Moscow Commuters (Dogs Who Take the Train to Work)

by Rebecca on November 7, 2010

in Animal Stories

Dogs are allowed on public transport in all of Europe, but generally with
their master. This is even more interesting.

Canine commuter … wild dog waits on the platform!!

Stray dogs are commuting to and from a city centre on underground trains in
search of food scraps.

The clever canines board the Tube each morning. After a hard day
scavenging and begging on the streets, they hop back on the train and return
to the suburbs where they spend the night.

Experts studying the dogs say they even work together to make sure they get
off at the right stop after learning to judge the length of time they need
to spend on the train…

The dogs choose the quietest carriages at the front and back of the train.
They have also developed tactics to hustle humans into giving them more
food on the streets of Moscow .

Scientists believe the phenomenon began after the Soviet Union collapsed in
the 1990s, and Russia’s new capitalists moved industrial complexes from the
city centre to the suburbs. Dr. Andrei Poiarkov, of the Moscow Ecology and
Evolution Institute, said: These complexes were used by homeless dogs as
shelters, so the dogs had to move together with their houses.

Because the best scavenging for food is in the city centre, the dogs had to
learn how to travel on the subway to get to the centre in the morning, then
back home in the evening, just like people.

An experienced dog enjoying a nap on the underground.

Dr. Poiarkov told how the dogs like to play during their daily commute.

He said: They jump on the train seconds before the doors shut, risking
their tails getting jammed. They do it for fun. And sometimes they fall
asleep and get off at the wrong stop.

Dog tired … mutt naps on tube seat in Moscow .

The dogs have learned to use traffic lights to cross the road safely, said
Dr. Poiarkov. And they use cunning tactics to obtain tasty morsels of
shawarma, a kebab-like snack popular in Moscow . They sneak up behind
people eating shawarmas then bark loudly to shock them into dropping their

With children, the dogs play cute by putting their heads on youngsters’
knees and staring pleadingly into their eyes to win sympathy and scraps.
Dr. Poiarkov added: Dogs are surprisingly good psychologists.

The Moscow mutts are not the first animals to use public transport. In 2006
a Jack Russell in Dunnington, North Yorks , began taking the bus to his
local pub in search of sausages. And two years ago, passengers in
Wolverhampton were stunned when a cat called Macavity started catching the
331 bus to a fish and chips shop.

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