Dog bites are the second most common reason for absenteeism among message carriers. Hence the unfortunate situation of these professionals is threatened on a daily basis in their missions. If your dog is a dog that shows distrust or aggression towards the postman, it is important to take action to avoid allowing your pet to adopt bad habits and putting this carrier in a stressful situation. Let’s evaluate best practices to follow to avoid anxiety.
Why can a dog be aggressive towards the postman?
Does your dog react abnormally as soon as the postman approaches your house? This behavior, which often leads to aggressiveness, should find a quick response. To find a suitable solution, it is important to understand the reasons why your little buddy is behaving this way.
The will to defend one’s land
For a dog, the area is an important space. Although this idea is less obvious than in wild dogs, which choose and defend their territory, it can be more or less developed in our domesticated dogs. If your little buddy doesn’t choose his territory, as he was forced to adopt when you welcomed him into your home, he becomes attached to it and develops a protective instinct there.
For some dogs, this need for protection is so strong that the approach of a stranger – a postman or other visitor who is not a family member – can be attacked. On the other hand, the animal seeks to defend itself and protect its space and the space of its family.
The postman usually comes every day at the same time, always in the same way, in the same car, in the same appearance, and always makes the same noise. If your dog appears when approached – perhaps out of suspicion of this person who does not belong to his family circle – by excessive barking, approaching a fence to threaten him, or any other behavior of this kind that allows him to express his displeasure, he will unfortunately find the same answer every day. ..
In fact, every day the postman comes and puts the mail in the mailbox and leaves. However, when your dog overreacts to his presence, the postman leaves. Admittedly, he leaves to continue his rounds, but for your dog, this departure is seen as an escape that your dog interprets differently.
For him, the postman is running away due to his aggressive and threatening reaction. In his mind, he managed to repel the aggressor, the intruder approached his territory. And since this scene is repeated daily, due to the tasks of the postman, your dog associates his departure with his movement and gets used to it. Thus, she repeats her aggressive behavior every day because she works! Unfortunately, this misinterpretation only reinforces the bad behavior of your little buddy.
Some dogs are apprehensive about people who wear unusual clothes, such as a postman costume, a hat or hat that hides a face, or anything else out of the ordinary. Your dog may feel threatened or suspicious if he sees the postman in his work clothes.
The Dog and the Postman: 7 Good Practices to Avoid Anxiety
To remedy the situation, it is important to adopt good practices that can help the dog calm down and reassure the postman.
Good Practice #1: Allow your dog to exercise
Make sure your dog’s needs are met, including his need for activity. Your dog should be able to go out for a walk of at least 30 minutes each day, for a real walk and not just a walk in the park. Also, make sure to motivate her through play sessions, treasure hunts, etc. This will reduce behavioral problems, especially this aggressiveness towards strangers, including the postman.
Good Practice #2: Get your dog off her territory
In addition, the fact that you should not limit your dog’s relaxation space to your only home and garden will help him reduce the need to defend this area. In fact, if your dog really does not know any other space for development and activity, he will focus his attention on his habitat and try at all costs to defend it.
Good Practice #3: Don’t try to reassure your dog
When the postman is around and your dog becomes agitated or exhibits aggressive, suspicious, or other behavior, don’t try to calm him down, calm him down, or simply reassure him. If you try to pet your dog in this way, and invite him not to be afraid of the postman, he will conclude on the one hand that there is good cause for concern, because you feel the need to reassure him. On the other hand, don’t forget that foreplay is a bonus. This way, you are praising your dog for his behavior. As a result, instead of calming him down, you give him the opposite message that his aggressive behavior is legitimate and that he should continue down this path.
Good Practice #4: Change your habits
As a master, it is up to you to anticipate your animal’s reactions in order to form new habits. When the postman arrives, leave the house and go to meet him with your dog on a leash.
Once your dog is focusing more on you than on the professional, reward him with a treat, pat or a soft word depending on your pet’s personality. As the days go by, the dog will associate the presence of the postman with a reward and will not care about it anymore.
If you don’t have time to expect the postman to arrive, distract your dog by standing in front of him, waving his favorite toy or something. As soon as he cares about you and looks at you to the point of turning away from the postman, reward him.
Of course, be sure to reward the dog at the right time. In fact, for your animal to associate correct behavior with a reward, you must act when it is focused on you, not when it continues to bark, otherwise your approach will have no effect.
Good practice #5: Teach your pet to give up
Compromise is a very important and useful commandment in everyday life. Allows your dog to drop something he is not supposed to keep in his mouth or to give up bad behavior. This way, you can teach him that letting go of his aggression towards the postman allows him to win. In fact, the principle of this platform is to shift the target in a voluntary way, and the dog understands that letting go of the object of his desire allows him to win.
By rewarding him as soon as he let go or give up, you show him that he realizes a reward, and therefore he is right – and has all the interest – in giving up.
C’est un apprentissage qui peut être long et qui doit se découper en étapes, mais qui est très utile et qui peut s’avérer d’une grande aide dans le cadre de la relation de méfiance et animal d’agressivéc Worker.
Good Practice #6: Protect the Postman
naturally, Don’t put the postman at risk. It is your duty to ensure that. Thus, as long as you are unable to control your dog and if you must approach the postman with him or if you cannot do anything other than leave him in the garden near this professional, keep your dog on a leash and/or have him wear a muzzle. This will prevent the postman from getting hurt or even pressured by having to deliver your mail to you.
Good Practice #7: Discuss with the Postman
Even if the situation embarrasses you and is difficult for you to live with, feel free to talk about it with the postman. There is no need to incriminate your dog with the “naughty dog” tag, because your animal is only defending itself. On the other hand, explain to the postman that you are implementing solutions to improve the situation, which can reassure him if he too is having a hard time being threatened by your little buddy.
Moreover, you can invite him to participate in this change. Your postman may be able to distribute some food to your dog to show that he is not an enemy and that an agreement is possible. In this case, provide him with some of his favorite things that he will throw at him when you deliver your mail.
Finally, we would like to stress the importance of taking the necessary measures. Don’t underestimate the situation by arguing that your dog is “not an aggressive animal.” In fact, the postman has his own experience and feelings. On the other hand, it is unpleasant to feel threatened daily when one carries out one’s simple act. On the other hand, even if you know that your dog will only bark without biting, you cannot control all of your dog’s reactions. Moreover, it proves to be stressful for a professional. The latter may also have been the victim of bites or attacks in the past, is afraid of dogs or does not feel comfortable in their presence. So respect the postman’s right to work in good conditions, without having to suffer the threat of your dog.