How To Stop Your Dog Attacking (Or Barking At) The Mailman
Does your dog try to attack your mailman or attack the mail once it’s been delivered?
Having your mail chewed up or even totally destroyed can be a real problem (as can the trouble you’d face if your dog manages to actually attack your mailman).
It goes without saying that it’s crucial to get the behavior under control as soon as possible – so it should be a top priority if you’re facing this problem. Fortunately, there are’s several things you can do to stop this from happening.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the reasons why your dog attacks the mail, and we’ll also examine what you can do to prevent this problem from occurring again in the future, so let’s begin.
Why Dogs Attack The Mail
It will come as no surprise that dogs have evolved to be territorial creatures, and because of this trait, they have a strong desire to protect you and your family from anything they perceive as a ‘threat’.
of course, this is all well and good – until your dog sees the mailman and the mail as a threat.
From your dog’s point of view, the mailman seems to deliver strange items through a hole in the door, without ever introducing themselves or seeming like a “member of the family”. In fact, he’s merely a stranger to your dog.
In addition to this fact, the letters may smell strange to your dog, so your dog may decide that they’re a threat to the household – which means he’ll attack as a form of pre-emptive defense.
So what can you do to fix this situation? Let’s take a look.
The most obvious yet effective thing you can do is make sure your dog is shut in another room when the mail comes – so your dog doesn’t have access to your front door.
If you’re having serious problems with your dog attacking the mail, then this is an essential first step – even if it’s only to save your mailman’s fingers and your mail.
In fact, it’s best to put your dog in a room that’s as far away from the front door as possible, so he’s least likely to be aware of the ‘threat’.
Another useful trick is to distract your dog with a favorite chew toy or treat when you know the mail is about to be delivered.
This should give your dog something else to focus on, and help to keep the, a little calmer, especially if when your dog is already shut in a different room.
Working With Your Mailman
While this may not be possible for everyone, you may be able to improve your dog’s behavior simply by introducing your mailman properly – so you’ll need to have a willing mailman who’s not too busy and willing to play along.
Half of the battle when overcoming this behavior is helping your dog trust the mailman and not see this new person as a stranger. If your new dog is introduced properly with you, the owner, present, then there’s a great that that your dog will be much calmer in the future.
What’s more, if your mailman is willing, you could give them a tasty treat to give to your dog, which can also help your dog to see the mailman in a kinder light.
One way to desensitize your dog to the mail is to use roleplay.
You could ask a friend or family member to use your letter box and deliver some mail, while you practice distracting your dog and generally keeping him calm.
If your dog has quite a lot of aggression saved up for the mailman, then this is a great step to use before asking for the mailman’s help. In some cases, simply engaging in roleplay will be all you need to do for some fantastic progress.
If your dog has a tendency to destroy your mail on a regular basis, you may like to install a wire letter receptacle to catch your mail and keep it protected from your dog. These are fairly cheap, and will go a long way towards keeping your mail safe and secure from your dog.
While this won’t stop your dog becoming overexcited when the mail comes, it will at least stop your important mail from being torn to pieces.