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Mel's Most Misbehaved Mutts - Six Dog Breeds that Mailmen Must Avoid

Although many are mystified by his mysterious moniker, Mel Carriere is a San Diego mailman who writes about the mail, among other things.

A Smile on a Dog Can Be Deceiving

This happy pooch has obviously just lunched on a letter carrier's leg, which often contains the tastiest cuts of meat.

This happy pooch has obviously just lunched on a letter carrier's leg, which often contains the tastiest cuts of meat.

Stay away from these ferocious fanged beasts!

There is a song by a long forgotten singer Edie Brickell that says "Philosophy is the talk on a cereal box, Religion is the smile on a dog." I have spent untold sleepless hours puzzling over these words, but after 20 years of carrying mail and seeing the smug canine smiles on dogs as they contemplate dining upon my softer portions, I think I understand the lyrics now. Religion to the canine set consists of eating letter carriers, and that is why they sometimes smile when they see us passing by, simple as that. Of course, dogs no longer smile at me anymore. I'm too old and stringy.

May 19-25th is Dog Bite Prevention Week, and in honor of this festive occasion commemorating our furry friends I have created a small, Letterman style list of dog breeds that have given me problems throughout the years. If you carry mail I am sure your list is different in some places, but I hope you enjoy my personal anecdotes about these dogs that continue to be the source of nightmares for me. All of the stories are true, by the way. Well, perhaps they might be embellished a little for dramatic effect but for the most part they are of uncanny accuracy. When it comes to dogs and their relentless pursuit of the men and women in blue, truth is indeed stranger than fiction!

German Shepherd - Merciless Mailman Mauler

This dog has been put behind bars 10 to life for attempted mailman mauling, with no possibility of parole!

This dog has been put behind bars 10 to life for attempted mailman mauling, with no possibility of parole!

Number 6 Most Misbehaving Mutt - German Shepherd

To begin with, I apologize for my photos. I defend them by saying they have a "raw" quality, which is a euphemism for being crappy. I have been using the same old cell phone to take pictures since about the advent of color photography, and it shows.

I have mixed feelings about the German Shepherd. They are as fickle and unpredictable as people. The one outstanding feature that German Shepherds have is that most of them will not bark stupidly and without a purpose, once they understand that your intentions are not contrary to the directives of management, meaning the owner. To elaborate upon this point, there was once a house on my route where a seemingly vicious German Shepherd would patrol the fence line like the goose-stepping Gestapo that flowed through his veins. I was very wary of this toothed Teutonic Titan, so much so that when the gate to the house was left open one day, leaving the dog free to devour me, I immediately began to make my peace with my creator. I figured I was as good as munched. To my surprise, the dog came right out to the fence line, barking angrily, and then stopped in his tracks. He was smart enough to know that the fence line was the limit of his territory and had been trained not to proceed beyond it. The mail gods smiled favorably upon me that day, deferring my munching to an as yet unspecified day of reckoning. Hearing the boisterous barking, the owner came out and introduced me to the dog, who accepted me as harmless from that point on. After that I could even go into the yard and deliver parcels to the door. The ferocious monster would even tolerate an appreciative pat on the head for abstaining from digesting me.

I must point out that not all German Shepherds are as merciful as that one was. When that particular shepherd died the owner bought another, and the newcomer was not aware of the truce that had existed between his breed and I in the past. Instead of letting me welcome him with a friendly scratching behind the ears, the newcomer would escape from the yard and chase me down the block, his fangs dripping with saliva from the thought of a delicious repast. Let this serve as a lesson to you that it is not wise to assume that every member of a particular breed behaves the same. As among people, there is always a small, deviant percentage of the population that cannot conform to the rules of polite society, and this is no different among our furry friends!

Horror Movie Becomes Reality!

In a former life, Stephen King was obviously a mailman, a spot slightly above rodent on the reincarnation hierarchy, but he earned enough goody two-shoes points to be reincarnated as a writer of horror fiction.

In a former life, Stephen King was obviously a mailman, a spot slightly above rodent on the reincarnation hierarchy, but he earned enough goody two-shoes points to be reincarnated as a writer of horror fiction.

Number 5 Most Misbehaving Mutt - The Saint Bernard

I'll keep this one brief, because I have had only a single encounter with one of these drooling flea bags from the depths of hell. While approaching the door of a house at the end of a cul de sac one of these rabid, slobbering demons came bursting through the screen, rushing toward me with homicidal intentions, its sagging jowls foaming over with the same saliva that it intended to digest me with. I don't remember the details of how I escaped, but once again my date with canine digestion was delayed to a more propitious hour.

