Who let the dogs drive?

Published: 08 December, 2012 09:24 IST | Agencies |

This might sound barking, but dogs in New Zealand have been taught to drive

Three rescue dogs are trained behind the wheel and they can steer, change gear and brake.

The clever canines, named Monty, Porter and Ginny showed off their impressive skills in a bid to encourage more owners to come forward. 

Motor mutts: Porter, one of the dogs being taught to drive, practices his driving skills, as he steers the car. The project aims at increasing pet adoptions from animal shelters. Pic/AFP

The pooches spent weeks learning the skills in a mock car before trying the real thing.

Trainer Mark Vette said: “We chain behaviours together... in this case we’ve got 10 behaviours we’re putting together. Then you put them into a sequence. It’s a lot to do, and for the dog to actually start to get an idea of what actually is happening takes quite a long time.”

He added, “So we’ll start the car, get into position, brake on, gear in place, back onto the steering wheel, accelerator, take off and hoon along the straight and then stop.”

But it hasn’t all been straight forward, as Mark added: “A couple of days ago, the car was going too fast, the trainer nearly got run over.”

Let’s hope it wasn’t too ‘ruff’ on him. 

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