“My dog doesn’t bite”

14016_0203_05_2014 Tamara McEntee

Some dog owners have said “my dog doesn’t bite.” But the reality is that under the right circumstances, all dogs can bite.

There are many reasons why dogs bite. Dogs can be protective of their property, feeling the urge to attack in order to defend. This protection can extend around a yard, a favorite toy, or a human. A dog can be afraid, particularly around strangers, and may strike at someone out of that fear. Giving chase to prey is another reason dogs bite.  A dog’s natural pursuit and catch instinct can be triggered when it sees someone running or bicycling.

Here are a couple tips to follow that will help keep your dog and your local letter carrier safe this summer:

  • If a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.
  • Dog owners should remind their children about the need to keep the family dog secured. Be sure to also tell children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.

The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a letter carrier feels threatened by a vicious dog or if a dog is running loose, the owner may be asked to pick up the mail at the Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office as well.

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