Dogs are one of the most intelligent animals on earth. But how smart dogs are? In hope to inspire people to adopt rescued dogs, the Auckland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) took a challenge by teaching dogs a new trick – driving a car!
Porter, Monty, and Ginny are all rescued dogs who undergo eight weeks of intensive training to learn how to drive a car.
After two months, the dogs were strapped into modified cars and headed down a racetrack to take a driving test.
See the amazing driving dogs in action.
The folks SPCA in Auckland created the program to show rescue dogs are smart and can be trained to do just about anything in an effort to increase adoption rates.
Trainer Mark Vette said, “It’s all the dog doing it. He’s started the key, put the paw on the brake to allow it to go into gear, put it into drive, paw on the steering wheel, accelerator on, and off he goes down the track.”
The cars have handles fitted on the steering wheels and dashboard-height brakes as well as accelerator pedals and a speed limiter to make sure the car doesn’t go above a walking pace.
This is Monty, an 18 month Giant Schnauzer.
Meet Ginny, a 1-year-old Beardie Whippet Cross.
And here’s Porter, a 10-month-old Beardie Cross.
According to Auckland SPCA CEO Christine Kalin, she was stunned by the global response, however, among the three dogs, Ginny received less interest from potential adopters, likely because she didn’t get as much air time.
She said, “We’ve had people offer to adopt Monty and Porter. We’ve had less interest in Ginny so she’s the one we’d really love not to have in the shelter too long.”
“Some people think that by getting a shelter dog they’re somehow getting a second class citizen; we’re with these dogs every day, we know how wonderful they are. This was an opportunity to show New Zealand – and as it’s turned out the world – how amazing these animals are,” She added.