Dogs may be a man’s best friend … but not a mailman’s best friend.

According to 2017 figures released by the U.S. Postal Service, 153 postal employees were attacked by dogs in New Jersey. Nationwide, the number of victimized employees topped 6,200.

Camden recorded New Jersey’s highest number of dog attacks (eight), followed by Trenton with seven. The state’s capital city saw 18 incidents over the past two years.

The number of attacked employees dropped both statewide and nationally from year to year. The Garden State was home to 175 attacked employees in 2016.

A New Jersey-based spokesman for USPS said the downward trend is being attributed to greater cooperation from dog owners, stricter leash laws, and increased efforts to educate letter carriers and the public about dealing with the problem.

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Postal dog bites by city

City20172016Total
TRENTON71118
CAMDEN8715
WOODBURY369
CHERRY HILL268
DOVER437
PLAINFIELD437
NEWARK257
WILLINGBORO257
JERSEY CITY426
ELIZABETH156
ASBURY PARK415
CLEMENTON415
RIVERSIDE415
WASHINGTON TWP325
MAHWAH235
BELLEVILLE145
SOUTH HACKENSACK145
RED BANK314
MATAWAN224
VINELAND224
BLOOMFIELD134
HAMMONTON134
BRICK213
CALDWELL213
CEDAR GROVE213
CRANFORD213
MONTCLAIR213
MORRISTOWN213
PARLIN213
PRINCETON213
SAYREVILLE213
UNION213
ATCO123
LINDEN123
ORANGE123
PASSAIC123
RAHWAY123
ENGLEWOOD033
RIVERTON033
SCOTCH PLAINS033
BLACKWOOD202
ENGLISHTOWN202
HACKETTSTOWN202
METUCHEN202
MONROE202
PARAMUS202
PHILLIPSBURG202
SUMMIT202
WAYNE202
CLIFTON112
EDISON112
HACKENSACK112
HILLSBOROUGH112
LONG BRANCH112
MILLVILLE112
MULLICA HILL112
PARSIPPANY112
PLEASANTVILLE112
POINT PLEASANT112
SOUTH ORANGE112
SPARTA112
TEANECK112
TOTOWA112
BASKING RIDGE022
BRIDGETON022
HIGHTSTOWN022
KIRKWOOD VOORHEES022
NORTH BERGEN022
OAK RIDGE022
WOODBRIDGE022
WYCKOFF022
BARNEGAT101
BAYONNE101
BELFORD101
BOONTON101
BORDENTOWN101
DUNELLEN101
EAST HANOVER101
EAST RUTHERFORD101
EATONTOWN101
FREEHOLD101
GIBBSTOWN101
HASKELL101
JACKSON101
MADISON101
MEDFORD101
MOUNT LAUREL101
PATERSON101
PEQUANNOCK101
PISCATAWAY101
POMPTON LAKES101
RIDGEWOOD101
SECAUCUS101
SICKLERVILLE101
SOMERSET101
SOMERVILLE101
SOUTH PLAINFIELD101
SOUTH RIVER101
SPRING LAKE101
STANHOPE101
STRATFORD101
SUCCASUNNA101
ANNANDALE011
BERGENFIELD011
BRANCHVILLE011
BRIDGEWATER011
BROWNS MILLS011
BURLINGTON011
CHATHAM011
DUMONT011
EAST BRUNSWICK011
ELMER011
ELMWOOD PARK011
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS011
FLORHAM PARK011
FORKED RIVER011
FRANKLIN011
FRENCHTOWN011
HOLMDEL011
HOPATCONG011
LEBANON011
LINCOLN PARK011
MAPLE SHADE011
MARGATE011
MAYS LANDING011
MIDDLESEX011
MIDDLETOWN011
NORTHVALE011
OCEAN CITY011
PERTH AMBOY011
RIDGEFIELD011
RIO GRANDE011
ROSELLE011
SHORT HILLS011
VERNON011
WESTWOOD011
WHITE HOUSE STATION011
WOODBINE011

Technology advances have allowed residents to warn carriers of certain dangers before they approach their home.

Bob Peterson, a mail carrier in Budd Lake, said employees are required to have their satchel and dog spray with them when approaching a home. Carriers are trained to put the satchel between themselves and the attacking animal. The spray is the last line of defense.

"It'll sting the dog's eyes, but it won't permanently damage their eyes," he said.

Peterson was bit by a dog decades ago while on his route. A little girl came out of her home with the family dog in tow, and without warning, the dog took a bite out of Peterson's knee.

"Sometimes customers get a little too comfortable with their animals, but they don't realize they're putting us in a precarious situation," he said.

The Postal Service advises residents to place their dog in a separate, closed-off room when a carrier is delivering mail or packages to their front door. The agency says family members should not take mail directly from carriers in the presence of the family pet — the dog may view the person handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture.