In Moscow there are some 500 stray dogs that live in the metro stations, especially during the colder months, but only about 20 have learned how to ride the trains, according to animal specialist Andrei Neuronov.
At first it was a way for them to broaden their territory. Over time, it became a way of life. “Why should they go by foot if they can move around by public transport?” he asks.
“They orient themselves in a number of ways,” Neuronov adds. “They figure out where they are by smell, by recognizing the name of the station from the recorded announcer’s voice and by time intervals. If, for example, you come every Monday and feed a dog, that dog will know when it’s Monday and the hour to expect you, based on their sense of time intervals from their biological clocks.”
Another skill they have is to react when they see a green traffic light. “They don’t react on color, but on the picture they see on the traffic light”, Moscow scientist tells. They also prefer the last or the first metro car as those are less crowded.
It’s funny but the ecologists studying Moscow stray dogs also tell the dogs don’t miss a chance to get some play while on their travel in the subway. They are fond of jumping in the train just seconds before the doors shut closed risking their tails be jammed. “They do it for fun …”
The dogs have taken training to a new level!