Even though this incident did not occur on my own route, I put the house on dog hold and the owners were forced to move the box out to the curb. That box remains there to this date, some 12 to 13 years later, standing as a monument to the eminent fanged death that awaited me there in the slavering jaws of that Saint Bernard. Carriers, be aware that if you see a mailbox out by the curb on a street in which most of them are by the door, it is a warning that something wicked lies within that residence. Approach at your own peril!

Beware the Mini Mailman-Munching Wolf!

Don't be deceived by size - Like so many fuzzy piranhas, a small pack of Chihuahuas can devour a mailman down to bare bone in a matter of minutes, leaving only a satchel and a few shredded remnants of letters.

Don't be deceived by size - Like so many fuzzy piranhas, a small pack of Chihuahuas can devour a mailman down to bare bone in a matter of minutes, leaving only a satchel and a few shredded remnants of letters.

Number 4 Most Misbehaving Mongrel - The Chihuahua

I'll give you this opportunity to go ahead and release your laughter before I discuss the very serious side effects of coming into contact with these small packages of furry dynamite. The fact is, the minuscule size of these diminutive doggies often causes your friendly local letter carrier to commit the grave error of not giving them their due respect and a sufficiently wide berth. I once saw a movie where a pack of tiny dinosaurs was in the process of breakfasting upon some careless scientist, and every time I think about it I wonder what would happen if ravaging packs of Chihuahuas were set loose upon the world. The effects upon humanity would be similarly devastating, I think.

In my hub "Mel's Mongrel-Centric Mutterings," I recount an incident in which I was surrounded by a small wolf pack of these skittering little paws with teeth. Although no longer common in the wild, packs of Chihuahuas still remember their wolf pack heritage and will stalk and surround their prey in wolf style. I had to fight my way through a vicious pack of three of them that had me blocked off on all sides, making escape practically impossible. In the meantime the owner stood there doing what he could to suppress his laughter and only called the dogs off as they were lunging in for the kill. I was able to limp back safely to my LLV, not wounded too much except for my pride as I marveled over my narrow escape.

Miniature Doberman - Football with Teeth!

As every Letter Carrier knows, a rather savage form of American Football can be played using a Miniature Doberman Pinscher rather than the traditional pigskin.

As every Letter Carrier knows, a rather savage form of American Football can be played using a Miniature Doberman Pinscher rather than the traditional pigskin.

Number 3 Most Misbehaving Mutt - The Miniature Doberman Pinscher

I suppose that Postal-issued pepper spray is effective as protection against dogs if applied properly, but sometimes a good old size thirteen gets the point across to even the most stubborn of man eating hounds. As described in greater detail in my "Mel's Mongrel-Centric Mutterings" hub, I once kicked a field goal with a Miniature Pinscher that crawled beneath the fence in its yard and tried to take me unawares. I really did not intend to kick the poor beast, it was purely self-preservation, instinctive behavior on my part, but I have to admit feeling a certain perverse satisfaction as the canine football rose up several feet in the air before landing painfully and then skulking back to the yard it came from - having repented of its sins. Equally satisfying was the reaction of the Cox Cable repairman who was watching me from down the street; shouting out that it was "F!%#ing Awesome!" to quote. Letter Carriers are not the only working men/women in our society who suffer from the depredations of deranged Dobermans!

Mini Dobermans attempt to emulate their full size brethren in the volume of their ferocity, but often fall short in their ability to carry out the threat. They are notorious skulkers, and will retreat back to the safety of their Mailman-bone strewn lairs if confronted. All the same, they are masters of the rear attack and it behooves a letter carrier to have his/her feet battle ready at all times!

Pet this Pooch if you Dare!

This desperate, deranged killer is the unfortunate cellmate of the German Shepherd above.  Don't be deceived by his meek, remorseful expression!

This desperate, deranged killer is the unfortunate cellmate of the German Shepherd above. Don't be deceived by his meek, remorseful expression!

Number 2 Most Misbehaving Mutt - The Pit Bull

In spite of the horror stories surrounding this breed, I have only had one potentially deadly encounter with this savage race of crazed, mailman-flesh craving mongrels. The good thing about pit bulls is that they bark stupidly at everyone and everything that passes by, from the six foot plus letter carrier to the lowly ant creeping by on the sidewalk. Therefore, in most cases the mailman is aware of where this dog is at all times, but not always! When dealing with doggies, I cannot stress enough that there is always a dangerous exception to every rule!

