Don’t let your dog bite the messenger

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Last year the Royal Mail recorded 2,960 mail-carriers having been bitten by dogs. That’s eight postal workers a day!

Clearly this is a huge problem, but one that can be avoided.

Dogs are territorial so it’s no surprise that they want to defend their homes, but as dog owners it’s our responsibility to ensure the safety of the people who deliver our mail.

You could also be fined or go to jail if your dog bites someone. All dogs are a potential threat. Even a little dog is capable of biting off the end of a finger, but there are things we can do to prevent our dogs attacking the post-person.

It’s very easy to teach a puppy to like the postie and here’s how.

When you get your puppy, ask the person who delivers the mail to assist you.

I think you’ll find they’ll be happy to help. Put some treats by the door and ask the postie to knock on the door when they arrive.

Have your puppy on the lead and ask the postie to give it a treat.

Do this for a week (then randomly) and your puppy will look forward to the mail arriving instead of wanting to bite the deliverer.

The younger the puppy, the easier this will be, but it can also work with some older dogs.

However, if your dog already attacks the mail-carrier, prevention may be the only route.

In the home, keep the dog under control and teach it not to charge the door. Place it in a room where it can’t reach the letterbox and don’t let it out until it is calm.

Something to chew on can help to occupy the dog as well.

Consider attaching a letter-catcher to your door or a letterbox at the gate. This way your dog can’t reach fingers and you will have the extra bonus of your mail being intact.

Don’t forget to always reinforce your dog’s good behaviour with lots of praise.

Posties are more likely to be attacked during nice weather because of dogs being outside and unattended. A simple solution is not to let your dog out until the mail has been delivered.

Please think about how you can prevent your dog attacking the postie. These people provide us with a valuable service and they need our support and protection.