Aggressive Dogs and Spraying Cats Remain Top of the List

Date Released: 

Latest figures published by the APBC (Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors) shows that aggression in dogs and marking behaviour in cats are still the most commonly referred behaviour problems in the UK pet population.

Dog aggression towards people remains the most frequently reported problem behaviour. As has been found for the past nine years, Border Collies and German Shepherds are amongst the breeds most commonly referred to APBC members by vets. However, this year, for the first time there were more Labrador Retrievers than German Shepherds seen. It is unusual for this breed to appear in the list of most frequently seen breeds although they are the most common breed registered with the Kennel Club.

25% of cat behaviour problems were indoor marking – either spraying or faeces deposited in a prominent place (a behaviour called middening). ‘Moggies’ were the most frequently seen, probably due to their high numbers in the UK, followed by the more exotic Siamese, Burmese, Bengal and Persian breeds.

The Review also considered the use of medication with behaviour problems. Drugs alone are unlikely to ‘cure’ a behaviour problem and are generally prescribed by the veterinary surgeon for use with a behaviour modification programme.

Donna Brander, APBC Chairman, commented ‘As interest in behaviour therapy grows the APBC Annual Review may highlight factors that need to be taken into account when, for example, a particular breed is being considered as a pet. If owners are having problems with their pet our network of qualified and experienced members can help to resolve all sorts of problems in dogs, cats and even rabbits and rats!’

For more information visit the APBC website at