'Traumatic': Shocking video of Australia Post workers attacked by dogs

Following an increase in dog attacks, Australia Post has shared confronting footage of what some posties are up against while out delivering mail.

Since July there have been more than 1170 incidents involving a dog and an Australia Post postie, which is a steep increase compared to the 957 incidents recorded for all of the previous financial year.

Most incidents have taken place in NSW, Queensland and Western Australia and the attacks not only happen at the front door, letterbox or front yard, but also on the footpath or road.

Tony Gadsby has been a postie for more than 20 years and he says he loves dogs. However, while covering a new route, he was attacked by a dog.

Pictured is postie Tony Gadsby who was attacked by a dog while out delivering a parcel.
Postie Tony Gadsby was attacked by a dog while out delivering a parcel. Source: Australia Post

He went to one young man's front door to deliver a parcel recently and noticed there was a dog barking.

Once the parcel was handed over the dog went to go back inside, the dog nipped Mr Gadsby while on the way in.

"I'm a little bit more wary and that's hard for me because I love dogs, but you just have to treat them all as a potential danger," he said.

As a dog owner, Mr Gadsby said he knows dogs can be unpredictable, he is urging others to take an "extra moment" to ensure their dog won't pose danger to someone trying to do their job.

To accompany the awareness campaign, 'Even good dogs have bad days’, Australia Post released a video compilation of dogs attacking posties.

In one clip from last year the dog is seen barking at the postie while jumping on the bike and ripping the seat cover off, in another a dog is seen chasing the postie on their bike down the road.

Australia Post Executive General Manager Network Operations Rod Barnes said incidents can be traumatic for the posties.

“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.”

Pictured is a graph showing the number of incidents involving dogs and posties
Australia Post has launched an awareness campaign in response to the rising number of dog incidents involving posties. Source: Australia Post

What to do with your dog when the postie comes

Dogs can be fearful of unfamiliar visitors on their territory, including posties.

Because a postie leaves quickly after making a delivery, Veterinarian Dr Katrina Warren said dogs might feel as though their barking or chasing the postie worked.

"The problem is the postie always comes back," she said.

"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."

Pictured are some dogs chasing posties.
Dogs will chase posties up the street or even try to intimidate workers at the mailbox. Source: Australia Post

Dr Warren had a few suggestions for dog owners. The first is to prevent the opportunity, by putting your dog somewhere where they can't interact with the postie.

She also suggests putting a leash on your dog and having some treats nearby to reward good behaviour and to make positive associations with the postie.

If your dog has attacked someone or is showing warning signs like growling or snarling, you should seek professional help from a veterinary behaviourist.

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