Dog owners across the country are being urged to secure their pets after Australia Post recorded a surge in attacks on their posties and delivery drivers.
Footage released by Australia Post shows several incidents where an unsecured dog has chased, attacked, and bitten a postal worker delivering parcels and mail to the letterbox or front door.
Australia Post issued a call for aggressive dogs to be restrained after staff suffered 1,173 incidents involving dogs since July last year – almost 400 more than previous years.
Footage released by Australia Post on Monday shows postal workers being attacked, chased, and bitten by dogs while trying to deliver mail and parcels
Australia Post Executive General Manager Network Operations Rod Barnes said incidents involving dogs have tripled in the last five years with drivers, on average, attacked five times every day.
Guard dogs have caused serious injures to postal workers, often biting them on their arms and legs.
In one video, a large dog is seen running out the front door of a home and lunges on to the postman.
Mr Barnes said the front door poses the biggest challenge as dogs break free from their owners who are trying to restrain their pet with their leg or knee.
Australia Post released images of injuries posties have sustained (pictured, left and right) while on their postal route. Thousands of postal workers across the country have had their legs and arms bitten by dogs
‘These incidents can be traumatic for our team members at the front door and for the pet owner,’ Mr Barnes said.
‘Dogs attack our posties and delivery drivers about five times every day and that’s tripled in the last five years,’ Mr Barnes said.
‘Our posties know how important their job is and they do their best to get the mail and parcels to your door but they need to feel safe and we need dog owners help to achieve that.
‘If our posties don’t feel safe at the letter box or the front door they may not be able to deliver.’
Another video shows a large Rottweiler guarding the letter box by jumping on the fence and barking.
Australia Post said incidents involving dogs have tripled in the last five years with drivers, on average, attacked five times every day. While attacks do happen at front doors, letter boxes and in front yards, around half take place on footpaths and on the road
Queensland, NSW and Western Australia have seen the most dog incidents and while attacks do happen at front doors, letter boxes and in front yards, around half take place on footpaths and on the road.
The footage, compiled of different videos, shows a number of big dogs chasing and attacking the postal workers motorbike.
‘Even if a dog doesn’t bite it can cause a serious accident by running in front of a postie or driver in an electric delivery vehicle, and that can also result in an injury to your pet,’ Mr Barnes said.
‘We’re really asking that people remember to shut their gates, keep their pets secured and help make sure our people can deliver their parcels and mail to them safely.’
Australia Post has launched the awareness campaign, ‘Even good dogs have bad days’ calling on owners to help keep posties safe.
In another video, a large Rottweiler is seen guarding the letter box by jumping on the fence and barking. Australia Post has launched the awareness campaign, ‘Even good dogs have bad days’ calling on owners to secure their dogs so that postal workers are safe and can do their jobs
Experienced postie Tony Gadsby was the victim of yet another dog bite while covering a new route.
Mr Gadsby, who has spent more than 20 years delivering mail and parcels, said he did not have time to react when the dog raced towards him.
‘I was quite anxious for a minute but I managed to calm myself down,’ Mr Gadsby said.
‘I’m a little bit more weary and that’s hard for me because I love dogs but you have to treat them all as a potential danger.
‘It’s common for people to say ‘it never bites’ but as a dog owner myself I know they can be unpredictable, and I’d urge fellow owners to just take that extra moment to make sure their dog is not going to be a danger to someone just doing their job.’
Australian veterinarian, Doctor Katrina Warren, said dogs could be fearful of unfamiliar visitors or consider posties trespassers on their territory and engage in behaviour that would be dangerous.
Experienced postie Tony Gadsby (pictured) said he did not have time to react when he was bitten by yet another dog while covering a new route. He has urged dog owners to take the extra time and secure their pets
‘The problem is the postie always comes back, so your dog will bark at them again to make them go away but after a while your dog may up the ante and bark more, growl, lunge or even bite to ensure your postie really gets the picture,’ Dr Warren said.
‘If a dog is given the chance to keep rehearsing this behaviour, it will become a habit that can be difficult to break and dangerous to visitors including posties.’
Australia Post advised customers who are unable to secure their dogs can nominate for items to be left at a place that’s safe for both the parcel and our posties or to choose a free 24/7 parcel locker to collect parcels away from home.
DR WARREN’S TIPS FOR DOG OWNERS
Prevent the opportunity
Place your dog somewhere where they can’t see or interact with the postie. Do not allow them to run free in a yard or passage where they have access to people entering your property or can bark at people through a gate or fence.
Leash Your Dog
Do not allow your dog to run out your door when someone comes to the door. Have a leash and some treats by the door, and put your dog on the leash when someone comes. Ask your dog to sit and give them a treat for nice behaviour before walking out together.
Make Positive Associations
Teach your dog that when the postie visits your property something positive will happen, such receiving lots of treats from you for calm behaviour. You can start training as soon as you bring a puppy home.
Seek professional advice
If your dog has already bitten someone, or is showing warning signals such as snarling and growling, you should seek professional help from a veterinary behaviourist as soon as possible