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Dogs on Metro North


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#1 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 09:59 PM

What's the official policy on dogs on Metro-North? I imagine it's guide dogs only? My second question is what the unofficial policy is. I often see people with dogs that aren't guide dogs on the trains and the conductors don't seem to have a problem. They generally are on the smaller size, but I saw a golden retriever once (apparently not a guide dog). I wonder because I have a very calm and obedient and relatively small labrador that I would like to my parent's house in a month for Thanksgiving. I'm wondering how to do this (short of getting a ride or renting a car).

#2 1702

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 10:38 PM

Paraphrasing the info found under FAQ's on the MTA/MetroNorth website, small domestic pets are allowed if they are in kennels or similar containers OR securely controlled on leashes and don't annoy other customers.
Pets shouldn't occupy seats and are subject to approval by the conductor. Properly-harnessed service animals for persons with disabilities are always welcome on MetroNorth.

In the case of the golden retriever that you saw, seems the conductor was being lenient. Since your dog is on the smaller side, looks like you're good to go!

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 09:48 PM

Paraphrasing the info found under FAQ's on the MTA/MetroNorth website, small domestic pets are allowed if they are in kennels or similar containers OR securely controlled on leashes and don't annoy other customers.
Pets shouldn't occupy seats and are subject to approval by the conductor. Properly-harnessed service animals for persons with disabilities are always welcome on MetroNorth.

In the case of the golden retriever that you saw, seems the conductor was being lenient. Since your dog is on the smaller side, looks like you're good to go!


Thanks. I'll look more carefully on the site for that. I couldn't find it last time. I hope there is some kind of very clear guideline - my labrador is small for a labrador but labradors aren't that much smaller than goldens. I'd hate to get to the station and then be turned down. On the other hand, she is very, very obedient and calm. Can't imagine her annoying anyone, especially if I stood near the doors (and I'd get off in Stamford).

#4 haolerider

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 10:14 AM

You might want to get specific approval for this trip, since you are talking about going at Thanksgiving time - which is usually the busiest time of the year for train travel - crowded trains - standees, etc.

#5 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 10:54 PM

You might want to get specific approval for this trip, since you are talking about going at Thanksgiving time - which is usually the busiest time of the year for train travel - crowded trains - standees, etc.


Do you mean just calling in advance? Do you think that would do any good when talking to a conductor actually on the train? I suppose it's worth a shot...

#6 AlanB

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 11:04 PM


You might want to get specific approval for this trip, since you are talking about going at Thanksgiving time - which is usually the busiest time of the year for train travel - crowded trains - standees, etc.


Do you mean just calling in advance? Do you think that would do any good when talking to a conductor actually on the train? I suppose it's worth a shot...


Well if you can get the person on the phone to commit names, direct phone #'s, or to send you an email, then that would be extremely helpful with a conductor on the train.
Alan,

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#7 Dutchrailnut

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 07:48 AM

are subject to approval by the conductor[i]
It does not matter if you got Emails , pictures or personal ok from president of railroad, the policy is still:
are subject to approval by the conductor

#8 haolerider

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 02:17 PM

are subject to approval by the conductor[i]
It does not matter if you got Emails , pictures or personal ok from president of railroad, the policy is still:
are subject to approval by the conductor

I think if he had an email or the name of someone at Metro-North, it would go a long way with the conductor and I understand the comments you have bolded, but sometimes common sense dictates decisions.

#9 Dutchrailnut

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 09:12 PM

The common sense thing is the Conductor having last word.
A person in Customer service or someone okaying the dog has never seen the dog or seen how it behaves.
Thats why the Conductor has the last word.
If you muzzled your dog a Conductor probably won't care but trains and lots of people are stresfull to dogs and any bites or just jumping up at people could cost MNCR a lawsuit.

Edited by Dutchrailnut, 18 October 2006 - 09:15 PM.


