Blog - agression towards postal workers

Why dogs bark at the postman…

dog agression towards postal workers

Watching dogs react to the postman is always interesting as it speaks volumes about the relationship that the owner has with their dog.

Some dogs will go into a frenzy of barking, jumping up at the window as he arrives, rushing to the door and then back to the window to ‘see him off’, while others will attack the letters as they hit the floor or try and grab them as they come through the letterbox, and then you have the dogs that pay no attention at all to the mail arriving – and it’s this last behaviour that we’re aiming to instil in our dogs.

It’s not unusual to see so-called funny videos of dogs on social media shredding post as it comes through the letterbox, or of them giving it a good shake once it lands on the door mat. However, it’s really not a laughing matter…

Between 2008 and 2023, over 1,000 postal workers had fingers bitten off or needed them to be amputated as a result of these kind of letterbox attacks, and there are, on average, 2,500-3,000 dog attacks on postmen every year in the UK.

From the dog’s perspective, the ‘person arriving, getting barked at, and leaving’, is the dog doing what it’s meant to do, namely, protect the pack and safeguard the territory; and as far as the dog is concerned it’s working – he barks and the stranger leaves.

But… they come back again so the dog needs to bark harder and louder and for longer. But they come back again, so the dog rushes at the door and they leave. But they come back again… and on it goes, unless that is, it’s nipped in the bud and the dog is taught how to respond to the postman.

If your dog has started to rush at the door, I would recommend you get a letterbox guard that goes over the letterbox and catches the post as it arrives, so that there’s no chance of the postman getting his fingers caught as he pushes larger letters through, and regardless, start teaching your dog to come to you when the postman turns up, rather than barking at the window or running to the front door.

A postman is quite within his rights to refuse to deliver mail
to your home if he thinks he is in danger of being bitten.

So deal with it now before it gets worse, and instigate a power shift in the relationship with your dog, so that you are very much in the leadership position, training your dog how you want him to behave and teaching him self-control.

An excerpt from Lez Graham’s latest book The Well Mannered Dog.

https://lezgraham.com/Book/WellManneredDog

first published 21 May 2024

buy the book - https://thepetgundog.co.uk/Home/Books
join the club - https://thepetgundogclub.com

Blog - agression towards postal workers

Why dogs bark at the postman…

Watching dogs react to the postman is always interesting as it speaks volumes about the relationship that the owner has with their dog.

dog agression towards postal workers

Some dogs will go into a frenzy of barking, jumping up at the window as he arrives, rushing to the door and then back to the window to ‘see him off’, while others will attack the letters as they hit the floor or try and grab them as they come through the letterbox, and then you have the dogs that pay no attention at all to the mail arriving – and it’s this last behaviour that we’re aiming to instil in our dogs.

It’s not unusual to see so-called funny videos of dogs on social media shredding post as it comes through the letterbox, or of them giving it a good shake once it lands on the door mat. However, it’s really not a laughing matter…

Between 2008 and 2023, over 1,000 postal workers had fingers bitten off or needed them to be amputated as a result of these kind of letterbox attacks, and there are, on average, 2,500-3,000 dog attacks on postmen every year in the UK.

From the dog’s perspective, the ‘person arriving, getting barked at, and leaving’, is the dog doing what it’s meant to do, namely, protect the pack and safeguard the territory; and as far as the dog is concerned it’s working – he barks and the stranger leaves.

But… they come back again so the dog needs to bark harder and louder and for longer. But they come back again, so the dog rushes at the door and they leave. But they come back again… and on it goes, unless that is, it’s nipped in the bud and the dog is taught how to respond to the postman.

If your dog has started to rush at the door, I would recommend you get a letterbox guard that goes over the letterbox and catches the post as it arrives, so that there’s no chance of the postman getting his fingers caught as he pushes larger letters through, and regardless, start teaching your dog to come to you when the postman turns up, rather than barking at the window or running to the front door.

A postman is quite within his rights to refuse to deliver mail
to your home if he thinks he is in danger of being bitten.

So deal with it now before it gets worse, and instigate a power shift in the relationship with your dog, so that you are very much in the leadership position, training your dog how you want him to behave and teaching him self-control.

An excerpt from Lez Graham’s latest book The Well Mannered Dog.

https://lezgraham.com/Book/WellManneredDog

first published 21 May 2024

buy the book - https://thepetgundog.co.uk/Home/Books
join the club - https://thepetgundogclub.com