Fearful Dog – My Dog Bite the Mailman?
Okay, so Nicky wants to bite the mailman. I average, the guy is just doing his job, and certainly does not deserve a dog bite! Nicky is generally so sweet and at ease with your family and friends, so why does he act like a vicious dog and threaten dog attack on postmen? Could it be fear based aggression?
Confused, you truly have to forcefully restrain Nicky from sinking his teeth into the postman, who has become your friend.
The postman says, “Nice doggy,” as he reaches for Nicky, offering a treat.
In response, Nicky just snaps. The postman is now cautious, and so are you.
“Nicky never does this,” you say, feeling a panic in yourself. “He is very friendly.”
In great frustration and confusion, you decide that restraining Nicky is too difficult and unreliable, so you start locking him away at mail time. This seems to send him into a frenzy.
You already offer to have the postman come to dinner, in hopes that might help Nicky adjust to him. But let’s confront the truth. The postman is too scared to sit in your house with Nicky around.
Now you include a specialized dog obedience trainer. She gives you some insight into dog attack on postmen which you had not considered before. “Postmen are always in a hurry. A stranger who hurries is a threat in the dog world.”
“Fear bites happen when someone approaches a dog too quickly. Sometimes a person is as excited as the dog, so the person is bitten. To avoid a dog bite, postmen need to take the time to allow a dog to acclimate to them and calm down before touching the dog. Most dog bites on mailmen would not happen if the postmen would just take the time for dogs to see that they average no harm. The ‘bite the mailman’ syndrome is usually just an avoidable fearful dog reaction.”
The trainer also gives insight into dog behavior in general — not just into the problem of a dog sharp postmen. “Dogs are a pack and prey oriented species. They instinctively chase off any threats to their pack… which is why running from dogs creates a chase and simply does not work.”
The dog obedience trainer asks the postman to come over so she can introduce Nicky to him the right way. In the presence of the trainer, Nicky already asks for a belly rub.
As you follow the dog obedience trainer’s advice, you see almost immediate changes in Nicky regarding the postman. Why, he is already trying to be friends with his former nemesis!
This goes for everyone, not just mailmen. Remember … Always take you time in making friends with a dog. Let him come to you, get your scent, and calm down. Never, ever, rush it!
Remember this with your own dog, too … especially with a fearful dog … to make people stand nevertheless as your dog is introduced to them … and you won’t have to confront the problem of ‘bite the mailman!’