Background: Potentially harmful behaviour (PHB) by caregivers is detrimental to the physical and psychological well‐being of care recipients. In Japan, few studies have investigated caregivers’ PHB towards dementia patients. This study examined PHB in family caregivers of dementia patients with behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) and identified factors related to PHB. Methods: Following primary consultations at an elderly psychiatric patient department, we enrolled 133 pairs of dementia patients and their family caregivers. We assessed PHB using the Japanese version of the modified Conflict Tactics Scale. We defined the presence of PHB as two or more points (PHB frequency of ‘sometimes’ or more) on at least one indicator of the modified Conflict Tactics Scale. We investigated the prevalence of PHB in relation to the clinical characteristics of the patients and their family caregivers. We evaluated BPSD using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory and caregiver burden using the eight‐item Japanese version of the Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview. Results: Of the family caregivers, 48.9% showed PHB. Multivariate analysis identified the following association with PHB: caregiver's Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview total score (odds ratio [OR], 1.09 per unit increase; 95% confidence interval [95%CI], 1.02–1.16), and Neuropsychiatric Inventory scores for patient irritability (OR, 1.22 per unit increase; 95%CI, 1.06–1.40), appetite/eating disorders (OR, 1.41 per unit increase; 95%CI = 1.08–1.84) and daughters‐in‐law caregivers (OR, 0.17, 95%CI, 0.05–0.57). Conclusions: Specific BPSD symptoms could contribute to the expression of PHB. In addition to decreasing caregiver burden, more intensive treatment and care strategies are required to manage individual symptoms.