Dog Drivers

In New Zealand, three dogs learned how to drive cars.  Yep, you heard us right dogs learned to drive cars.

We know that this sounds like a practical joke, but it’s not it’s real. They are not just sitting in the cars looking like they are driving, they’re really operating them.  They started them out with specially modified training cars and then they moved them up to Mini Coopers.

Their feet work the gas and brake, their paws handle the steering wheel and shifter, while their eyes are on the road.

Researchers taught the dogs to drive because, well, how could you not? They also wanted to show how intelligent dogs can really be.

First they put the dogs through driving school in specially modified wooden training cars for eight weeks, then they tested the dogs in modified Minis.

“We train the dogs to do different actions,” said Mark Vette, the animal trainer who is teaching the dogs. “Touch is the first thing and then we teach them to touch the different objects with the right paw and left paw.

“They’ve all come through at this point and they’re all going really well.”

The point is to get people to adopt more shelter dogs. SPCA Auckland Chief Executive Christine Kalin said, “Sometimes, people think because they’re getting an animal that’s been abandoned that somehow it’s a second-class animal.”

The driving dogs, all rescues, are Porter, a 10-month-old Beardie Cross; Monty, an 18-month-old Schnauzer Cross; and Ginny, a 1-year-old Beardie Whippet Cross.

It’s truly amazing that dogs were trained in just eight weeks to drive cars!  No wonder they’re called man’s best friend, pretty soon they’ll be carpooling with us to work.  Check out the video here!

What are some amazing things you’ve trained your pets to do?