Locally, our media is reporting an increase in dog bites to Mail Carriers. In addition to delivering bills, something else is going on when a carrier comes to your door and it deals with the psychology or your dog.
When you are not home, your dog sees his job as protecting your home. His job is to frighten away any possible intruders. When the carrier comes to your house, your dog barks at the carrier and the carrier leaves. Job done. The dog’s aggression toward the carrier as saved the day.
When this event occurs day after day, your dog begins to think of him/herself as invincible. Every time he/she barks at the carrier, the carrier flees. In every incident the dog wins. Given the opportunity to take this up a notch, if the dog has an opportunity to bite the carrier the dog, the dog is more likely to do so.
Mail carriers are bitten because they are doing their jobs. Mail carriers are bitten because dog owners are not doing their jobs. This has become such an issue that the Postal Service encourages communities to participate in Dog Bite Prevention Week. As I always say, “Pet owners should treat their dog as if it could bite.”