#10 battalion51

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 10:34 PM

The muzzle doesn't sound like a bad idea. Echoing what dutchrailnut said, it really doesn't matter in the end what customer service says, in the end it's the Conductor's train, and about the only person who can override him is a trainmaster or Superintendent, who are next to impossible for a normal passenger to reach.

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#11 haolerider

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 01:23 PM

The muzzle doesn't sound like a bad idea. Echoing what dutchrailnut said, it really doesn't matter in the end what customer service says, in the end it's the Conductor's train, and about the only person who can override him is a trainmaster or Superintendent, who are next to impossible for a normal passenger to reach.


Probably the best idea is to leave the dog at home and go visit your family - with no worries.

#12 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 10:36 PM

Probably the best idea is to leave the dog at home and go visit your family - with no worries.


Because you can't love dogs in an apartment overnight.

I think I'll be fine taking her. Thanks a lot for the info everyone.

#13 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 06:37 PM

I often see people with dogs that aren't guide dogs on the trains and the conductors don't seem to have a problem. They generally are on the smaller size, but I saw a golden retriever once (apparently not a guide dog).

The golden retriever you saw might have been a service dog. Guide dogs are for people with visual impairments and service dogs help those with physical disabilities. In addition to helping people in wheelchairs and people with balance problems there are also service dog that help people with invisible disabilities including hearing dogs and seizure alert dogs.

#14 George Harris

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 11:40 PM

Because you can't love dogs in an apartment overnight.

Is this law or apartment complex rules or what?

We do this when needed. Just make sure there is plenty of water out and food and the dog knows where to go. For us, one tile floor bathroom with a floor drain is her toilet when she cannot go outside, which includes days with heavy rain. Scoop the solids into the toilet, hose down the rest with the shower (flexible hose) and everybody is happy.

#15 Guest_Chris_*

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 02:12 PM

I know this is a very late response, but people will find this on Google, as I just did, and it needs to be corrected. Dogs on a leash are allowed on the Metro North, during off-peak hours, and have been for many years. They do not have to be service dogs of any kind, nor have any special permit, nor do they have to be in a container. They just have to be well-behaved and under the control of their people. They're technically not allowed on the seats, but many conductors don't mind if you spread out a garment or blanket on a seat, as long as you're not keeping any humans from sitting down. It varies a bit--some conductors don't like it, but they all know that it's allowed. Many are happy to see a dog.

A muzzle is not required, unless your dog is aggressive towards people, in which case he is not well-behaved, which means he shouldn't be on the train at all, right? So it's not needed at all. Very few dogs need to be muzzled, and people will obviously assume a dog who is muzzled is aggressive, which creates more problems.

We've ridden on the Hudson Line many times with two different dogs, neither of whom were small. I've seen Labs and Goldens, and they were not guide dogs. People mainly seem pleased to have them there.

Sure, you have to leave your dog alone in the apartment sometimes, but if you have to be gone for more than eight or nine hours, you really should get a dog-sitter, or dog walker, regardless of whether they're going to soil your floor. Most serious dog people I know in the city arrange for their dogs to be walked while they're at work. Leaving one alone for many long hours every day is cruel, unless you have several dogs, or other animals with which they are friendly (many dogs and cats form close friendships, for example). You can always designate a place in the apartment where the dog is allowed to relieve himself. But it's a better option to see that he or she is walked during the day.

And best of all to take him with you, whenever possible. Our dogs want to participate in every aspect of our lives. If you don't like that, don't get a dog. Metro North has an unusually advanced policy regarding dogs on trains, and it's never caused any problems--nor has it on the Boston 'T', where leashed dogs are likewise allowed. In most of Europe, leashed dogs of all sizes on trains is the norm, and nobody blinks an eye. Hopefully America will be that civilized someday.

#16 the_traveler

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 04:35 PM

ALSO BE AWARE THAT THIS THREAD IS ALMOST 5 YEARS OLD !!!!!!!!
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead!