I almost became a deceased exception to this rule, and would only be a note in an obituary today if not for the benevolent intercession of the mail gods. Several years ago when I had stopped to deliver a parcel to a house a raging pit bull rushed out from nowhere and charged me as if it was Pamplona and I was a drunken spectator rushing down the street to avoid getting gored. Because I was only delivering a package and had no previous knowledge of the presence of this buffed up canine I was not carrying my satchel, much less my dog spray. Even if I had one or the other in the hand they would have been useless, because the dog surprised me so thoroughly that there was absolutely no time to react.

On this occasion there wasn't even time to pray, so I swiftly began considering which portion of my anatomy was the most useless, so that I could offer it up first as a sacrifice. I knew I was going to get mauled, it was only a question of which part of me would be eaten first. Since I have rather large feet I was thinking that I could probably lose about half of one and still function, so I was on my way to extending my grotesquely large left foot outward when the dog suddenly veered off to my right and disappeared. I stood there for a moment stupefied, wondering why I had been spared the vicious fangs of death, before I leaped back in my LLV and drove out of there quickly. Perhaps the pit bull had been deterred by the unappetizing odor of the extremity I had offered it, or maybe he had a lunch date already that he was saving room for. At any rate I lived to tell the tale.

Of course, being the meticulous, by the book letter carrier that I am, I put the house's mail on hold. A few days later the homeowner came in to sign the dog letter, but he was puzzled by the breed identification I had put on the dog letter.

"I don't have a pit bull," the owner claimed. "I have a Chihuahua."

"Your Chihuahua is on steroids," I told him. He signed the paper anyway and walked away scratching his head.

Several days later it came to light that a hoodlum friend of the homeowner's son had been at the house with his pit bull that day, which solved the mystery of the Guinness Record Breaking Monster Chihuahua.

Mel's Marvelously Muzzled Mutts!

The above photo amply demonstrates the condition in which Mel most enjoys the Cocker Spaniel breed.

The above photo amply demonstrates the condition in which Mel most enjoys the Cocker Spaniel breed.

Number 1 Most Misbehaving Mongrel - The Cockel Spaniel

Up until now, the only dog that has been able to sample a bite of my tasty Mailman flesh has been the Cocker Spaniel. This is why I have given this breed the prestigious position of Number One on my list of the Most Misbehaving Mongrels. I was about four months into my Postal Service career when one of these shaggy yappers snuck up from behind and took a bite out of my back leg. To add insult to injury the dog owners apparently did not have homeowners insurance and I received no monetary remuneration for the only dog bite that was ever successfully inflicted upon me.

In my experience, the Cocker Spaniel is a nervous, disagreeable little pooch. My sister had one that tried to take a piece out of my hand when I attempted to pet it. The Internet is chock full of cute pictures of this breed, but if there was a way to genetically equip them with a built-in muzzle, yours truly would be one happy letter carrier.

I hope you enjoyed my evaluation of the six dog breeds that I consider the most threatening to the sanctity of mailman flesh. For this Dog Bite Prevention week in particular, and for every week that you are swinging a satchel, make sure you keep your dog spray on you at all times, and keep your foot in the ready position!

More Mailman-Munching Mutts

Dog Bite Facts Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Which dog breed accounts for approximately 60% of dog attack deaths in the U.S.?
    • Chihuahua
    • Pit Bull
    • Rottweiler
    • Tea Cup Poodle
  2. Which segment of the population accounts for the highest percentage of pit bull related deaths?
    • Adults
    • Teenagers (Ages 13-19)
    • Children (Ages 7 and below)
    • Elderly (Ages 80 and up)
  3. What percentage of dog fatalities in 2011 occurred on the dog owner's property?
    • 10%
    • 33%
    • 74%
    • 100%
  4. Which dogs are mostly likely to bite?
    • Chained dogs
    • Unrestrained dogs
  5. According to the CDC, how often does the average dog bite occur?
    • Every 5 days
    • Every 24 hours
    • Once every three weeks
    • Every 40 seconds

Answer Key

  1. Pit Bull
  2. Adults
  3. 74%
  4. Chained dogs
  5. Every 24 hours


Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on August 29, 2016:

Thank you Rangoon. It's 22 years now - a little water has passed beneath the bridge since I wrote it, but I'm still hobbling along. I appreciate you dropping by.

AJ from Australia on August 28, 2016:

Such a good read Mel. 20 years in the postal service qualifies you well!

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on May 22, 2016:

Just once Shyron, many years ago, but it was just a scratch. Thanks for dropping by!

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on May 22, 2016:

Mel, thank you for the information on these dog breeds. I think most any dog is capable of attacking almost anyone, I am not saying they will. But the mailman get exposed to more dogs than none mail carriers.

