For those of you learning to drive, it might sting a little to know that dogs have beaten you to it…
Three rescue dogs in New Zealand, Porter, a ten-month old beardie cross, Monty, an 18-month-old schnauzer cross, and Ginny, a one-year-old beardie whippet, have learned to drive … (stick). In under eight weeks, the homeless pups were comfortably driving specially-built wooden carts designed to simulate a standard moving car, and they have now graduated to a BMW Mini that has been modified with extension levers for their feet. Sat upright in the drivers seat, the dogs control the accelerator and the break with their back paws while their front paws rest on the gear stick and the steering wheel.
The amazing experiment has been organized by an animal welfare group in New Zealand and all the dogs were rescued by the SPCA who hopes the public will be so impressed that they will adopt them and others like them. The aim of the experiment was to show the public just how intelligent dogs are, a goal they’ve most certainly reached.
“I think sometimes people think because they’re getting an animal that’s been abandoned that somehow it’s a second-class animal,” says Christine Kalin, the chief executive of the SPCA in Auckland, “This really shows with the right environment just how much potential all dogs from the SPCA have as family pets.”¹
‘”We train them to do different actions, touch is the first thing and then we teach them to touch the different objects with the right paw and left paw,” explains Mark Vette, one of the dog trainers. “They’ve all come through at this point and they’re all going really well”¹.
See them in action:
In order to prove that you really can teach a dog to drive and demonstrate how super-intelligent these animals really are, the SPCA, in collaboration with Mini New Zealand will broadcast Porter, the 10 month old beardie cross, live and exclusive as he attempts to become the world’s first driving dog.
The broadcast will air next Monday at 7PM New Zealand time. Show your support and join the Driving Dogs Facebook page for more videos and to follow this gripping (and very cute) story.
Source: Perth Now
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