DOG owners in Ross-shire are being urged to keep their animals under control during the school holidays when posties call amid a growing number of attacks.
Royal Mail says the number of attacks in the IV postcode area has risen by 15 per cent since 2010, which they condemn as "unacceptably high".
Some 23 attacks took place between April 2011 to April 2012. Postmen and women face increased danger during school holidays when parents and children are at home with dogs which are sometimes allowed to go unsupervised in the garden or out onto the streets without restraints.
These attacks usually increase during the long summer school holidays.
Now Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are asking customers in the IV postcode area to keep their dogs under control and are issuing top tips in an attempt to reduce the number of dog attacks.
* Keep your dogs indoors around the time the postman usually calls to deliver mail;
* Dog attacks can happen when you’ve opened the door to sign for an item. Please keep your dog in another room before answering the door and make sure children don’t open the door, as dogs can push by them and attack;
* If you have a back garden, please close off the access, in case your dog could get round to the front when the postman calls;
* If your dog likes to attack your mail, considering installing a cage. It will protect your post, and your postman’s fingers.
Steve Greaves, safety director for Royal Mail in Scotland, said: "Clearly most dogs are not inherently dangerous, however, even the most placid animal can be prone to attack if it feels its territory is being threatened.
"The number of attacks is unacceptably high and in the Highlands, this has risen by 15 per cent, from 20 attacks in 2010/11 to 23 this year.
"Our first priority as an employer is to ensure the welfare and safety of our people who provide a valuable service to our customers.
"However, even just being threatened by an unrestrained pet is a frightening situation for our delivery staff and we would appeal to owners to keep their pets under control, especially if they know their pets have a territorial nature."
Dave Joyce, CWU National health and safety officer, said: "The age old image of the dog attacking the postman is not a laughing matter. Thousands of our members are bitten every year.
"There are so many things that dog owners can do to reduce the likelihood of an attack taking place so we strongly urge all dog owners to look at these top tips."