Michigan’s a National Leader For Postal Worker Dog Bites
Most of us don't have to worry about getting bitten by dogs while we're just trying to do our job, but mail carriers do.
In fact, recent statistics from the U.S. Postal Service suggest it's a bigger problem in Michigan than it is in most places.
Why Do Dogs Hate Mail Carriers?
Pet experts say it's not so much a case of a dog's hatred of the mailman as it is fear. Most pups are territorial by nature, and they view the mail carrier as someone who's invading their space. Others are simply naturally more aggressive animals - it differs from pet to pet.
What causes a dog to resort to biting? Embrace Pet Insurance explains it this way:
The mail carriers and random deliveries continue to happen despite all your dog’s hard work to keep them away. Unfortunately, this can lead to your dog “stepping up their game” and moving past just barking. It is important to let your dog know that you run the house and decide who can come in versus who you want to keep out.
What to Do If Your Dog Hates the Mailman
The USPS advises these simple steps if you have a dog - even one that you believe would "never bite" anybody:
- Securing your dog before the carrier approaches your property will minimize any potentially dangerous interactions.
- When a letter carrier comes to your home, keep dogs inside the house or behind a fence; away from the door or in another room; or a leash.
- Pet owners also should remind children not to take mail directly from a letter carrier as the dog may view the carrier as a threat to the child.
Postal Worker Dog Bites by the Numbers
In 2022, the U.S. Postal Service reported 206 cases in Michigan where a letter carrier was bitten by a dog. While that's actually down from 244 the previous year, it's still enough to place Michigan 8th in the nation when it comes to dogs biting postal workers.
Check out the Top 10 states for postal worker dog bites in 2022.