Liz Marden owns and runs Nature’s Therapies, offering animal behaviour and training, as well as Reiki therapy for both people and animals. Liz has worked in the animal industry for over 10 years with a wide range of animals and in a variety of roles, from a kennel supervisor and behaviourist for the RSPCA to an FE Animal Management College Lecturer. Liz has a passion for understanding animal behaviour and uses natural, force free methods. She has also been a Reiki practitioner since 2013, trained in Jikiden and Sekhem Reiki.
When not working with animals, Liz helps her husband as a Pyro Technician working for a world-renowned professional firework company, which has enabled her to gain knowledge into the firework industry which she uses to help her firework phobic animal clients.
1. What causes a dog to become frightened of fireworks?
There are many things that can cause a dog to become frightened of fireworks, normally it's due to a learned behaviour from either watching their litter mates/parents or more commonly from their owners accidentally making it something to worry about. It can also be down to breeding and genetics – if they come from nervous parents they can be predisposed to be nervous themselves. Finally it can be caused by the dog having a bad experience involving fireworks/loud noises. Unfortunately we are our own worst enemies and as mentioned we are often the cause of our dogs behaviour or fear. When our animals become afraid of something or if we think they are going to get scared, we can go a bit over the top with trying to reassure them. Unfortunately what this actually does is say to them that yes there is something to be worried about! There is nothing wrong with calm reassurance, however there is a big difference between that and going overboard. Animals rely on body language to communicate so it is important to be mindful of what messages you are conveying to them.
2. Are there certain breeds that are more likely to be fearful of fireworks, and some that aren’t?