I hope that you have never been bitten.

Very interesting hub.

Blessings and hugs my friend.

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on September 20, 2015:

Thank you suvaja for taking the time to read and comment.

sujaya venkatesh on September 19, 2015:

an interesting and helpful hub

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on July 02, 2015:

Thank you rdsparrowwriter, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Yes, an unexpected German Shepherd bark can be a bit unnerving, to say the least.

Rochelle Ann De Zoysa from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka on July 02, 2015:

When one of the families who rented our down stair house, every time whenever I climbed the stairs a German Shepherd used to surprise me with his bark that almost gave me a heart attack as I wasn't expecting it to be there and during that time, no unwanted people came to our garden :) A very interesting hub :)

Akriti Mattu from Shimla, India on May 15, 2015:

I got a German Shepherd pup at my place too.

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on May 15, 2015:

Thank you Akriti. The only ones that really scare me are the German Shepherds.

Akriti Mattu from Shimla, India on May 15, 2015:

My god these dogs are intimidating.

Nice post.

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on May 10, 2015:

Pretty stiff restrictions Glenis Rix. I really believe that the problem is not so much in the dog as in the owners, who condition them to be hostile. I'm met Pit Bulls who are as sweet as baby kittens, and little lap dogs who would tear your finger off if they got hold of it. The information you provided is very interesting, and many here would not be adverse to such restrictions, although, even though I am a Mailman and I have to run the gauntlet of these beasts sometimes, I still am a dog lover and would be opposed to breed specific legislation. Thanks for reading.

Glen Rix from UK on May 10, 2015:

The following breeds of dog are banned in the UK and with good reason.

I've copied and pasted the following from the UK Government webpages:

In the UK, it’s against the law to own certain types of dog. These are the:

Pit Bull Terrier

Japanese Tosa

Dogo Argentino

Fila Braziliero

It’s also against the law to:

sell a banned dog

abandon a banned dog

give away a banned dog

breed from a banned dog

Whether your dog is a banned type depends on what it looks like, rather than its breed or name.


If your dog matches many of the characteristics of a Pit Bull Terrier, it may be a banned type.

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on May 09, 2015:

Dynamite comes in small packages. Thanks for reading Stella.

stella vadakin from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619 on May 09, 2015:

I agree with about the Chihuahua, I saw my vets arm. I asked her if that was a Pit that bit her. It turned out to be a Chihuahua . Wonderful hub, Stella

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on April 24, 2015:

Thank you JDB I am glad you enjoyed it and it is gratifying to hear that there are mailmen trying to improve their oratorical skills. I appreciate you dropping in!

John D. Baldwin from New York, New York on April 24, 2015:


I had a friend in my Toastmasters group who was a mailman and who gave a very interesting talk about how to avoid dogs. Your amusing hub reminded me of it.


Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on April 01, 2015:

Thank you Sheila. This is one of my very first hubs when I was still trying to find my style, so I am glad I could make you laugh a little. I appreciate you dropping in!

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on March 31, 2015:

This is freakin' awesome!!! I am sorry, but I have laughed my a** off while reading this! I know these experiences were not funny at the time, especially with the pit bull, but I so enjoyed reading this!

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on February 06, 2015:

Thank you sir for dropping by and reading. I carry a cat in my satchel at all times to deflect canine aggression. I appreciate you dropping in!

Clive Williams from Jamaica on February 06, 2015:

funny but very interesting.....next time walk with a cat as bait

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on January 11, 2015:

Yes sir, the little dogs bite more than the big ones. Thanks for reading!

DW Davis from Eastern NC on January 11, 2015:

An amusing, interesting, and informative post. I was not surprised that Cocker Spaniels were Number 1. I seem to recall that they are most often number 1 in the country for reported dog bites.

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on August 20, 2014:

Feel free to laugh Nell that's the only thing that eases us through life's difficulties. My Mother actually owns a half Jack Russell half poodle and it's the sweetest thing on four legs but dumb as dirt. You never know. Thanks for dropping by!

Nell Rose from England on August 20, 2014:

lol! sorry for laughing but...yes I know how you feel! my brothers friend many years ago was a postman, and the dog he was most terrified of? A jack russell! nasty little thing, it would grab his trouser leg, cling on and just would not let go! glad you escaped unharmed, well apart from the spaniel!

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on July 30, 2014:

Sorry to hear about that horrible experience. German Shepherds usually do know when to bark, but there are some weird ones too. Thanks for dropping in and I look forward to reading some of your hubs.

