Postmen are welcome visitors to any home, bringing essential letters and deliveries to your home on a daily basis, however, your family pet can be immensely hostile towards postal workers. From the distinctive uniform, loud trollies (for a dog) to the fact they push post through the door and then leave, there are many reasons for dogs to be weary of the postman. How do you train your dog to welcome wanted visitors, like the postman?
Instil good habits early
Young puppies should be socialised to postmen so they don’t find them scary. Gradually introduce your puppy to the sights, sounds and smell of the postman in a positive light. This will help them to accept the postman’s visits later in life.
Keep a safe distance between your dog and the front door
Your dog should be unsupervised anywhere in your home or garden, especially when visitors and postmen may be visiting. If you know that the postman is coming, place your dog in a secure area of the house whilst you collect your letters and parcels.
Dogs are creatures of habit, and will quickly learn to try and fend off postmen if you don’t try and stop them. Keep your dog on a lead at the time when your post arrives and lead the dog to its bed or somewhere else as the postman drops off your post. Once this has happened, reward your dog with a small treat for good behaviour. This will train the dog to go somewhere else in the house if you need to open the door to sign for the parcel. Always remember to reward your dog afterwards.
Meet the postman in a different situation
Try and take your dog for a walk when the postman is on his rounds to say hello. Make sure to keep an eye on your dog for any anxiety or fear. Praise your dog when he’s meeting the postman and give him a reward afterwards for good behaviour. This will help the dog to associate the postman with positive outcomes.
Protect the postman’s fingers
Although you may want to use a letter catcher with no bottom to prevent theft, if your dog has a knack for nipping the postman’s fingers or chewing up the mail, you may wish to invest in a letter box. A secure letterbox would be floor length, keeping you post safe from dogs and thieves.