Although dogs can have very different personalities from each other, one trait that seems to exist across pups of all sizes and breeds is they really don’t like mailmen. If you’ve always wondered exactly what mail delivery professionals ever did to get on the wrong side of dogs, we’ve got the answer for you:
Intruding on a Dog’s Turf
The issue starts with the fact that dogs view their surroundings as their property. So when a mailman or other service provider shows up, dogs are already inclined to bark as a way to signal an alert. Some breeds are passive about this behavior, while others are more active. One thing to keep in mind is even if a dog seems angry, it’s likely that there’s fear underlying their behavior. The reason this behavior is so universal across dogs is it dates all the way back to their lineage as pack animals in the wild.
The “Intruder” Keeps Coming Back
Another factor that plays a big role in this behavior is the almost daily nature of a mailman showing up reinforces what a dog is doing.
Dogs Get Hooked on the Release of Brain Chemicals
When a dog feels angry or scared, a number of different chemicals are released in its brain. Adrenaline is one of the key chemicals that gets released. Because it’s so powerful, the experience it creates for a dog can be quite addictive. This is another big factor that plays into the reinforcing cycle of dogs wanting to bark at a mailman every single time they come.
How to Deal with Your Dog’s Habit of Barking at the Mailman
By now, you’ve probably got a pretty good idea of exactly why this type of barking becomes habitual for so many different dogs. Because it’s something that occurs so frequently, it reaches the point where it almost becomes a reflex for a dog. This is why a pup can launch into barking a ton at the mailman without thinking twice.
While it can take some time to change this behavior, the good news is there are ways to help your dog calm down. One of the most important is getting plenty of physical exercises. If this is a challenge due to how much you work, the fun and caring environment we've created at Dog Day Every Day may be just what's needed!