Imtiaz Ahmed from Dhaka, Bangladesh on July 30, 2014:

I liked the German Shepered since it barks when it has to bark. Not like the others that bark most of the time with out any reason. I had a very dangerous experience with these barking dogs. Don't know what type was it barked at my mother without any reason and started to smell her. She got scared and then i also barked at the dog and it bit me. I was really little then you know. :P

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on July 14, 2014:

Thank you for your great comment cecileportilla. I am more frightened by the small dogs because the big ones always bark and let you know where they are right away. Thanks for dropping by!

Cecile Portilla from West Orange, New Jersey on July 14, 2014:

Great hub Mel! I like your humor. I like your description of the miniature Doberman as the "masters of the rear attack." I hope that you make it to retirement without being mauled by a mailman munching mutt! voted up!

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on June 23, 2014:

Oh yes, big or small they are all wolves at heart and they instinctively hunt like them, even when they are hunting the mailman! Thanks for dropping in!

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on June 23, 2014:

I was surprised to find the chihuahua and cocker spaniel here. Interesting to know that the little chihuahuas travel in packs, just like wolves.

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on June 23, 2014:

Yes the small dogs definitely have the short man's complex and can be very aggressive, but just like with people, big dog or small dog it's all in the upbringing. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on June 23, 2014:

Great hub. I found myself laughing as I read it. I especially liked the Chihuahua section. I had heard that it's the small dogs that attack the most.

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on June 23, 2014:

Thank you for dropping in @mary615. Sorry to hear about that pit bull attack. I don't think pit bulls are inherently bad but I have seen their owners treat them viciously.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on June 23, 2014:

As a true dog lover, I really enjoyed reading your Hub! I was married to a veterinarian for many years and helped him in our clinic. He warned me to be on guard with the little breeds as they were apt to bite more than the large ones. He called them "nervous biters"; not mean, just scared.

I had a Pit Bull attack me and my little Min Schnauzer once when we were on a walk. I'll never forget that, and now when I walk her, I carry a spray of Mace (or something like it).

I enjoyed this Hub a lot. Voted UP, etc. and shared.

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on June 20, 2014:

Mailmen are experts on the subject of dogs, we are the true dog whisperers, and we learn through experience. I think any mailman with 5+ years knows a dangerous dog on first glance. Thanks for dropping in!

Michelle Ascani from Deep in the Heart of Texas on June 20, 2014:

My uncle is a mailman, and used to have a walking route. We used to hear all kinds of stories, esp about dogs.

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on June 20, 2014:

Thank you for reading and commenting @Blond Logic. I hope Brazil is not too crazy for you now with the World Cup going on. Yes, the meter reader and the cable guy also have to deal with doggies here too. Nice to see you here.

Mary Wickison from Brazil on June 20, 2014:

I always heard it was the dachshund which bit the most.

Where I live we don't have a mail delivery service, I go to the post office to collect mine.

My meter reader is the one who is nervous around our dog. Now he honks at our gate and I put our dog inside.

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on June 16, 2014:

Thank you so much for reading. I hope you didn't get the impression that I think all the pooches are problematic, a lot of them are downright lovable and mailman-friendly. Appreciate your visit!

travmaj from australia on June 16, 2014:

Such a fun piece, you made my day. Hmmm, I'm an over the top dog lover but I get your point. My friend, an Avon Lady concurs! Thanks for this, still smiling. Cheers...

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on May 25, 2014:

You are absolutely right Nina it is all in the upbringing. It's a people problem, not a dog problem. Thanks for reading.

Nina on May 24, 2014:

Look I have a doberman and a chihuahua and they are not vicious in any way there polite. It's they way any dog is trained not the breed it's the owners who treat them like kids.

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on April 09, 2014:

Well we have to take the bad with the good. There are plenty of lovable mutts as well. Over the course of years I think I've developed pretty good dog instincts - now watch I will probably get bitten next week. Thanks for reading!

Audrey Howitt from California on April 09, 2014:

I feel for you guys! It must be terrible to be the object of a dog's ferocity!

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on February 15, 2014:

Thank you Cathi Sutton. I really enjoy writing hubs with a humorous spin, I just wish they would get more views. My serious hubs seem to do better. I appreciate it when people like you enjoy my rather warped sense of humor. Thanks for reading.

Cathi Sutton on February 14, 2014:

You write with wonderful humor! This was a VERY good read.

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on February 10, 2014:

Thank you for the kind words. I am pleased I could entertain you a little bit. Yes the chows can be very surly as well, but don't seem to be very prevalent here in Southern California. Thanks for dropping by!

