26 September 2023

Posties fighting back after dog attacks

Start the conversation

Australia’s dog owners are being called on to keep their pets secured in a new campaign from Australian Post following a surge in postal workers suffering serious bites.

Executive General Manager of Network Operations at Australia Post, Rod Barnes said the Post’s Even good dogs have bad days campaign called on dog owners to help keep posties safe.

Mr Barnes said that on average, every workday five Australia Post team members were involved in dog incidents, with more than 1,173 incidents to date this financial year.

“That’s almost 400 more than the same time last year and represents a steep increase on the 957 incidents recorded in total last financial year,” Mr Barnes said.

“Queensland, NSW and Western Australia have seen the most dog incidents throughout the year, and while attacks do happen at front doors, letterboxes and in front yards, around half also take place on footpaths or on the road.”

He said the new campaign included a video compilation of “shocking images” of injuries and confronting footage of incidents that were captured around the country as posties carried out their daily deliveries.

Mr Barnes said the footage and images served as a graphic reminder to people of the dangers of leaving their dogs unsecured.

“It can sometimes be difficult to imagine that an otherwise friendly family pet might pose a risk to others, but the reality is that our people are being hurt or placed in danger on a daily basis,” the Executive General Manager said.

“These incidents can be traumatic for our team members and have lasting effects not only in terms of physical injury but also their mental health, and they may no longer feel safe delivering to locations where incidents have occurred,” he said.

“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, so 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.”

Veterinarian, Katrina Warren said dogs could be fearful of unfamiliar visitors or consider posties trespassers on their territory, “and because the postie always leaves quickly after making their delivery the dog may feel that barking at them or even chasing has worked”.

“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,” she said.

Mr Barnes said customers who were unable to secure their dogs could nominate for items to be left in a place that was safe for both the parcel and posties, or choose a free 24/7 parcel locker to collect parcels away from home.

Australia Post’s two-minute video compilation as part of the campaign can be accessed at this PS News link.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.