USPS Delivers for America. Deliver for Us by Restraining Your Dog.
Sponsored by the United States Postal Service®, National Dog Bite Awareness Week is a public service campaign that offers safety tips and emphasizes the need for increased owner responsibility in the prevention of dog attacks.
The Postal Service™ reports the number of dog attacks and bites together as the most prominent threat to carriers. Last year, over 5,400 Postal Service employees were victimized by dogs. This is why we are asking you to restrain your dog when your carrier is delivering your mail.
Many of us are dog lovers, but few of us are dog experts. People who have friendly pets often expect a friendly reaction from other dogs. However, even friendly dogs will bite given the right circumstances. Dogs are primarily territorial in nature and protective of their owners and their owners’ property, which can sometimes mean attacking and possibly biting the letter carrier.
Make sure your dog is in a location away from the door when the mail carrier comes to your house. If you go outside, close the door behind you to make sure your dog doesn’t get out. If you are outside with your dog while mail is being delivered, make sure your dog is away from the mail carrier and on a leash.
The tools available in this kit and online will help promote awareness of this public health concern in an effort to reduce the number of adverse interactions with our letter carriers in local communities. Be sure to contact the field communications professionals listed in this kit when promoting this initiative.
Dog Bite Awareness Background and Tips
- Last year, many attacks reported by letter carriers came from dogs whose owners regularly stated, “My dog won’t bite.”
How to Avoid Being Bitten
- Don’t run past a dog. The dog’s natural instinct is to chase people who run.
- If a dog threatens you, don’t scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain still until the dog leaves, and then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.
- Don’t approach a strange dog, even one that is leashed or confined.
- If a dog is about to attack, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a satchel, backpack, or bicycle.
How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner
- Obedience training can teach dogs proper behavior and help owners control their dog in any situation.
- When a letter carrier comes to the home, keep dogs:
- Inside the house or behind a fence.
- Away from the door.
- In another room.
- On a leash.
- Dogs can be protective of their territory and may interpret the actions of letter carriers as a threat. Take precautions when accepting mail in the presence of your pet.
- Dogs that haven’t been properly socialized, receive little attention or handling, or are left tied-up for long periods frequently turn into biters.
Read More: Postal Bulletin – June 2, 2022