Do dogs and mailmen really have adversarial relationships?

Do dogs and mailmen really have adversarial relationships?

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Injuries

The image of the terrified mailman trying to navigate their way around a snarling dog has often been played for laughs – and jokes and memes about dogs protecting their owners from the dreaded postal worker are everywhere.

It’s not really a laughing matter, however, when you’re a postal worker who is constantly facing the real possibility of an attack – and the statistics on the issue are sobering. 

Postal workers get bitten with alarming frequency

According to the latest report by the United States Postal Service (USPS), postal workers were bitten more than 5,800 times in 2023 alone. That’s prompted the USPS to center 2024’s National Dog Bite Awareness Campaign around the slogan “Don’t let your dog bite the hand that serves you.”

In reality, dogs who attack postal workers are only doing what dogs are supposed to do: They’re guarding their territory and their owners. Postal workers are uniquely vulnerable to dog attacks simply because they make frequent stops to drop off mail and packages on their routes.

While some dogs have naturally friendly dispositions and see every postal worker as a potential friend, others may only gradually “warm up” to postal workers and stop seeing them as a potential threat over time. And some dogs never relax their guard against postal workers, seeing them as nothing more than a potential intruder.

It’s on owners to make sure that their dogs are secured on leashes, inside the house, behind fences or otherwise in places where they cannot reach the mail carrier who comes to their house. When they fail to do so, that can lead to serious injuries for the postal worker involved. 

If you’re a postal worker or any kind of delivery person who was injured in a dog attack, it may be wise to learn more about the legal options for financial recovery at your disposal.