National Newspaper Carrier Day

National Newspaper Carrier Day

National Newspaper Carrier DayIt’s a calm, quiet Saturday morning, and everyone in your home is sleeping.  You are an early-riser and you are in the kitchen making a cup of coffee. Suddenly the doorbell rings and everyone in the house is awake and the person delivering the newspaper to your door is frantic.  Why? Fido is barking uncontrollably! National Newspaper Carrier Day is observed annually to honor the newspaper carriers that deliver the news to people at their doorsteps.


Holiday History

On September 4, 1833, publisher Benjamin Day hired the very first paperboy. Day had placed an advertisement in ‘The Sun’ that day, and 10-year-old Blarney Flaherty answered the advertisement for the paperboy position.  The ad had asked only “steady men” to apply, however, when Flaherty applied, Day was so impressed by the 10-year-old that he gave him the job.

Newspaper carriers are so well acknowledged for their part in history, that there is even a Newspaper Carrier Hall of Fame that was created in 1960 to recognize some of history’s most famous newspaper carriers.  Some former carriers include Warren Buffet, Martin Luther King Jr., and John Wayne!


Does Your Dog Bark At The Newspaper Carrier Or Mailman?

National Newspaper Carrier DayAlthough there were many famous people who were newspaper carriers at one point, times have changed and now most people are reading their news online and through apps on tablets, phones, and computers.  However, that does not mean that your dog can’t bark at the mailman delivering packages, or even your neighbors stopping by. Barking is a way for a dog to express his or her emotions.  He or she may feel frustrated or uneasy about having a stranger on the property, so here are some tricks to teach your dog to stop barking at the door:

  1. Don’t yell at your dog or punish them for barking. This will only create a negative association with visitors at your door.
  2. Create a positive association with the newspaper carrier or mailman. Reward your dog for sitting or lying down when someone is at your door.
  3. Use the treat-to-door training method. Step towards the door without the doorbell ringing.  When your dog approaches, say “hush” or “quiet”, step away from the door, and then use a training clicker and drop a few treats. Next, step towards the door, touch the doorknob and give your verbal cue. Step away from the door and ask your dog to sit down. When your dog performs the requested behavior, click and treat. Gradually move your dog further and further from the door before asking him or her ‘sit’ or ‘down’. Click and treat. Next, use a doorbell trigger, give your dog a verbal cue, direct to sit, and click and reward if he or she completes the correct behavior.  If at any point your dog barks or does not listen, go to the previous steps and start again.  This may take a few weeks to perfect, but don’t give up!


3 Potential Reasons Your Dog Barks At Strangers

1. While we might think that dogs are natural protectors and this is why our dog barks when someone approaches the door, our dog may actually be barking because strange people and sounds can be scary to animals.  Your dog may be afraid of the unknown, causing them to bark excessively.  When your mailman approaches, the barking may just be an expression of fear and will subside once the person at the door leaves.

2. Another reason some dogs bark is because they feel the need to greet every single person that comes to their home. Your dog may not have any intention of hurting the mailman or newspaper carrier, and the barking may simply be his or her form of saying ‘hello.’  Your dog may be anxious to greet the mailman, however, do not let your dog greet anyone until you are absolutely sure that they will behave and that the mailman or guest at your home is okay with being greeted by your dog.

3. Barking may actually be a territorial instinct kicking in.  When a dog hears or sees a stranger approaching his or her territory, he or she may be inclined to protect the house and any family members inside.


Create A Positive Association Between Your Dog And The Newspaper Carrier

National Newspaper Carrier DayIn order to create a positive association between your dog and the newspaper carrier, ask the carrier if he or she is willing to give your dog a treat. This will help your dog to begin to associate the carrier’s presence with something positive.  When this positive experience is created, your dog may begin to stop barking and may instead greet the carrier with a more friendly demeanor.

If your newspaper carrier does agree to give your pup a treat, start off cautiously.  Do not put the carrier in any potential danger, and have the carrier start by tossing a treat to your dog through the fence.  If things go well, you can start to have the carrier give treats at a closer distance.


How To Celebrate National Newspaper Carrier Day

Do you have a newspaper delivered to your front door?  Whether you still get a daily digest at your doorstep or not, thank your newspaper carrier or the mailman the next time you see them!  Remember, these hard-working men and women work through freezing winters, hot summers, and they often get barked at by local dogs day in and day out!  Bring the carrier some water, coffee, or simply say thank you!


How do you plan to observe National Newspaper Carrier Day?  Let us know in the comments!