thank you. This was super fun. Thank you to all our listeners for tuning in. We'll be back next week with Petra Ford to talk about competition level heel work.

If you haven't already subscribed to our podcast in iTunes, or the podcast app of your choice to have our next episode, automatically downloaded to your phone as soon as it becomes available. Today's show is brought to you by the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. Special thanks to Denise Fenzi for supporting this podcast, music provided royalty free by bensound.com. The track featured here is called Buddy Audio Editing provided by Chris Lang.

Thanks again for tuning in and happy training.


Today's show is brought to you by the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. Special thanks to Denise Fenzi for supporting this podcast. Music provided royalty-free by BenSound.com; the track featured here is called "Buddy." Audio editing provided by Chris Lang.

Thanks again for tuning in -- and happy training! 

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