Or in this case mailwoman. Delilah never used to have problems with the mailman, because back in MA our house had a very long driveway to get to the mailbox, and she didn't have access to it. However, since we moved we've had some nasty experiences with the mail-woman, our mail usually comes a day late now, and written on letters we see the date written and "dog", She's even threatened to stop delivering our mail because she feels Delilah is a threat to her, when anyone walks by our home..she runs to them and barks aggressivly, now she can't have free roam of the yard until after the mail comes, when usually, we'd let her out for a good run after she eats, ect. She is very protective of us, when we were new in town, a neighbor came by..asking us if she bit, before we could answer the old man stuck his hand in the fence and pat her! She did nip him but he didn't mind..he said he had GSD's before and ect. It definitely takes her awhile to get used to someone, we've been living here for a little over a year and she is still weary of our neighbor, who comes to our yard all the time, and even gives her biscuits through the fence. She does need some more socializing I am not saying it is all the mail-lady's fault but she could talk to me about it like an adult instead of writing all over my mail, seems childish to me.
Ive been fortunate here in my new house, new neighborhood. Dook will let most passersby just saunter on down the sidewalk without even noticing he's there. But when the mailman comes, it's almost neat to watch the change in him, were it not so scary. He's not like that with anyone else, but when he comes through, Dook runs up to the fence, barking like a mad dog, hair standing on end. I'm always very close by, usually in the sun porch, so I just open the door and say, 'dook, what are you doing' and he stops and runs in the house.
The lucky part is, my mailman is the best. About three weeks ago he started actually stopping and calling Dook by his name, from the other side of the fence, kinda coo'ing almost to him. Last week Dook barked, I went out, the mailman did his coo thing, then pulled a DOG BISCUIT OUT OF HIS POCKET! He looks up at me, winks, and says 'I'll get em yet, I really will'. LOL I was shocked, thought it was great. He gave Dook the treat through the fence, dook took it and ran off.
Now every day dookie waits for the mailman, and the mailman always has his treat. Sure, there are days we arent home or he isnt outside. But rarely, because it takes some stern words to get him to come back inside BEFORE the mailman comes, hah. So great :)
One of the behaviorists I've spoken to described mailmen as the "best" trainers in the world. Look at it from a dog's eye view...strange funny dressed person comes on my property, I bark, he/she leaves. Next day, strange person returns, I bark, he/she leaves. The next day, and the next day and so on...why is this guy/chick not getting it, I told him/her to leave and they keep coming back, dogs frustration with mailperson intensifies, first time the dog has a chance, the dog will put the mailperson in their place and show them whose boss...bite. In reality, the mailman is just doing his job, but dogs don't have the ability to reason.
In defense of the mailman/lady, they get bit A LOT. I dealt with quite a few claims for mailpeople. I'd be a bit nervous if your GSD was growling at me too, maillady or not. And your dog has nipped your neighbor? I don't see how you're offended that the mail lady does not want to deliver mail to your house when she has a history of biting. If you want her to talk to you in person, rather than write on your mail, how do you suppose she get to your front door with a growling dog that has bitten before stands in her way?
My mailbox is attatched to a pole that is attatched to the fence, you do NOT have to come to the yard to put the mail in the box..I guess she has the idea that the GSD could jump the fence. Anyways, someone is always outside during the day, while the dog runs around, she could easily speak to someone about this if she wanted to instead of writing on my mail. There have been incidents when we would all be out in the back, bbq'ing or playing with the animals, ect..and would see the mail coming so we would go to the front yard to get the mail and she completely disregards us and puts the mail in, instead of talking..anyways, I just wanted to share our mailman experiences and see how everyone else's dogs react to the mailman and vent a little.
