Dog safety campaign

Our latest community awareness and safety campaign aims to highlight dog safety concerns facing our posties, delivery drivers and the general public.

Even the smallest, cutest and most mild-mannered dogs can have strong protective instincts to look after their territory or loved ones.

And this means that any dog can pose a threat or safety concern if they're not secured properly.

We need your help!

Last year alone, 280 of our posties and delivery drivers were injured in dog-related incidents across Australia. That's more than one incident every working day.

We provide dog safety training for our posties to educate them on canine behaviour and help minimise their risk. But we also need your help to keep our posties safe.

Posties don't just need to access your letterbox these days. People are shopping online more and sending a lot more parcels. That means that our posties and delivery contractors often need to enter gates and approach front doors to deliver these parcels.

And if we don't feel confident that we can access your letterbox or front door safely, then we may not be able to deliver your mail.

Why it's a good idea to secure your dog

  • You may think your dog wouldn't hurt anyone. But our posties couldn't possibly know that and might be concerned about approaching an unrestrained dog.
  • We're not just concerned about bites. Excited dogs can cause accidents running and jumping near postie bikes and knocking posties down.
  • If your dog isn't restrained, incidents can even happen even when you're there. Some of the problems we encounter are when we try to deliver your parcel to your door. We've seen dogs lunge at their postie or driver, even when they're at the front door with their owner.
  • Local council rangers across Australia pick up hundreds of lost dogs each year, some never find their way back home.

A broader community issue

It's not just about posties. In 2013-14, more than 2,500 people in Victoria alone attended a hospital due to a dog bite injury.1

Infographic representation of data on incidents across the country

What you can do

Helping to protect your pets, your postie and your neighbourhood is easy.

  • Make sure your dog can't fit any part of its body over, under or through the fence.
  • Secure your dog away from the letterbox or path to the front door if it's outside.
  • Keep your dog away from the front door when you're accepting a parcel delivery. Either have your dog on a lead or put them in another room while you accept your delivery.

Snapshots from our campaign

Example of Direct Mailer that was distributed to more than 1.5 million households.

Stories from our people

Beverley (Delivery driver) Click to expand Click to collapse

Beverley and her partner are both delivery drivers who've both been attacked twice by dogs while working.

"The first time it happened I was approaching a customer's house when their dog pushed open the security screen door and attacked me. I needed to have a Tetanus shot and lucky I did, because within 12 months I was attacked again by a different dog."

"I entered a property where a medium-sized black dog was normally secured in the back yard. Unfortunately the gate had been left open and as I stepped out of the car the dog got hold of my arm. I needed three stitches and a course of antibiotics also suffered minor cuts on my leg."

Beverley asks all her customers to secure their dog - keep them inside or in the back yard with the gate locked. Never leave your dog unsecured - they pose a risk to drivers and anyone else who happens to be in the area.

"Even small breeds can be quite scary when they snarl and growl. Owners who think their dog is always friendly often just have never seen the dog behave any other way, however, as we enter the property and approach the door we are treated and greeted completely differently."

"My partner and I are just trying to deliver parcels - we don't need or want to have to worry about being hurt when trying to do our job."

Rick (Postie) Click to expand Click to collapse

Postie Rick was on his round, delivering letters and small parcels in Gorokan in NSW, when he was involved in a serious incident with a dog.

"I arrived at a property with a tall fence and an electric gate, which was open. I delivered a letter then parked my motorcycle and scanned the yard to see if it was safe to enter to deliver a small parcel.

"I spotted a dog sitting on top of the kennel and immediately backed away. Despite being tied up, the dog broke free of its leash, ran at me and lunged at my neck.

"I put my left arm up in defence and the dog bit me, but I managed to shake free. Then it latched onto my right arm and this time its jaw locked and I could not get free.

"I was very lucky that a passer-by was able to perform a release technique and free me from the dog's grip," said Rick.

Rick is grateful he's trained to scan ahead and be on the lookout for dogs. "I dread to think what the outcome may have been had I not had the opportunity to back away".

Rick was taken to hospital with severe injuries to his arms and needed surgery.. Sadly for the owner, the dog was put down.

Michelle (Postie) Click to expand Click to collapse

Braeside postie Michelle knows firsthand how even the most mild mannered of dogs can pose a real threat to safety.

She was thrown from her motorbike in March this year, as she swerved to avoid a dog that ran out on to the footpath.

"The dog came running out of the garage as the door opened and unfortunately I hit it as it ran under the front wheel of my bike," Michelle said.

"I suffered an injury to the bottom of my back as well as a sore shoulder and neck - and the dog needed surgery too.

"I've been bitten a couple of times and chased down the street by dogs, but this was the first time I've ever hit one on my round.

"Over the years I've encountered all sorts of dogs from the smaller yappy ones to the bigger ones seen on job sites. Even the friendliest most timid of dogs has the potential to turn nasty and pose a threat to posties if not trained or under control."

Michelle's advice to dog owners is to keep your pet secure. "Make sure there are no gaps in your fence and front gates are kept shut. This is to ensure both your dog and your posties are kept safely out of each other's way."

[1] Victoria's future in responsible canine guardianship Smarter laws, safer communities. Bruce, B., Griggs, B., Isaacs, M. and Liddicoat, M. July 2015. Note: Data is not available for other states.