Lack of Socialisation is Still the Main Cause of Aggressive Dogs

Date Released: 

Latest figures published by the APBC (Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors) show that nearly 67% of biting dogs referred for a behaviour consultation had received inadequate socialisation during puppyhood.

Donna Brander, APBC Chairman, commented ‘The first few weeks of a puppy’s life are vital. If it is not exposed to different experiences at an early stage, in later life this can lead to fear and possible aggression. The ideal time to obtain a puppy is at seven weeks of age and the new owners need to implement a socialisation programme as soon as possible. Modern vaccines now enable puppies to experience the world at a much earlier age.’

The APBC has been publishing an Annual Review of Cases since 1994. The latest, 2004 Review, also found that the most common type of dog referred to an APBC member was a crossbreed with Border Collies, Labradors and German Shepherds being the most common pedigree breeds seen. 57% of dog problems presented involved aggression either to family members or strangers.

Whilst 31% of cat referrals involved aggression, the most common problem, accounting for 42% of cat cases, related to housesoiling and indoor marking. Domestic Short-hair (moggies), Persians and Burmese were most frequently seen. Of those cases referred for aggression 12% displayed aggression towards people and 19% towards other cats, particularly cats that were resident in the same household.

For full information on the Annual Review and the APBC visit