Dog attacks on our postmen and postwomen dropped by 31% during the 2020/21 year, driven largely by the move to contact-free deliveries during the pandemic.
1,690 attacks took place from April 2020 - April 2021. This equates to around 33 attacks every week across the UK, with some leading to permanent and disabling injuries. Every dog attack on one of our people is one too many.
Through our Dog Awareness Week campaigns, Royal Mail Group has appealed to dog owners to take precautions and keep dogs under control when the post is delivered, to avoid conflict with dogs and our employees.
We have also featured cases of our postmen and women suffering bites to highlight the physical and mental impact of dog attacks on postmen and women.
The majority of dog attacks (41%) took place at the front door. 31% took place in the garden, driveway or yard. More than 20% of attacks on postal workers took place through the letterbox. 8% took place in the street or road.
Royal Mail is committed to ensuring the welfare and safety of our people, who provide a valuable service to our customers across the length and breadth of the UK and in every community.
AVOID a dog attack by following these five steps:
AVOID interaction with all dogs
VALUE yourself – it could really happen to you
OBSERVE our Standards:
- Is your walk log up to date?
- Have you marked dogs on your frame with a yellow dot?
- Have you marked your mail with a ‘D’ where dogs reside?
INFORM - report all new dog hazards to a manager
DEFEND yourself if necessary, using your delivery equipment
Top tips for dog owners
Even the most lovable dog can be a danger to postal staff. Dogs are territorial by nature, and if they feel they need to protect their family, they can become unpredictable.
Here are some ideas to help your postman deliver your post in safety:
- Ensure your dog is out of the way before the postman or postwoman arrives. Place your pet in the back garden or a faraway room
- Never open the door when your dog is behind you
- If you have a back garden, please close off the access, in case your dog could get around to the front when the postman or postwoman calls
- Dog attacks can happen when you’ve opened the door to sign for an item. Please keep your dog in another room before answering the door and make sure children don’t open the door, as dogs can push by them and attack
- Give your dog some food or a toy to occupy them while your mail is being delivered
- Wait 10 minutes after your mail has arrived to let your pet back into your hallway. Keep everything as calm and low-key as possible
- If your dog likes to attack your mail, consider installing a wire letter receptacle. It will protect your post, and your postman’s or postwoman’s fingers
- If it’s not practical for you to keep your dog away from a postman or postwoman delivering your mail, please consider fitting a secure mailbox on the edge of your property.
Please ensure your dog is microchipped, wearing a collar and tag, and that your contact details on the tag and microchip are up to date.