Skip to Content

Dogs Are Increasingly Attacking Mail Carriers. Online Shopping May Be the Culprit

Two hundred more U.S. mail carriers were attacked by dogs in 2016 than in 2015, according to new data released by the United States Postal Service (USPS).

The total number of postal workers who fell victim to canine violence was 6,755 last year, with the highest number of incidents occurring in Los Angeles (80), followed by Houston (62), Cleveland (60), San Diego (57) and Louisville (51).

The number of dog attacks on mail carriers is the highest its been in three decades, according to the Associated Press. It’s likely that the number has risen because of the prevalence of 24-hour online shopping, with packages being delivered seven days a week rather than just Monday to Friday.

Robert Lieb, a professor of supply chain management at Northeastern University, said he expects the number to continue to increase, but if Amazon introduces drone deliveries things could change. “I would see eagles, not dogs, taking out drones,” he told the AP.

The USPS released a series of tips for U.S. residents, to help them protect their mail men and women. The advice included placing dogs in a room with the door closed before opening the front door, not taking mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet (as the dog may view the action “as a threatening gesture”), and picking up mail directly from the Post Office if a dog is loose or unleashed.