Smartest Dogs: Moscow Stray Dogs


Russian scientists say that Moscow stray dogs became much smarter. The four legged oldest human’s friends demonstrate real smartness such as riding the Moscow metro every morning to get from their suburban places of living to the fat regions of Moscow center. Once they arrive to the downtown they demonstrate different new, previously unseen for the dog skills. Those skills can include “the hunt for shawarma” for example, the popular among Muscovites eastern cuisine dish. This hunt scene can be seen as this:

Regular Moscow busy street with some small food kiosks. A middle-aged man buys himself a piece of hot fast food and walks aside chewing it without a rush. Then just in a second he jumps up frightened – some doggy has sneaked up on him and barked out loudly. His tasty snack falls out from his hands down to the ground and the dog gets it. Just ten minutes later, on the same place, the teen youngster loses his dinner in exactly the same manner. The modern Russian dogs are on their urban hunt.


“This method of ambushing people from their back is widely exercised by Moscow dogs”, saying A. Poiarkov, working in Ecology and Evolution Institute of Moscow. “The main point here is to define who would drop the food scared and who won’t, but the dogs are great psychologists they can do it better than us”.

Moscow ecologists think that dogs started acquiring this habits in 1990s, when the Soviet union collapsed and Moscow has fell into the hands of new class of Russian capitalists. They understood the true value of the downtown realty underestimated by previous Communist owners and became removing all the industrial complexes Moscow had in its centre to its outskirts. Those places were used by homeless dogs as a shelter often, so the dogs had to move together with their houses, so they had to learn how to travel Moscow subway – first to get to the centre in the morning then back home in the evening, just as us people.

“Sometimes dogs are doing mistakes adapting in metro, but they are studying.”

The commercial revolution of Moscow made their usual feeding places like trash bins out of direct reach, so they had to get to know new ways of getting their piece of food. That’s how appeared those “Shawarma hunts”. Sometimes though they use more gentle methods. Young girl sits on the bench to eat her hot dog – a big cute looking dog appears from the surrounding bushes and puts her head on her knees. The girl can’t help herself sharing the hotdog with a dog.

Among some more amazing skill those Moscow dogs are the ability not to miss their stop while going on the subway train. Biologists say dogs have very nice sense of time which helps them not to miss their destination. Another skill they have is to cross the road on the green traffic light. “They don’t react on color, but on the picture they see on the traffic light”, Moscow scientist tells. Also they choose often the last or the first metro car – those are less crowded usually.

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, just they have enough food”, they conclude.

continued below…


“Traveling first class, compared to this human”

“Practice makes perfect, true.”





“Just a regular member of busy day underground stream”


“Waiting for the right train”


“What? Questions you’ve got?”

“Wrong place? Well, we still are learning what’s wrong and what’s not.”

70 thoughts on “Smartest Dogs: Moscow Stray Dogs”

  1. Yes, the russian stray dogs are really smart using public transportation and so on, but sometimes during the night time they are really scary too, especially if I have eaten a local after bar delicatesse called shawerma and they smell it. Then I have to run!

    • OMG Russian dogs are smarter than average Russians. While dogs evolve and adapt into a more intelligent breed, russians are more and more backward with each passing years. sad isnt it ๐Ÿ™

      • It is very sad that a person can pass a judement on the people of the country she never, probably, visited, but considering she calls herself Miss India her poor brain isn’t developed yet.

        • well considering Indians are one of the smartest groups of people around, her brain is probably more developed than yours.

      • Miss India are you saying your country is perfect? ahhh come on now.. girl are you for real? Besides.. always add a solution from the Heart whenever you have something critical to say.. otherwise you are perceived as a useless negative person with only 1 side of your brain working.. so look at it from an optimistic view-point.. ‘you’re half way there’.

      • Wow. Really Miss India? Have you seen how disgustingly filthy and smelly India is? Its the most backwards society on the planet

  2. I think I met some of the dogs. They are pretty friendly. They don’t really bother anyone – just ride quietly on the subway. I think that some of them even know how to get around the city using the subway… Pretty amazing…

  3. OMG russian dogs are smarter than an average tourist. I bet in the “moscow dogs part two” they are playing chess on the green at Gorky park.

  4. Amazing! Less than twenty years and these dogs have already adapted to an incredible level. It really does show how intelligent the canines were to being with, they just needed the extra motivation to start deciphering our modern world. Evolution is far too slow for only a few generations to really have much of an impact, I’m sure there has been some favoring of the smarter dogs, but really the dogs were that smart to begin with.

  5. post pictures – I have killer drop bears that fall from trees like ninjas or pee silently on your head

  6. I’d be surprised if a dog can take on those front carriages of a moscow subway train – that homeless crowd create an impressive smell and for a dog that must present some serious suffering.

  7. This story is not real. There is no reason for dogs to leave an urban center if there is always food there. The reasons humans leave the city is for affordable homes, dogs don’t have to pay for housing, so they can stay where the food is.

    • The comment about the dogs living in the burbs is a joke, humor, funny, ha ha. Get it?

      But, the dogs do ride the metro here all the time. I’ve seen it many, many times.

      And they do wait to cross the street at lights and crosswalks.

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  9. Russian dogs, ain’t the only ones, in Puerto Rico, theres one at my university campus, he uses the local buses and travels around the whole campus. He waits like everyone for the bus to make his stop, and cross the road alone, jumps in and gets a sit for himself. He even has a fan club in face book, since he is very playfull.

