Cartoons, movies, and comic books are filled with scenes of beleaguered postal workers being chased by dogs. But beyond the light-hearted portrayal of the dog versus postal worker relationship in pop culture, it’s also a serious issue.
Today the United States Postal Service (USPS) issued details about the number of dog attacks on postal workers in 2021. Throughout the year, there were over 5,400 cases of dogs going after postal workers attempting to deliver mail and packages.
Houston was the city with the highest number of attacks, followed by Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Denver. USPS relayed the information ahead of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which begins on June 12.
As we’re all about responsible pet parenting at DogTime, the news is a useful prompt to remind ourselves about a few simple steps and precautions we can take to make sure that mail — and those all important online shopping packages — keeps on arriving safely.
Tips To Protect Postal Workers From Dog Bites
Dogs are protective of their families. So it makes sense that they might see a postal worker as a stranger and a threat. However, we need to take steps to prevent bites and attacks as responsible pet parents.
First of all, if your dog has a history of aggression, you need to start a proper training regimen and contact a professional behaviorist or trainer for help. This is for your own dog’s safety, as well as the safety of others. Your vet can likely point you in the right direction.
You can find a guide to the different types of dog aggression here. Understanding them might help you figure out what kind of training your dog needs.
But beyond training, even a dog with no history of aggression can attack if they feel their territory or family are in danger from a stranger.
The Postal Service has provided a few additional tips to prevent dog bites:
- The USPS recommends making sure that your dog stays safely inside and away from the front door during your usual mail delivery time window. You may even want to pop your dog on their leash if they show particular enthusiasm when the mail carrier arrives.
- Secondly, make sure that any young children don’t take mail directly from a postal worker because your protective canine might see them as a threat to your kids.
- Finally, the USPS also advises its own workers to avoid the temptation to try and pet any dogs they meet on their route.
How does your dog react when the mail is delivered? Does your dog look forward to the mail carrier arriving? Let us know in the comments below!