What is it with Dogs and the Mailman?
Our dog Tino had a love-hate relationship with our mail carrier in Pasadena. We lived on cul-de-sac on a road that ran along a bluff next to the Rose Bowl. We had mailboxes in front of our house and the mailman would deliver the mail out of his truck.
Pete, our mailman, would enter the cul-de-sac, drive down one side and then circle around and drive down the other. As soon as Tino heard that mail truck he would make a beeline to the corner of the yard closest to the mailbox. If he happened to be in the front yard, he would bark like a madman, running up and down along the fence. If he was inside, no matter where he was in the house, when he heard that truck, he’d race to the kitchen, plow through the dog door and run down to the corner of the yard.
Once he saw Pete next door, he would quiet down and stand at attention next to the fence…as quiet as a mouse. Why so good after barking like crazy? Because Pete gave out treats after he put our mail in the box. Tino would stand there like a gentlemen, get his treat and then as soon as Pete started moving his truck – off he’d go, back to wild dogs barking.
It was as predictable as clockwork. I felt so bad when we moved from Pasadena to our new home and we didn’t have a mailbox anymore – I think Tino really missed Pete.
But what is it with mailmen and dogs, why is there such a myth about their relationships? It’s all about territory and uniforms and dogs natural protective nature. An intruder is entering their territory they bark at it, intruder goes away. The behavior is rewarded everyday…like clockwork. We found this pretty good explanation of what’s up with dogs and the mailman: