TRAINING THE DOG

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Ban on dog biscuits shaped like posties

TORONTO (Reuters) – Dogs chomping on mail carrier-shaped treats is no laughing matter for Canada Post.

The unamused Canadian postal service — whose carriers endure more than their share of real dog bites — convinced Pet Valu stores to stop carrying Bark Bars, dog biscuits that come shaped like cats and letter carriers.

“This is not in any way, shape, or form funny for us, and to make light of that … I don’t see that as funny at all, not even in the least,” said John Caines, Canada Post’s national media relations manager.

The pet store chain, which has 292 outlets in Canada, agreed to withdraw the treats after it received a letter from Canada Post saying that employees were concerned about the risks mail carriers face from dogs and unhappy with having dog biscuits shaped in their likeness.

Earlier this summer, a letter carrier from Chatham in southwestern Ontario broke both her wrists and had part of her ear ripped off when she was attacked by two pitbull-like dogs.

Caines said that in the first six months of 2004 there were 160 dog attacks on mail carriers across Canada.