MY local postie is a good bloke who understands dogs. His delivery round abounds with canines and Mike smooths the way with a bag of treats.
Dogs who take border protection seriously are looking out for our bicycling postie with a whole new agenda.
There’s no need to loudly defend territory from this friend who brings a treat each day.
It’s more likely there would be an outcry if he didn’t stop at their mailbox.
Traditionally, dogs and postmen have a tense relationship.
Dogs confi ned to their yard or spending too much time alone are likely to see the postman’s regular arrival as a welcome distraction in an otherwise dull day.
They relish their chance to let fl y with a strong message, barking loudly to let the interloper know he is on their patch and he’d better move along.
And of course he does, every single time, so their mission is reliably accomplished.
The regularity of the postie’s arrival and departure is perfect for pets who thrive on routine, and that’s pretty much all dogs.
It also provides an outlet for their instinctive behaviour to give chase and defend territory.
Dogs’ territorial instinct to protect their patch coupled with consistent and repetitive success in getting the postie to retreat, reinforces their behaviour day in, day out.
It’s not an easy habit to break, especially in the absence of an understanding postman.
If your local postie is keen to work on the “relationship”, you could try introducing your dog.
If time permits, stand around for a brief natter and give the postman some treats to hand over. Do it for a few days in a row and chances are you and the postie will have counteracted the dog’s territorial response.
Some dog owners leave treats in the letterbox for the postie to hand over, making mail- stops an entirely positive and pleasurable experience for the dog, the postie and the neighbourhood.