Dog bites are the second most common cause of unemployment among mail carriers. A sad situation for these professionals who are threatened every day in their missions. If your pooch is one of those dogs that shows distrust or aggression towards your postman, it is important to take action to avoid allowing your pet to adopt bad habits and put this courier in a frustrating situation. Let’s examine the best practices to use to avoid worries.
Why would a dog be aggressive to the postman?
Is your dog’s reaction abnormal when the postman comes to your house? This behavior, which often results in aggression, should be quick to find the answer. To find a suitable solution, it is important to understand the reasons why your little partner is behaving in this way.
The will to protect one’s territory
For the dog, territory is an important space. Although this idea is less expressed than in wild dogs, which select and defend their territory, it may be more or less developed in our pet dogs. If your little companion doesn’t choose his or her territory, because he or she was forced to adopt it when you welcomed him or her into your home, he or she is involved in it and develops a protective attitude there.
For some dogs, this need for protection is so strong that approaching a stranger – a postman or any visitor who is not a member of the household – can be experienced as an attack. In return, the animal seeks to protect itself and to protect its space and its family.
The postman usually arrives every day at the same time, always in the same way, in the same car, in the same clothes and always making the same noise. If your dog shows up when approached – perhaps out of suspicion this person is not a member of his family – by excessive barking, approach your fence to threaten him or any other behavior of this kind that allows him to express his dissatisfaction, sadly he finds the same answer every day … misinterpreted.
In fact, every day, the postman would arrive, put the letter in the mailbox and leave. However, if your dog overreacts to his presence, the postman will leave. True, he left to continue his phases, but for your dog, this departure is considered an escape that your doggie interprets differently.
For him, the postman fled because of his aggressive and threatening reaction. In his mind, he was able to stop the aggressor, the invader who was approaching his territory. And while this scene is repeated daily, due to the postman’s missions, your pooch is associated with him leaving his action and getting used to it. Thus it repeats its aggressive behavior every day because it works! Unfortunately, this misunderstanding only reinforces your little partner’s bad behavior.
The postman’s uniform
Some dogs are wary of people wearing unusual clothing, such as a postman’s uniform, a hat or cap that hides the face, or anything unusual. Your dog may feel threatened or suspicious if he sees the postman wearing his work clothes.
Dog and postman: 7 good habits to avoid worries
To resolve the situation, it is important to adopt good habits that will help the dog calm down and reassure the postman.
Good practice n ° 1: allow your dog to exercise
Make sure your dog’s needs are met, including their need for activity. Your pooch should be able to walk outside for at least 30 minutes a day, for a real walk and not just a walk in the garden. Also be sure to inspire them through play sessions, treasure hunts, and more. This can reduce behavioral problems, especially this aggression towards strangers, including the postman.
Good practice n ° 2: get your doggie out of its territory
In addition, the fact that there is no limit to the space to relax your dog in your only home and its garden will help him less likely to increase the need for the protection of this territory. In fact, if your dog is unaware of any other place for growth and activity, he will focus his attention on his habitat and he will try at all costs to protect it.
Good practice n ° 3: don’t try to reassure your dog
If the postman is there and your dog is upset or shows aggressive, suspicious or other behavior, don’t try to calm him down, comfort him or just reassure him. If you try to take care of your dog in this way, inviting him to no longer be afraid of the postman, he will know in part that there is good reason to worry, because you feel you need to reassure him. On the other hand, don’t forget that caressing is a reward. In this way, you compliment your dog for his behavior. As a result, instead of comforting him, you give him the opposite message that his aggressive behavior is legitimate and he should continue on this path.
Good practice n ° 4: change your habits
As a master, it is up to you to anticipate your animal’s reactions to establish new habits. When the postman arrives, leave the house and go to meet him with your dog tied up.
When your dog is more focused on you than the professional, reward him with an attention, a pat or a soft word depending on your pet’s behavior. As the days go by, the doggie will accompany the postman’s presence with a reward and eventually ignore it.
If you don’t have time to wait for the postman to arrive, trick your dog by standing in front of him, waving at his favorite toy or something. When he becomes interested in you and looks at you to the point of turning away from the postman, reward him.
Of course, be careful to reward your dog at the right time. In fact, in order for your pet to be with the right reward behavior, you need to act when it is targeting you, and not if it continues to bark, otherwise your approach has no effect.
Good practice n ° 5: teach your pet to stop
Rejection is an important commandment and very useful in everyday life. It allows your dog to drop something he shouldn’t put in his mouth or abandon bad behavior. In this way, you can teach him that handing over his aggression to the postman allows him to win. In fact, the principle of this basic order is based on diversion of a goal voluntarily, the dog realizing that rejecting the object of his desire allows him to win.
By rewarding him when he leaves or gives, you show him that he understands a reward and therefore that he is right – and has all the interest – to quit.
It’s a learning process that can be long and needs to be broken down into stages, but it’s very useful and can prove to be a huge help in the context of the relationship of distrust and aggression your animal has with it. . .
Good practice n ° 6: protect the postman
Trouble, never put the postman in danger. It is your duty to ensure this. For this reason, as long as you can’t control your dog and if you need to approach the postman with him or if you can’t except leave him in the garden near this professional, put your dog on a leash and / or dress him up. . a muzzle. This will keep the postman from getting hurt or even stressed at the thought of having to deliver your letter to you.
Good practice n ° 7: talk to the postman
Even if the situation embarrasses you and is difficult to live with, don’t hesitate to talk about it with the postman. You don’t have to blame your dog for a “naughty dog” sign, because your pet is only defending itself. On the other hand, explain to the postman that you have implemented solutions to improve the situation, which will comfort him if he also finds it difficult to threaten your little companion.
In addition, you can invite him or her to participate in this change. Your postman may be able to distribute some kibble to your dog to show him that he is not an enemy and that a deal is possible. In that case, give him some of his favorites that he will throw at him when delivering your letter.
Finally, we want to emphasize the importance of taking action. Don’t downplay the situation under the pretext that your dog is a “non -aggressive animal”. In fact, the postman has his own experience and feelings. On the one hand, it’s not good to feel threatened every day by simply executing someone’s work. On the other hand, even if you know that your dog will just bark without biting, you can’t control all of your dog’s reactions. In addition, it has proven stressful for the professional. The latter may also be the victim of bites or attacks in the past, afraid of dogs or uncomfortable in their presence. So respect the postman’s right to work in good condition, without having to suffer the threat of your dog.