***Edited By: sandysmommie on 7/13/2006 3:06:01 AM*** Reason: add
i have never had a problem with the mailman. our box is a ways from our house. the only time we see the mailman is when he has packages or needs something signed for. the frenchies all gather at the screen door, butts wiggling. if they got through the door, the mailman would be in for a mugging from the 3 of them. he would be thoroughly smooched to death. harley, our gsd could care less anymore. he doesnt look at the mailman as a threat. the mail carrier at our previous house always had a treat for harley, so he looks at them now as the good guys.
I am a retired mail lady and I was bit twice on my route. I love dogs and am not afraid of them. Both times, I hd taken a letter to the door to be signed for and the people let their dog squeeze thru the door, after I was already on my way back to the vehicle. In one case the people had to quarantinne their dog. I felt sorry for then, since it was barely a skin break, but that all it takes. The post office spends thousands every year on dog bite medical fees-and are not reimbursed. And that is postal poilicy, to write on the mail "dog", hoping you will realize its a problem and do something about it. If cars were blocking the mailbox, we are to bundle the mail and write "car blocking box" and deliver it the next time the box is not blocked. We also have the option of stopping the mail, till the problem is corrected, but we use that as a last resort--I did anyway. I was a rural carrier and we DO NOT get paid by the hour. The post office "evaluates" how long it should take to run your route, and the time they give is never enough, but that's what they pay you. So, you can't take extra time for anything like waiting on the dog to get put back in the house, or to get out and walk to the blocked mailbox--unless you want to be working for free. You are always working for free 1/3 of the time at Christmas. Postal management also constantly rides you about hurrying and getting in and out of the post office on set times. (No wonder some go postal!) But, like I say, I love dogs. Long ago I had a Boxer that I didn't think would bite a biscuit, but the gas man said she always tried to nip him. One day she thought I was gone and I saw her in action, out the window, and she was constantly trying to bite his ankles. Dogs are very protective of their home area and you never know what even the sweetest ones will do. I had to fence off a different area, so she couldn't bother the gas man. Maybe you will have to clear an avenue for your mailman or put up a mailbox at the street.
***Edited By: CeCe on 7/13/2006 8:11:59 AM*** Reason: spelling
I wish I could see CeCe's response while I'm writing this. I too used to deliver mail on a rural route. Everything she sais is absolutely true. Plus you typically can't tell from the short time you are around each day whose dog is a biter and which ones just bark. Delivering rural has it's own disadvantages in this dept. Many times the boxes are far from the house and you don't meet the owner. I remember one house I had in particular, it sat square at the end of a cul de sac and they had 4 GSDs that ran loose at the end of that street. As a rural carrier you deliver out of your own vehicle, so I was usuing my personal car. Those dogs would actually jump up on my car, scratch it, etc. They easily reached my window. There were many times I was afraid to deliver not just thier mail, but their neighbors too because the dogs chase my car until I was off the street. About giving the dogs treats, I don't know how it is now but back then, as much as I love dogs and had my own, I would not have dreamed of giving any dog on my route any kind of food. The liability is too great. Most people don't want strangers feeding their dog, even with good intentions. As far as getting bit, I found it was the quietest, sneakiest dogs that would go after me. The ones you never knew were there until they were right on you. Just my two cents. I know it's annoying not to get your mail, but those are postal rules. Also, it's a big misconception that postal employees (delivery) are paid by the hour. They are not. The routes are evaluted over a one week period and then given a time in which the evaluator decides the route must be done by and that's all you get paid for. I always tried to finish early because I was getting paid the same and who wants to work for free?
None of mine ever seem to like the mailperson either, or like UPS or Fed Ex delivery person, I didnt understand the "GarbageMan" he's out by the street, the delivery/mail people seem to be swiftly walking up to your home, so I figured they are "warning" them not to get much closer, Its kinda like when little kids hear the Ice Cream Truck coming...........temporarily insane.......
Our mailbox is at the end of our driveway but if for any reason they need to pull up in the drive, all of our dogs are in dog pens during the day and if Sele, Ruby or Rosa (dal x, min pin and mini poodle) are out w/me they greet the mailperson. Ruby likes to run up to ppl barking.. lol.. but shes really not mean at all, she just likes to "announce" whatever shes doing at the time. Some people it freaks out bc they fear she may be a "ankle biter" but shes quite the opposite and runs up to em jumping up on their leg like "hi! pick me up and pet me!" then once they have she wants to go right back to me.. lol.
