The Moscow subway in an incessant comings and goings of people every day… But not only people, among the travelers it is curious that a special group comes and goes as well: stray dogs that go from one station to another.
But the curious thing about this is not that the stray dogs go from one place to another by subway, but that they do so recognizing the place where they are and also knowing what their destination will be. The big question to this curious fact is, “how did they learn?”.
If you stop to think about it, you will realize that traveling by subway is sometimes not an easy task even for a human and the risk of getting lost, especially in unfamiliar places, is latent. When we control the location, traveling by subway is stressful to say the least. But we will always have the possibility to calmly stop at the signs or ask someone else for information… However, how do these dogs do it?
They say that of the estimated 35,000 stray dogs in Moscow, at least 20,000 are capable of using this mode of transport.
Moscow’s stray dogs ride the subway, how did they learn?
The explanation for this phenomenon is based on the fact that dogs have evolved alongside humans for hundreds of years, therefore, our nature is familiar to them and they have adopted human behaviors.
Living with us has helped them learn to interpret our signals, which has even led them to learn how to move in this human-created means of transport.
It is, therefore, their ability to interpret and copy our behaviors, together with their great sense of smell that allows them to locate themselves in the Moscow subway and not only to know where they are, but also where they are going…
There are specific aromas of people, food or the environment itself, which help them to orient themselves. In addition, it has been scientifically proven that dogs are also able to exploit other sensory stimuli to find their routes, such as hearing. In fact, it is believed that these dogs are also able to identify the stations by their names when they hear and have memorized them.
Unfortunately, intolerance is the order of the day… and there have been reports of aggressions, even with bladed weapons against these dogs. Of course, they are no strangers to the dangers they face, but even so, their kindness allows them to continue to trust people and continue to ride the subway, many times, while looking for caresses, a little love, playfulness and…. maybe someone compassionate to give them a home.
We have so much to learn from them!