Dogs and Trains

Are dogs allowed on German trains? Is there a fee associated with bringing your furry friend on board? What happens if you cross international boarders? Daisy has compiled her notes for you over the past few months and is eager to share her experiences 😊

The first item to be aware of is that there are different types of trains in Germany. ICE trains or Intercity-Express trains are the high-speed flagship of Germany’s Deutch Bahn railway. ICE trains have an extensive railway network. They have added comforts of food/beverage catering, quiet zone travel compartments, and Wi-Fi internet. On the other hand, regional trains generally have more stops, do not travel at as high of speeds, and do not have reserved seating. Regional trains are generally cheaper to ride. Both types of trains are efficient, reliable, and comfortable. It primarily depends on your destination to decide which would be most convenient.

Traveling with your dog is permitted at no extra cost if you use a transport container. As a loose rule of thumb, if your dog fits between your seat and your legs, he/she will probably travel for free (treated similarly to luggage). If your dog is larger or you opt not to use a travel crate, you need to purchase a half-price ticket so he/she can travel with you by train. The easiest way to purchase a dog ticket is by going to the ticket counter at your departing train station because dog tickets cannot be purchased through the DB app.

In our experience, most ticket inspectors don’t seem to enforce dog travel rules if your dog is well behaved. This being said, Germans love rules and I wouldn’t want to be caught in a situation where I was in the wrong. By the book, dogs must always be on a leash and have a muzzle for safety reasons. Even if you don’t put the muzzle on your pup, it’s wise to carry it with you when traveling. Unless your dog is listed as dangerous by the state on the “Listenhunde” then you shouldn’t need to worry. Listenhunde nach der bayerischen Kampfhundeverordnung Dogs are welcomed as family by most establishments here and the approach for train travel is not much different. One final dog-related rule I see as important to note is that there is no tolerance for letting dogs up on the seats. This might seem obvious, but norms may vary widely by culture.

When equipped with the series of above information, there should be little stress when the ticket inspector approaches. Have the proper ticket in case you get asked and follow the rules respected by the masses of having your dog well controlled on a leash.

When crossing country lines, it is always smart to look up the pet travel rules in the place you are going. Many countries have updated their policies in recent years to allow for dogs to travel aboard. Nearby to where we live, I know that Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Czech Republic, and Belgium allow both large and small dogs to travel in regular passenger carriages. Regional lines may have their own rules or regulations, but most systems seem to be about the same.

Daisy did awesome getting on and off the trains. I was worried about the boarding part, but we tried to find a minimally crowded door and didn’t make a big deal of getting on. She just followed the flow of things. Sitting below us on the regional train was a little bit tricky because Daisy is about 50lbs and foot space was crowded. She wasn’t initially thrilled about the motion of the train. I imagine the rumble was a sensation and sound she had never experienced before – plus sitting on the ground created no barrier to that. It didn’t take long for her anxiety to subside, and she settled in for the second half of that journey.

Traveling by train is scenic and worry free. I personally prefer it to car or airplane travel. There is no traffic. No need for directions. No stress over parking. No downtime wasted in the airport. You can read a book, sip a beverage, gaze at small towns passing by, or take a nap. It’s safe for young, old, and furry family members. Knowing that Daisy can travel with us surely makes weekend getaways more enticing since we don’t need to look for a sitter. Who knows, maybe she will be caught by a canal in Venice or meeting a Parisian dog friend sometime soon 😊 She has given two non-opposable thumbs up to the idea of becoming the world’s most well [train]-traveled dog.

One Comment

  1. Love this article. Love Daisy, and you guys!!!

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