    • My dear friend from the Isle of Enchantment,

      Why does the dog cross the road alone? Why does a student not help him? Why does he get a seat by himself? Why does some lovely Puertorequina not sit with him? Is it because he reminds you of an Arab?

      Sharing your abhorence of dogs and Arabs,
      M. Ahmadinejad
      cat lover, Persian, lover of Old San Juan

  10. Come see dogs in Thailand! They are everywhere! Although they are taken care by the people around the area, they are street dogs and have adapted to the urban environment.

  11. When I was young, in Ukraine, more than 10 years ago I saw a dog who wanted to cross the street. I talked to him, and he followed me in the underground passageway. I later saw him utilizing this underground passageway.

    • Yes, especially when they travel in packs, commonly known as the Arab League.

      M. Ahmadinejad
      Concerned Persian

  12. We would like to publish the russian metro dog pictures in our dog magazine in germany, how took the pictures ?
    Please get in contact with me.

  13. I hope those dogs are alright and that there are people trying to help them. I just can’t stand anyone hurting an animal.

    Which leads me to comment number 6 that is frankly disgusting and wrong!!! Every person like him should be stopped. You’re really sick man…

  14. Animals are very good at adapting to new environments, much more than humans i think. I wouldn’t be able to handle it though, i would end up with tons of pet dogs if they were all that adorable.

  15. well here in the USA this would never happen b/c here there are much more ‘awareness factors’ for example dogs can carry diseases and though so sad it’s beautiful to see dogs sitting on trains with humans.. after all man’s best friend is always a comfort.. my wife is from Estonia (Baltic region) her take on this is that here in the U.S. there are organizations that would come, catch the dogs.. in some cases dogs could be taken care of, nurtured to healthier condition and then put up for adoption.. that is better than wandering aimlessly in a subway.. however I did tell my wife that in many cases here in the U.S. dogs like these would be put to sleep too.. so who is really doing the right thing? Hmmm… tough call.. I love animals so much.. I just don’t know what to feel about it all.

    God Bless The Dogs Of Our World. *oh wait my cat just looked at me.. ‘God Bless The Cats Of Our World Too’ ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. ps- remember this whose eyes fall upon this comment.. Russia is also called “Mother Russia” though down at times.. this Country is a very important place on Earth.. Do not ever underestimate her place in our world.

  17. Why does no one take these dogs in? If I saw a dog like that, I’d love to look after him or her, and the intelligence would be such a bonus.

    I live in Canada, and I found a severely neglected dog in the street, and nearly three years later, she’s the best, most loving friend I could have ever asked for.

    • If I happened to see one, I would want to take it home, too. But remember that these dogs survive fine without being domesticated. They roam in packs and are not at all helpless. How else do you think they are in such big numbers? Also, it is very hard to domesticate a stray/feral animal once it is past a certain age. It may seem strange but this is where they belong, so long as they are being treated humanely.

  18. What they didn’t mention is that being mean to or hurting a Russian street dog is a crime. They also guard the streets at night…. it’s not uncommon for a dog or 2 to walk with someone they sense is vulnerable (Old person… women..) until they are safely home. I’ve seen these dogs up close and personal and they are amazing, they will also NEVER hurt or attack people even if they are starving.

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  20. The Moscow officials (First deputy mayor Biryukov, has ordered a year ago to trap ALL MOSCOW STRAY DOGS and to lock them in the huge municpal shelters, where most of them died of cold and hunger. This is a tragedy which shocked all the pet defending community – numerous protests, letters, pledges to the President had no result. The destiny of dogs from the streets is to be placed to these megashelters and since june 2010 under the order of Biryukov, they will be eutonized after two weeks. The city officials say there were biting – that is the most big lie ever after the Soviet Unuin fallout. There is an unbeliverble cruelty to dogs. We try to save them, but we are too helpless compared to the administration killing machine.

  21. Curious about something – perhaps someone from Moscow can tell me. How do the dogs react to drunken persons, falling down etc? do they try to help them, or befriend them? Or do the dogs seem to be digusted by them?

  22. Wow !
    Dogs are amazing, they feel at home wherever they are, and they can have fun at any given time, I need to be more like my dog and just enjoy the moment.

    Great photos !

    I will tell my friends about you site, the photos are great !

  23. I am what I see really shocked about this there, the dogs go by Untergund train. Why does no-one help the dogs, then. Everyone sits only wheel lot in the Untergund train and say nothing. Not soften. We also have a dog vin Teneriffa. She is a year and suspect this now she was stopped. Acquaintances of ours supported it and help dog. Pups, up to old dog. But we were not for certain whether we liked to have a dog. they have her on the beach found. And I didn’t want to give her away now again. I feel correctly sorry for the dogs!I begin at once to cry. I find this so bad!!

  24. That makes me feel so bad for all those dogs.. I can’t imagine not stopping to help at least some of them. Animal control keeps almost all of the dogs in the US contained at least in the suburbs!

    • At least they have a shot at life and aren’t systematically killed after 30 days in a pound like they do in Western countries. Also, you’re under the false assumption that these animals need us to survive – they don’t. They stay in the city only because food is more accessible.

  25. Miss India, considering that you are basing judgement on a large group of people who you have not ever met, it is not something that makes you look anymore intelligent than the people you are trying to pass judgement on. Go and meet ever single Russian and when you do come back here and try to say that again. Bigot.

  26. I will make doggy style love to all beautiful Russian women ! And some of the not so beautiful ones as well .

  27. my AMERICAN pit bull terrier is smarter, more loving, loyal, athletic, and would stomp a mudhole in the ass of any of those commie mongrels.

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