Margaret Perrottet from San Antonio, FL on February 10, 2014:

I enjoyed this article, and got quite a few laughs out of it as well. I'm not surprised at your choices. My Old English Sheepdog is very friendly with other dogs, but the breeds that you mentioned are normally not very friendly back. The other breed that we find aggressive towards our dog are Chows. Voting this entertaining article up, interesting, funny and useful.

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on November 25, 2013:

It seems like it would be, but truthfully it wasn't more than a scratch and after going to the doctor I went back to work the same day. Most letter carriers get some kind of monetary compensation for these incidents but for some reason the postal service didn't want to pursue it and I got nothing. Thanks for reading!

Ronald E Franklin from Mechanicsburg, PA on November 24, 2013:

This is a fun hub that I enjoyed reading. About that one dog bite: wouldn't such an on-the-job injury be covered by Workers' Comp?

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on October 28, 2013:

That is absolutely true DDE. Very often dogs take on the personality of their owners. Thanks so much for the visit.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 28, 2013:

Mel's Most Misbehaved Mutts - Six Dog Breeds that Mailmen Must Avoid yeah sometimes these dogs a pushed into such moods by their terrifying owners

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on October 13, 2013:

Yeah, I tried to look at Maddie but my post traumatic stress disorder kicked in and I couldn't do it. She actually looked like a real lovable pup. Thanks for stopping by!

LKMore01 on October 13, 2013:

Oh Mel, I promise you if you had known my Maddie she would have lovingly licked your face. She was a cuddle bunny. But I understand. We have to judge the individual dog owner and their circumstances. Check out this vicious cocker. LOL


Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on October 07, 2013:

Thanks for your kind words and your understanding of the Postman's universal plight. Just remember that not all dogs are mean to the mailman, some are very nice. Thanks for reading.

Eiddwen from Wales on October 07, 2013:

Wherever we live this issue is the same.Thank you so much for all the hard work you've put into this one and here in Wales it is very often the small dogs which cause most problems and not those targeted as Dangerous dogs. Thanks again and vote dup for sure. I now look forward to so many more by you.


Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on October 06, 2013:

Thanks. In spite of what it sounds like I love dogs and they are a well of inspiration that never runs dry.

wetnosedogs from Alabama on October 06, 2013:

Most of our mailboxes are right at the street, so most times the mail carrier doesn't have to leave the truck. And many outside dogs are fenced in their yards. My dogs are inside when it is postal time.

Be safe and hang on to your limbs.

Great hub.

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on July 28, 2013:

Drop by anytime.

SmartAndFun from Texas on July 28, 2013:

Thanks for indulging me, Mel.

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on July 28, 2013:

Funny stories like this are exactly what is on topic here, and Chihuahua stories are always knee slappers because they are like dogs that have been zapped with a shrink ray. When a Chihuahua on my old route used to get loose I would scoop him up in a mail tub and carry him home. He was a friendly little fellow and enjoyed the ride. Thanks for your great story!

SmartAndFun from Texas on July 28, 2013:

Sorry to go off topic a bit, but this reminds me of a funny story. Some friends of ours used to have a sometimes-vicious chihuahua that didn't like little kids in particular. When our kids were preschoolers and we would go visit our friends at their home, they would put that little dog up on top of the refrigerator. The dog was afraid to jump down -- problem solved! It would spend a few minutes pacing atop the fridge and barking at our kids before settling in for a nap in its little bed, which they would also set atop the fridge.

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on July 28, 2013:

When you live in the jungle you have to learn how to swing! Thanks for dropping in and sharing the entertaining anecdote!

SaffronBlossom from Dallas, Texas on July 28, 2013:

Your description of "mini mailman munching wolf" for chihuahuas made me laugh out loud! I have one who is sweet and everyone's best friend, but I think he is an anomaly as I also once had one who would bite anyone, at any time. :) I am terrified of large dogs, though, so I think I would be a terrible mail carrier...you are much braver than me!

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on July 25, 2013:

I have also had run ins with daschunds but because I have known really sweet ones I didn't put them on the list. They can be nasty little waddling hot dogs with teeth. Thanks for dropping by!

gsurvivor on July 25, 2013:

I knew that the smaller ones will also make the list! I'm a dachshund owner, so I know perfectly what a feisty little doxie chasing a mailman looks like. :)

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on July 06, 2013:

I have never had any experiences with whippets or greyhounds, although I sometimes see them in people's yards. I think the fact that I don't have any encounters with them means that they have a gentle disposition. Dobermans are another story. Full size or miniature they spell trouble. I really enjoyed your stories from down under, and I hope we have the chance to chat in the future.

