Teaching Dogs to Drive Cars

Three dogs rescued from a New Zealand animal shelter are being taught to drive a car to show their intelligence and encourage people to give rescued animals a home. Full story: Man’s best friend is learning its latest, toughest trick yet. The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New Zealand is teaching three dogs to drive in order to highlight their intelligence and encourage people to adopt rescued animals. Chosen by trainer Mark Vette, the three car driving canines are Monty, an 18-month-old giant schnauzer, Ginny, a one-year-old whippet cross and Porter, a 10-month old beardie cross. Their training began in September. Like their human first-time-driver counterparts, they were first taught proper driving position and how to hold a steering wheel. After five weeks, movement was added by mounting training aids on a trolley. Then came a real car, with a trainer in the passenger seat to help out. But like any driver’s ed instructor, the trainers can tell you that it hasn’t always been a smooth ride. [Mark Vette, Trainer]: “We had a couple of days ago the car was going too fast, the trainer nearly got run over, the car, the breaking, the dogs but no, we’ve got it all here now. There’s no excuses. We’ve got to get in there and show that dogs can drive cars. It’ll be ‘dial-a-dog’ the week after this.” Now the dogs can start the car, accelerate and steer. They’ll eventually be evaluated by driving in a narrow lane, where the canines also have to break. But before

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