My dog chews the post

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Joe Inglis offers her advice to a reader who's dog reacts aggressively and chews the post when it comes through the letter box.

(Q) Can you advise how I can stop my lovable King Charles from turning into a loud, aggressive sounding dog when the post man put letters through the letter box. When I am not here she ignores the post, but when I am she goes mad and grabs any letters she can and chews them. I think it is attention seeking, so I try not to make too much fuss when it happens, but I would love to stop it as we run a business from home and I worry she may chew up a cheque!

A. Joe Inglis writes: This is a very common problem and is down to territorial aggression rather than attention seeking. The reason she is only doing it while you are there is because she sees protecting you and the house as her role in the family pack.

The best approaches to deal with this are desensitisation and distraction. Desensitisation involves gradually getting her used to things coming through the post box when you are there so it becomes less of a big event and more routine for her, and distraction involves taking her attention away with something more interesting when the postman comes – so think about feeding her or playing a game and completely ignoring the post until she is nice and calm and the postman has gone.