Mel Jay from Australia on July 06, 2013:

Mel, this was so funny, but with a dark side too :) Really enjoyed your work. I have had most of the dogs in your list (not Chihuahuas though - too nasty for me). I would never have any type of doberman either - they are too inbred, neurotic and burdened with health issues here in Australia - breeding pool is simply too small. I can't comment on the nature of the breed in other locations though. I did have some trouble with a pit-bull that I had once chasing people that came onto my land, especially energy company meter readers. Had 'estimated' bills for a while there. Never had any behavioural issues with my spaniels or shepherds though - although it takes a few years for these breeds to 'grow up' - they can be a bit silly when less than about 4 years old and they need lots to do to keep them occupied. But I guess you just don't know what they are up to when you are away at work all day? The only thing that was ever in danger from my spaniels though was my socks! They used to steal them and bury them in the garden, I 'd find them sometimes years later when planting something. I currently have whippets, one of them likes to bark at people approaching the fence but wags his tail whenever they come in. Have you had any experiences with whippets or greyhounds?

Voted up and funny from me - Cheers, Mel

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on June 09, 2013:

Thank you Rebecca for leaving your dogs inside, although most Mailmen don't mind when a friendly dog is out running around. Maybe I made it sound like a nightmare, but I actually love dogs.

Also thank you back2basics and CR Rookwood. I definitely agree with your take, back2basics, that dogs are made bad by their owners. Unfortunately the macho aggressive guys want to buy a dog that reflects their distorted self image, so they gravitate toward buffed up pit bulls and Rottweilers. I have actually scratched pit bulls and Rottweilers behind the ears while wearing my Mailman uniform, so I recognize that they can be friendly. Dog problems are actually people problems.

CR Rookwood, I found your tale of Chewie to be very amusing. Having already kicked a mini-Doberman in self defense I can relate to what happened. One good kick is all it takes to put a little mutt like that with delusions of grandeur in his place. Thanks to all of you for taking time to read my hub.

Pamela Hutson from Moonlight Maine on June 09, 2013:

I used to live in an apartment that was the upstairs of an old house. The people who lived downstairs had a chihuahua. My entrance was a stairway in the backyard, so when the dog was out (most of the time), I had to pass it to get into my apartment. It barked and bit my heels every time, chasing me like it was on a death mission. The lame owners would call from inside "Stop it Chewie, sto-op..." and Chewie would totally ignore them, as anyone would, because they were idiots.

One day I'd had enough, and when Chewie came after me I reeled around, faced him, and said, "Look, asshole--you are not big, you are not bad, and if you bite me one more time I will drop kick you across this yard." He just sat there and I went in to my apartment in peace.

After that, he never bothered me again.

True story, I swear.

Funny hub. Thanks. :)

Anne from Spain on June 09, 2013:

Hi Mel.

This hub although giving out sound warnings did make me laugh.

I have to agree with another commenter though that you can´t pick out specific breeds as " biters" and as your poster so rightly proclaims " Any dog can bite" and I wish more dog owners would ensure they are well enough raised not to. Unfortunately too many people with nothing between the ears get dogs as status symbols ( particularly one´s which are considered unjustly as dangerous breeds) do not care for them properly, never do any form of training , and let them roam at will doing what they like, often these self same dogs are actually goaded into attack mode for the enjoyment of their half wit owners. It´s a sad fact that when these dogs attack they are then put down when in fact it should have been the no brained owners who had the lethal injection.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on June 08, 2013:

Hmm. Well my dogs are inside when the Mailman comes.

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on June 08, 2013:

Appreciate your comments Doc. I would think that you guys get bit more often because usually there is either a fence or a door in between me and the dog. How do you keep the animals from becoming dangerous when you treat them?

Dr Mark from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 08, 2013:

As a veterinarian, I definitely agree with your first choice, but not with the others. You guys are probably bit a lot more often than we are, and I am sure a lot of dogs act differently at the clinic. At home, even a Pom can be a biter!

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on June 05, 2013:

I absoutely agree with you. With some dogs barking at the mailman is the only exercise they will get all day. Other dogs only bark at the mailman when the owner is around. It is pretty obvious they are only showing off for the boss. Thank you for your comments.

SmartAndFun from Texas on June 04, 2013:

Great hub, Mel. I feel for ya being a mail carrier -- what an occupational hazard you guys have to deal with! Even my super goofy, lazy dogs will be protective of their home and bark at people who approach the door. I think another part of the problem is there are so many dogs who are stuck in a yard or inside a house all alone, and never get much attention. They are bored, and terrorizing the mail carrier becomes the most exciting moment of their day. Stay safe out there!

