Auckland, New Zealand – Trainers have been able to teach a handful of dogs how to drive a car, according to KXAN.
After spending a bit of time getting the animals familiar with the mechanics of piloting an automobile, the trainers turned the canines loose with the real thing. Although it may sound like some sort of goofy internet stunt, apparently the dogs are quite proficient behind the wheel.
Monty, Ginny, and Porter have been instructed by their handlers on the finer points of starting the vehicle, changing gears, acceleration, and proper braking. The dogs can even steer the automobile.
According to The Telegraph, officials at the New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are using the dogs as a way to highlight the animals’ intelligence. The SPCA is hoping this will inspire more people to adopt adult canines from local shelters.
“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,” animal trainer Mark Vette explained, adding that someone is always on-hand to show the canines what to do.
How does a person go about training a dog to pilot a car? It all boils down to tapping into the animals’ natural instincts.
“In this case, we’ve got 10 behaviors we’re all putting together,” Vette said. “So each behavior is a trained behavior, and then you put them into a sequence. So 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.”
In other words, you probably shouldn’t rush out to the garage and stick your dog behind the wheel of your new hybrid.
Video of the dogs being taught to drive cars has been embedded below. What do you think about canines getting behind the wheel?