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2.5 yr old rescue collie/gsd cross - bit postlady today

(9 Posts)
WeAllHaveWings Sat 05-Apr-14 17:17:40

Dn and SIL, first time dog owners adopted a beautiful 9 month old collie/gsd cross. Medium sized dog, more collie sized than gsd. He was painfully thin and although not abused left home alone a lot and rarely walked, un socialised.

They've had him for well over a year now. Had him at training classes and some one to one as he was sometimes dog aggressive, he graduated and started going muzzle free about 6 months ago and now very good with other dogs. he also does agility twice a week and is well taken care of, insured etc.

He is still a very vocal dog and barks a lot when excited, but think that is quite common with both his breeds). Barks when vistors arrove, but then calms down once hes had a sniff. Has never been people aggressive before.

Today he was in SIL back garden with dn(20), the postlady had a parcel and when she didn't get an answer from front door came up side of house towards the garden and dog got excited, barking and bit her before dn could catch him. Minor scrape/bruise, no blood, but postlady was understandably very wobbly saying she now needed a tetanus (SIL offered to clean her hand, but she refused and left, obviously still shaken).

I know SIL/dn are in the wrong as the dog was out of control and Royal Mail staff shouldn't be at risk of injury even on private property (we are in scotland).

SIL is already thinking about more training, fencing off different bits of garden to prevent recurrence, densentising the dog to Royal Mail uniforms (she thinks the hi vis might have contributed) etc.

Anyone know What's likely to happen now? Should they expect a visit from the police?

WeAllHaveWings Sat 05-Apr-14 17:20:10

Oh, his muzzle is going back on too until trainer is happy

Ducky23 Sat 05-Apr-14 17:29:14

I don't really know what Royal Mail will do now confused

But has she put up dog warning signs on fences?

We were burgled when my two dogs were puppies and the bastards put cigarettes out on the dogs and stuff hmm now they're obviously very worried of new people coming to the house and we have to introduce them to new people slowly so I have warning signs on my fences to try and avoid something like that happening confused.

I know that wouldn't solve the problem but might stop something else happening in the future?

Floralnomad Sat 05-Apr-14 17:33:31

Did the post lady come into an area of garden that was fenced off from the front ?

WeAllHaveWings Sat 05-Apr-14 21:28:00

The front is fenced, quite roomy all around the house, so garden at back is quite far from front.

The law in scotland says dogs need to be under control even in your private garden so I don't think that will make a difference.

Just wondering if anyone will know what h appens next? Assume postie, quite rightly, will report, then what? Dn is in bits, thinks her dog will be pts.

AreYouFeelingLucky Sat 05-Apr-14 21:30:39

Usually Royal Mail don't alert the police, although the individual postwoman could decide too. It will be logged as an incident, and RM may decide that they won't deliver to the house anymore, meaning mail needs to be collected from the post room.

That's about it, though, typically.

fanoftheinvisibleman Sat 05-Apr-14 21:47:13

It depends on the individual postlady I think.

All I can tell you is an incident I do have experience of. A postwoman claimed my grandmas dog bit her through the letter box many years ago (dog was in the house). We actually think she heard the dog bark and pulled her hand back and cut herself on the letterbox. She took my grandma to court (I was a teenager so sketchy on actual detail but if I remember rightly it was the postwoman herself who sued for damages rather than Royal Mail) But the upshot was the postwoman won her case and my grandma ended up struggling to pay weekly at the courts for a long time. She had a nice house in a nice area so it probably looked like she was well off. In reality she was working as a market trader in her 70's alone and it took her years to pay it off.

No request to have the dog pts or anything else was ever made. It was just very costly.

ADishBestEatenCold Sat 05-Apr-14 22:26:55

I agree with AreYouFeelingLucky in that the Royal Mail are unlikely to alert the police independently of the Postwoman pressing to complain, however if the Postwoman does wish to alert the police then the Royal Mail must support her every step of the way.

Having said that, if she did decide to involve the police and charges were brought, it is unlikely that in this case the end result would be an order to put the dog down (unless it has form for biting people).

More likely, whether police involved or not, is that Royal Mail would want steps taken to keep their personnel safe (they are bitten a lot ).
Those steps might involve them refusing to deliver to that address again (pain in the butt, better than a dog destruction order).
They might settle for your SIL having a mail delivery box installed outside the garden fence (not the most secure thing), or they might be a lot happier if your SIL substantially fences off her back garden.
That last is something I think your SIL should do anyway. I might be wrong, but from your description I got the impression that there is no fence separating the front garden from the back.

The thing is, I suspect a legal brain would say you should admit no wrong and do nothing until the police come knocking on your door, but if I had been bitten and the owner did nothing, I might be more likely to go to the police.
If I were your SIL I would get a 'big dog' fence up all round the back garden, book a dog behaviorist and then go to the postwoman and her bosses to apologise and tell them exactly what action I had taken to safeguard them in the future.

That's what I would do, but I can't promise you that it wouldn't be a legal admission of liability! confused

Scuttlebutter Sun 06-Apr-14 00:19:56

I would seek specialist advice, from a reputable source such as DogLaw. Trevor Cooper is noted as an expert in this field and can provide advice on what your SIL can do, and what RM and the postlady are likely to do. He can also advise on the Dog Control Orders I believe you have in Scotland.

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