What to do in a dog attack – and why they hate postal workers so much

Australia Post employees are experiencing more dog attacks than before with 1,170 incidents so far this fiscal year, up 400 from the same period in 2021. The delivery service says around five employees are attacked every working day, causing serious injury and lasting emotion. trauma.
What emergency measures should you take if you witness a dog attack? And what if this dog attacks you?

When dogs attack

Although the Australia Post news is distressing, it is important to remember that the majority of the millions of dogs in australia don’t bite. For dogs that attack, it’s usually because they’re acting out of fear or anxiety rather than assault. Over the centuries since we domesticated and trained dogs to be our pets and companions, we have shaped their natural behavior so that they can share our lives, our homes and our environment. But we can’t raise or train a whole dog’s natural instinct: many will protect their space – and step up their response if they feel threatened.

We don’t have good national statistics on dog bites. The Aussie Companion Animal The Council estimated that more than 100,000 people in Australia are attacked by dogs each year, of which around 12,000 to 14,000 require medical attention for injuries and around 10% of those in hospital.

In the UK, dog attacks are increasing among adults rather than children (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

In the UK, dog attacks are increasing in adults rather than children, although the reasons for this are unclear.
Researchers in the UK have found that 80% of occupational bites occur while delivering mail, working at the vet or kennel, or caring for people who have dogs. In high-risk environments, specialized equipment like an air gun can be used in an attack. But the general public (and postal workers) do not have access to it.

3 things to do if someone else is attacked by a dog

Many people imagine specific dog breeds as aggressive and more likely to attack, but that doesn’t help. stereotype. The truth is, any type of dog can bite. Here’s what to do:

Protect yourself. If you intervene, you could get bitten and distract the dog (call from a safe distance, honk your car horn, spray the animal with a hose if there’s one handy and you can do it safely security)

Call emergency medical care if necessary. There are also two important things to do after a dog attack:

Provide medical care. Every dog ​​bite will require medical attention, to treat an injury and to prevent infection report it. Most local councils also require every dog ​​attack to be reported. Local authorities can collect evidence, interview witnesses and follow up. They might impose a dangerous dog order or tell the owner to put up or fix a fence. Stray dogs can also be reported and picked up by authorities.

What if the dog attacks you?

If you see a dog who looks restless and runs towards you, the most important thing is not to react or to shout. Stay calm and avoid eye contact. Walk away (from their space) as calmly and slowly as possible.

If a dog attacks mid-air, it’s best to stand, stay still, and call for help. If you have time, putting something between you and them (a notepad, a jacket, a wheelie bin) can help. If you find yourself on the ground, roll into a ball as tightly as possible.

Most dogs have good “bite inhibition”. If a dog is really scared and an approaching person doesn’t recognize the signs, he’ll probably bite once as a warning or reaction, but he won’t necessarily continue to bite if you can get away.

Why do they hate postal workers so much?

Dogs don’t specifically hate postmen, but many dogs like to hunt. Some may chase postmen on bicycles, then become overexcited and accidentally bite into an overexcited state. Other dogs may not appreciate strangers entering their space unannounced, and the unpredictability of visits can also make things difficult. Postal workers might consider taking dog treats on their rounds and throwing them away whenever they visit properties with dogs. This can create a positive association with their daily visit (or sometimes throwing a handful of treats to distract an approaching dog can help buy them time to back away). They could also carry a map and note the properties with problem dogsso they can be prepared or owners notified to arrange for delivery days.


Many attacks are preventable. In the UK, where postal workers are often bitten when they reach open private letterboxes on the other side, they sometimes use long ankles to get the mail through. In the United Statespaw stickers were used to warn postal workers of a dog in the area.

Australia Post recommends keeping your dog in a separate room, on a leash or distracting them with a toy or treat when the postman arrives. They suggest not letting children answer the door in case the dogs walk past. If dogs are outside, they must be kept away from the mailbox.

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