You have probably seen at least one film or show where a mailman gets chased by a dog while delivering mail and runs and yells at the dog in a comical fashion. On film, it may seem funny, but the reality of dog bites on postal workers is quite real. Last year, dog attacks reached a 30-year high. Growth in the online retail market is one of the main factors contributing to the increase. An estimated 4.5 million people were bitten by dogs last year. A former UPS employee found the most quarrelsome dogs to be pit bulls and smaller dog breeds. Below are some tips if you wind up in the face of an aggressive dog.
How to React When Encountering a Dangerous Dog
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- Stay as still as possible: You will want to run in the face of a dog attack, but the animal is acting out of fear, and remaining calm and staying still is typically a much better strategy to show the dog you are not a threat.
- Gauge your belongings: At some post offices, postal workers have been trained to use their mailbag as a shield. If you have a large object such as a backpack or mailbag, place it between you and the dog. The dog will most likely either retreat, or use the object as the point of attack.
- Report aggressive animals: Many attacks could have been avoided if the animal had been reported as aggressive at an earlier time. The USPS will make customers pick up packages at the office if their dog is a repeat offender.