The age-old dance between dog and postal worker appears to be less fraught, with a nearly 18 percent drop in Colorado dog attacks on postal carriers in 2017.
Dogs in Colorado attacked 132 postal employees in 2017 — 24 fewer than the previous year, according to a United States Postal Service news release.
Because dogs can be territorial in nature, the postal service explained that sometimes the family pet can perceive someone dropping off a package or letter as a threat to the home.
“If a postal carrier delivers a certified letter or a package to your front door, place your dog into a separate room and close the door before opening the front door,” the postal service said. “Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at carriers.”
Denver lead the way when stacked against other cities statewide, with 35 postal employees reporting an attack. Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Boulder and Arvada followed.
Nationally, Denver ranked as 11th in the nation for prevalence of dog attacks on postal carriers.
Across the country, 6,244 postal employees were attacked by dogs in 2017, which is a decrease of more than 500 from 2016.
The postal service credits new technology for the decline in bad encounters between dogs and mail carriers.
Employee scanners now tip off mail carriers about homes with dogs. Customers also have the option of indicating if they have dogs when they schedule package pickups.
As a safety tip, the postal office reminded pet owners to educate their children about keeping the family dog secure.
“Parents should tell their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may see handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture,” the postal office said.