Beulah doesn't really mind the mailman... BUT.. my front screen door doesn't latch, so Beulah can go OUT all she wants, but she has to knock to get back in. So if I am home during the day, I'll leave the wood door open so she can go out the screen door if she wants. Well, if she sees something outside she BURSTS through the front door barking! (I have a fully fenced in yard so she can't go anywhere)
It has only happened once... but it was Saturday and I was home and I heard her burst through the front door, and it was 2:30, right when the mail comes and I just thought "OH NO, she just scared the **** out of my mailman!" She just bursts through the door though and then runs around the yard. Once she sees a person ,she might jump on them out of happiness but she doesn't care that they are there. It's just the fear of seeing the dog come out the door! I went out there and apologized and the mailman was NOT HAPPY with me. But no problems since that incident. He probably cursed me that day, but he got over it. And I learned my lesson!
We are at work with our two when the mailwoman comes. Luckily, the permanent puppy gate we put around the front door keeps our dogs away from the mail lady. Georgie goes nuts when she comes in because she never comes in to say hi but just drops off and picks up mail and leaves.
The mail lady is afraid of dogs so I think it would be a problem without the gate. There is a substitute mail man that comes in and opens the gate and plays with the dogs. She never barks at him because he says hi.
I can't blame the mail person for being afraid but I would think having your dog behind a fence would be enough.
Gina and CeCe, is the whole time restraint thing to blame for my mailman refusing to shut my mailbox door? I've complained to the postmaster about this, since I get checks almost daily, and not to mention I am extremely anal. He still will not close my mailbox door. Now, the mailbox is a little rusty, so it takes a minimal amount of effort to close, but I guess its too much.
My father has been a mailman for almost 40 years. He is now a postmaster. As a kid, I remember him getting countless bites, ironically from mostly little dogs. I would recommend if it gets to be too much of a hassle, invest in a PO BOX. Mailmen have enough to worry about these days. They just don't have much tolerance for dogs.
Absolutely not. If you can't get results by talking to the station manager, find your local postmaster and complain, LOUD. There are more rules and regulations that you can imagine and they are required to close the mailbox! Don't get me wrong, I'm not sticking up for ALL mail people, just in general. Absolutely you should complain about that, it's more than reasonable. I would. And by the way, I'm not overly fond of my mail lady either. Not because of my dogs, but because she's just not very friendly. I've lived in the same house for almost 20 years, had the same mail lady the whole time. She won't even say hello if I'm outside and a few times I have been coming out to check the mail when she was pulling up so I stood and waited and she still opened the box and won't hand me the mail. I know there are regulations about giving the mail to people, but she knows who I am. When the sub is there he will say hello, etc. And btw, it doesn't take extra time to be friendly or shut the box!
If your mailbox is in good condition, and the door doesn't flop back open on its own, because of being bent-then I would complain to my post office manager. I complain about my mail because I never get any on Thursday-my regular carriers day off, and then get lots on Friday. I am always having to replace my mailbox, due to vandals tearing it up, cause my lid won't stay shut now, and I know its not my carriers fault. I call in regularly, when they don't do things the way I would have done them--such as forgetting to re-deliver all my mail after I have been on vacation hold. My mailbox at my house and the one at my cabin, both have problems and the door won't stay closed, so I know that's not their fault. They are only required to use an ordinary amount of effort to close the box--if it has a problem and comes open, they don't mess with it and I don't blame them. I'm sure Gina and I could really have some stories to share with each other, but I don't like to think about it--I love retirement and being home with my dogs. I think dogs see this mail person is a jeep that comes close to their "space" everyday and they start thinking, "Hey, this guy is a threat to me and my family!" "I am gonna show him who's boss!"