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Australia Post names and shames the worst spots for dog attacks

Dog owners urged to secure pets amid sharp jump in attacks

Source: AAP

Every week, 50 Australia Post workers fall victim to a dog attack – and one city just outside of Brisbane is Australia’s most dangerous.

Since July, there have been on average 7.5 dog-related incidents experienced by posties, Australia Post said on Tuesday.

“We see a lot of incidents occur at the front door as our posties try to deliver packages, with dogs racing out from behind their owners,” Australia Post general manager safety and wellbeing Rod Maule said.

“It takes just a second to secure your dog in another room, and it makes the world of difference to our team members.”

To try to raise awareness, the postal service has published the total number of reported incidents by jurisdiction. It pinpointed Queensland as the worst jurisdiction in the country for dog attacks, followed closely by NSW.

State-by-state breakdown of dog-related incidents:

  • 321 in Queensland
  • 306 in NSW
  • 177 in Western Australia
  • 103 in Victoria
  • 68 in South Australia
  • 9 in the Northern Territory
  • 5 in Tasmania

The postal service named the south-west Brisbane suburb of Darra as the worst in the country for dog-related incidents. However, three of the top areas for dog attacks were in NSW, not Queensland.

Areas with highest number of dog-related incidents:

  • Darra, Queensland
  • Alexandria, NSW
  • Nepean, NSW
  • Tamworth (New England), NSW
  • Rockingham, Western Australia
  • Stafford, Queensland

Australia Post pushes awareness ahead of holidays

As it embarks on its busiest period of the year, Australia Post is pleading with dog owners to take steps to help protect posties on the road delivering the goods.

Maule said the lead-up to Christmas was the busiest time of year for Australia Post and with all metro capitals and some regional towns and cities getting deliveries seven days a week, it was important people kept their dogs secure.

“We know our customers are eager to get their deliveries. However, our team’s safety comes first – if it’s not safe for our posties to approach a home, then they won’t be able to deliver,” he said.

There are a few safeguards for Australia Post workers, including posties being provided with digital hazard trackers.

They allow them to log the location of a “hazardous” dog, so if they or another postie is nearby, they will get a notification warning. It is then up to the postie to either avoid the location or take extra care.

Posties

Our furry friends don’t always show their best side to the neighbourhood postie. Photo: Getty

Tips to secure your dog

In hopes of preventing further dog-related incidents, Australia Post also has a few tips to keep everyone safe.

It helps to keep front gates securely closed and if possible, it is best to keep dogs secure in the back garden, and ensure all gates are closed.

If expecting a delivery, take care when opening the front door and make sure your dog doesn’t run out. Australia Post suggests keeping the dog in another room when answering the door to collect a parcel.

Animal behaviour veterinarian Dr Tracey Henderson, who is the director of the training program The Dog Bite Prevention Project, said often over Christmas people left front gates and doors open to make way for deliveries and guests.

However, that can lead to dogs acting out and potentially harming anyone who enters the property.

“For many dogs, these environmental changes generate heightened feelings of fear, anxiety and stress,” she said.

“When cortisol levels are elevated, dogs find it hard to regulate their response to things that threaten or frighten them, which in turn can result in an increased risk of aggression, bites and attacks.”

Even if a dog is usually calm and friendly, they can become uncharacteristically upset when exposed to long periods of stress.

Henderson recommended anyone entering a property, whether they were known or unknown to a dog, should take extra care.

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