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Is yours a cute commute? Dogs and public transport in UK

A British bulldog on a British train dog-happy
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More and more workplaces are ending canine segregation and allowing employees to bring their dogs to work. But does your furry friend have a ticket to ride?

By G. John Cole

Published on the 07/03/2019, 08:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:51

My baby takes the morning train

Did you know that your dogs on the train – “maximum two per passenger”? The possibilities are endless, especially if your workplace has a bring-your-dog-to-work policy, as many do these days. More specifically, you can take the pain out of work AND the commute by taking your two best friends with you. And if they’re very good boys, you’ll be the most popular salaryperson on the train!

Yes, dogs are welcome on the UK’s trains for free, although they need to buy a ticket like anyone else if they’re planning on having a seat to themselves.

You can even take your dog on the Tube, as long as you can carry him down the escalator. Travel For London doesn’t permit dogs (except pre-approved assistance dogs) on moving stairways in case their little paws get trapped. Of course, lifting them up also means they can check out all the dogs coming up in the opposite direction, too.

It’s important to keep your dog on a lead or in a carrier when travelling by rail, and dog companions should also be aware of other passengers – not all of whom may yet be aware of the brilliance of dog. If your hound is likely to be distressed by the experience, it’s likely not a good idea for him or your fellow commuters.

Moscow’s metro dogs

But there’s no evidence that dogs in general are averse to taking the train. In fact, Russia even has a whole subculture of commuting dogs who travel without any owners at all.

These Muscovite strays not only board the underground trains themselves each day, they always take the same route. Just like poor old Ernold Same, they recognize regular travellers and know who’s up for a chat and who’s likely to share their morning shawarma. They may use smell, experience, or even the sound of the station announcements to orientate themselves, although – being strays and short of cash – they rarely buy a ticket.

So it can be pretty rewarding for a dog to take the train. And of course, it’s rewarding for the owner – especially if they’re prone to panic in tight spaces. So why not brighten up everyone’s day by taking a pooch or two on the train next time you travel?

Here are some pictures of dogs on trains, because dogs, trains, and dogs and trains, are all great categories. Toot toot!


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