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We're Not the Sharpest Knives in the Drawer

March 26, 2011

We're Not the Sharpest Knives in the Drawer

March 26, 2011
Posted in: Totally Random | Reading Time: 2 minutes

Sometimes I think Mr. Wild Dingo and I are the lowest common denominator here in Switzerland. Language difficulties aside, even the picture signage here can be confusing. From the comments listed on the last post, I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels a little out of the loop.

Sometimes you have a sign that is white and red with a dog on it like this:

And sometimes you have blue signs with a dog on it. Sometimes the blue sign will have a dog that's leashed and sometimes it will have a dog that's not leashed. When you see the signs separately, you never give it much thought except that it likely means that dogs are allowed.

But when we saw the two together it got a little confusing.  And to make things even more confusing, the words below the sign translate "road not plowed" which has nothing to do with where to walk an unleashed or leashed dog.

But when seeing all signs in one location and stepping back, the picture becomes more clear.

The trail to the right is a walking trail and not shown in this photo, there's another blue dog sign with the white/unleashed dog on it. So this double sign above is indicating that the trail for leashed dogs is to the left (or straight) and the one for unleashed is to the right.

Thinking about how Switzerland handles dog ordinance, it makes so much more sense to have leashed and unleashed areas as opposed to fenced dog parks where dogs are crowded into a place with no place to really escape. Having unfenced areas to hike with your dogs and keep going as you meet other hikers and dogs is a much less stressful environment than being around leashed dogs when you have a bouncy sibe who wants to meet every dog she sees.   In all the wooded areas in the mountains, dogs can pretty much be off-leash provided they don't chase deer or young animals.  ("Ha!" says Juno.)

Which leaves the sign above should mean "no dogs" at all.

It took us seven months to translate these illustrated dog signs.  Can you just imagine how our French lessons are going?

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14 comments on “We're Not the Sharpest Knives in the Drawer”

  1. Oh the joys of living in strange speaking country. I have to say though the red sign cant mean no dogs because wouldnt it have a red stripe going through the picture? The fact the sign is at the height it is, I reckon its a peeing post for dogs, like a meeting point post. They can mark their way in case they get lost and need to retrace their steps 😉

  2. I wish we could count on people to respect the on leash v. off leash markers. So many places I don't walk because people are always violating the leash laws. Glad you finally figure it all out.

    Mango Momma

  3. Very confusing. We don't get the red sign at all. Why not put a red slash through it?

    Mom used to teach high school level French, but she says she would probably need a huge refresher course too.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  4. Hey, just think, but the time you're ready to leave you'll know what almost all of the signs mean! 😛 I think it would be great if we had trails like that here, though. I get tired of seeing people with off leash dogs in places that are clearly marked as needing to be on leash. I always worry that they'll ruin it for all of us!

  5. Cool! So I guessed right. Your guess is as good as mine on the red one. If it was in the States and meant no dogs it would have a slash through it like someone else mentioned. Over there, who knows what it means lol! I wouldn't be able to survive over there. I'm horrible with learning new a language.

  6. We agree with everyone else. Interdit signs usually have a slash, whether diagonal or horizontal. So the low red sign just looks like a target, or a 'dog trail starts here' sign, or 'warning: free range dogs' or something.

    Jed & Abby

  7. Wiki has an entire article on the ISO standard for the No Symbol. Who knew?

    The introductions states: "The no symbol (also prohibition sign, circle-backslash symbol, or universal no) is a circle with a diagonal line through it (running from top left to bottom right), surrounding a pictogram used to indicate something is not permitted. The no symbol is usually colored red."

    Towards the end of the article one finds the caveat: "The 'no' symbol does not always have the 'slash' across it; in all traffic uses other than no turn, European 'no' signs are illustrated just with the prohibited action circled in red."

    Live and learn.

  8. Sadly, I actually knew about the sign with the red circle. I'm still totally convinced that black dogs are supposed to be on leashes, while white dogs can have free run of the place (and thus proving that a few Aryan hold-overs escaped into Switzerland and are now controlling the dog leash laws...). That may or may not be the allergy meds talking... 😉

    Dr. Liz (the red dog in this house isn't sure where she fits in the white dog/black dog continuum...)

  9. Gosh, that's confusing. We have a slightly similar double sign here in Oz with a sign on one side of a dog with a line thought it and one without it next to it. This usually means that from this point, everything to the left is banned for dogs and everything to the right is OK. But still leashed usually. We're lucky to find ANY open space that isn't fenced that's off-leash! I think the problem is people don't seem to understand "walking" with dogs here and so they thikn that off-leash just always means an enclosed area with dogs wrestling in the middle (*shudder*) - which is copying a lot of the US, I think. Somehow, they don't seem to have the concept of dogs hiking with their owners offleash, like they do in NZ and the UK. Wish I was in Switzerland!!!

    Hsin-Yi

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