#17 rrdude

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 04:57 PM

(I know it's five years old)

But this comment just cracked me up, "Our dogs want to participate in every aspect of our lives." Really, is that what the DOG told you?Posted ImagePosted Image

Seems like YOU want the DOG to participate in every aspect of YOUR life. I'm not saying that's good or bad, just my observation.

As for me and my dog. It's a dog. Period. It drinks out of mud-puddles, and eats dead, nasty, smelling things it finds when I go hiking / walking with her. It's a dog. Period. Somewhat of a companion, and I'm sure it would like to go everywhere I go. (I assume) but it ain't coming with me to 99% of the places I go. Why? 'Cause it's a dog. Period.

My dog is scared of the sound cicadas make. Why? 'Cause it's a dumb-ass dog too. Posted Image (I'm sure the dog-lovers of the world now hate me, and will tell me if I get my dog into doggie-therapy, everything will be "poochie".)

Edited by rrdude, 03 August 2011 - 04:58 PM.


#18 Guest_Chris_*

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 05:50 PM

The fact that you refer to your dog as 'it' kind of makes any further discussion pointless. And color me impressed that people are responding to this ancient thread, when they don't have any new information to impart. I only did it because this thread still pops up near the top of the page when I google "Metro North, Dogs". People should be properly informed, and nobody here seemed to know what they were talking about. Regarding trains or dogs. :)

#19 the_traveler

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 07:40 PM

Really, is that what the DOG told you?Posted ImagePosted Image

My dog tells me everything - including how our cats misbehaved while we were gone!Posted ImagePosted Image
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead!

#20 Guest_Chris_*

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 08:40 AM

It's almost impossible to overstate how unusual Metro North's policy of allowing leashed well-behaved dogs outside a carrier on their trains really is--for the United States. Boston allows dogs on its subway trains. Seattle and San Francisco also allow leashed dogs on their light rail systems. And that's it.

We were just in Germany (without our dog--our friend Jerry, a very experienced dog-minder, stayed at our apartment with him with his own dog, for two weeks--he didn't accept nearly enough money for it either--you want quality friends, get a dog).

Not only are you allowed to just bring your dog on nearly any train, on a leash, with nobody saying a word about it--you go to one of their touchscreen ticket machines, and you see an onscreen button that says 'dog'. You buy a ticket for your dog, and on you go.

Think about all the extra revenue our rail systems miss out on by not going this way. Even Metro North doesn't charge you an extra penny for your pets. Which is nice, but I'd so much rather pay--say a child's fare--and have that practice extended to Amtrak, the MTA, etc.

The whole point of having a dog is to go places with him or her. Otherwise, get a cat. The whole point of having mass transit is to be able to go places without a car. We want to visit a friend of ours in Denver next year. She loves our dog, and we want to bring him, and he'll want to go with us (even rrdude admits that).

So to make this happen, I have to rent a car, burn gasoline, wear us down to a frazzle plotting routes, find dog-friendly motels, deal with the stress of driving for endless hours, put one more car on the nation's overcrowded highways, and then repeat the whole process to go home again. I'd much prefer the train. And my dog behaves perfectly, in trains and cars. He's perfectly house-trained, and will not relieve himself if there's a roof over his head. And people love meeting him, wherever we go.

It's just mindbogglingly stupid. If this was any kind of serious logistical problem, how come Europe, with a vastly superior rail system to ours, encourages people to buy tickets for their dogs and bring them along? German trains run on a schedule so tightly balanced that the slightest delay can lead to problems (that's why their trains nearly always run on time)--you think they'd screw that up to appease dog owners? They allow it because it works. And having been to Germany, I can say with absolute certainty that the dogs there are no friendlier or better-behaved than here--actually, a bit less friendly, on average. The people too, but that's a German thing--we didn't take it personally. ;)

So kudos to Metro North, which has had this policy for decades now, with nary a problem. If only the rest of the nation would pay attention. Dogs on mass transit works--in Canada, in Europe, in Australia, and everywhere it's been tried in the U.S.



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