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on June 01, 2013:

Thank you for the amusing comment. I am not saying that this is the case with your sister, but people tend to be pretty delusional about their dogs and the havoc they can unleash. I have seen a lot of vicious dogs being pampered like babies.

Melody Collins from United States on June 01, 2013:

Lol. The guy who owned the Chihuahua must have thought you were suffering from some type of PTSD for thinking it was a pit bull! My sister as a dog that is half Chihuahua and half Wiener dog. It could fit right in to the list. To make matters worse, she takes it everywhere she goes. I have lost more than one purse and pair of shoes to it!

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on May 31, 2013:

I certainly would not recommend a muzzle for your kind Cocker Spaniel. I have a theory that dogs assume the personalities of their owners. If the owner is slightly neurotic that dog will have the same personality. You must have been sending out positive vibes to your dog.

Ethan Green from England on May 31, 2013:

I had a golden cockerspaniel as a kid and he loved the postman...especially his legs;-)

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on May 31, 2013:

Thank you for your kind comments, Kasman. It was a little tongue in cheek, actually, there are a lot of good dogs and just a handful of baddies. There are a ton of other reasons why you shouldn't work for the Postal Service other than dogs.

Kas from Bartlett, Tennessee on May 31, 2013:

Funny hub, I was definitely smiling a lot as I read it. I've seen mail carriers be attacked before at least with a lot of growling and barking and I just don't see myself wanting this job.

Very interesting, voting up, great job!

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on May 24, 2013:

Great work, Mel. It was entertaining, serious, and to the point. I heard that the smaller dogs are the worst, because they are so small, and try to make a "point."

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on May 23, 2013:

I stand corrected. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

Shaddie from Washington state on May 23, 2013:

Not a bad Hub, though I still believe that most dogs are just ill trained and breed has less to do with it than people realize.

However... Perhaps for the Miniature Pinscher section you could actually put a picture of a Miniature Pinscher up, instead of a Doberman Pinscher? The MinPin is NOT a miniature Doberman Pinscher (as some may erroneously believe because of their similar appearance). I repeat, it is NOT a Doberman and has NO ancestry to the Doberman. MinPins are a breed entirely apart from the Doberman Pinscher.

Pinscher is a German word meaning "terrier," and there are many different kinds of Pinschers (the German Pinscher, the Australian Pinscher, the Affenpinscher, and of course, the Pinscher). So when a dog has the word Pinscher in it, it does not mean it's related to the Doberman Pinscher (which may be the most well known Pinscher).

I normally don't mind this misconception, but Dobermans should not be blamed for things they have not done, and their pictures should not be on an aggression list if they themselves are not listed on it :)

Mel Carriere (author) from San Diego California on May 23, 2013:

Thank you for your kind comments. I have personally never had an encounter with a Chow while delivering the mail, but I have noted that they can be very stand-offish. After several years of being a letter carrier you develop a sort of sixth sense that lets you know which dogs can be approached and which ones cannot, simply by their demeanor. I'm glad I could entertain you a little bit. Thanks.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on May 23, 2013:

I really enjoyed this hub, Mel, you handled with humor a very serious subject. I definitely agree with you on a couple of the dogs, especially the chihuahua. We had a St. Bernard in our neighborhood for many years. He didn't bite, but he was a grumpy cuss.

There’s one I’d like to add to the list to make it 7, and that’s the Chow, or chow chow as some people call it. My last two dogs have been chows, and they are basically one-family dogs. Tasha, the mother, only bit twice in her life, once she bit someone who went too near her puppies, but she just caught the leather coat instead of the person. Then she bit a male visitor with whom she had been friends for a couple of years. He was wearing a Santa Clause hat at Christmas. It offended her and she let him know it!

We kept one of the pups, Genghis, who in his later years became possessive of Mr. BeJabbers who was very ill at the time, and to hear animal control tell it, dangerous. The first time we had to quarantine him, he’d bitten a neighbor, the vet who boarded him let me know that he didn’t like chows. After that we had to keep him penned. Then he bit an idiot who was warned not to go into the pen with him, but did anyway. That was another quarantine fee, and this time we took him to another vet boarding facility, and they loved him and commented on how docile and cooperative he was. He had become unpredictable, but we loved him anyway. We put a good lock on the gate.

Gengis died at age 13, so we are dogless now and will probably stay that way. Or get a beagle. Voted you up++