This is older news, but unique enough to let it occupy some space. We know not all stories are seen by everyone the first time around, so we present “Motor Mutts Learn to Drive in New Zealand” by AFP News.
Featured are shelter dogs from a second land down under, New Zealand.
It’s all because of a heartwarming project (with animal trainer Mark Vette) to highlight animal shelters, that preconceptions about shelter dogs have changed, shifting to show the potential of unwanted canines.
“The motorized mutts — Porter, Monty and Ginny — sit in the driver’s seat, belted in with a safety harness, using their paws to operate specially designed dashboard-height pedals for the accelerator and brakes at Vette’s command.
The car’s steering wheel has been fitted with handles, allowing the dogs to turn it, while the “starter key” is a dashboard-mounted button that the dogs press to get the motor running.”
The videos are proof enough… and follow on the next page.
Dogs have proved time and again how smart they are, even now when it comes to driving! Granted, it took 2 months of specialized training, and the dogs still need to follow commands, but we’ve all seen some human counterparts who don’t perform this well.
So, what we have here are dogs driving cars instead of dogs chasing cars…
Soon, all we’ll need to do is put the household dog behind the wheel of our Google car and the rest of us can enjoy being “chau-furred” around town.
As the results show in the videos:
(They’ve) taken to training really well, it really does prove that intelligent creatures adapt to the situation they’re in,” he said. “It’s really remarkable.”
What doesn’t show in the videos is that:
The dogs all had difficult backgrounds — Ginny was neglected, Monty dumped at the shelter because he was “a handful” and Porter a nervous stray, according to the Auckland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
“Animals this smart deserve a home,” its chief executive Christine Kalin said.
Enjoy these videos.
Let’s start with… “Meet Porter. The World’s First Driving Dog.”
A highlights video of 2 minutes… featuring Monty: “Dogs learn to drive a car in New Zealand”
Also 2 minutes is… “Ginny’s Story”
And for the diehards, the complete 15 minute video… “Driving dogs test out their skills on the track”
You are encouraged to read the original article where you’ll find the rest of the scoop about the project and these dogs.
News to Share Brief source: the petMD article “Motor Mutts Learn to Drive in New Zealand”
Image license CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay by PublicDomainPictures
Youtube video links:
Dogs learn to drive a car in New Zealand
Meet Porter. The World’s First Driving Dog.
Driving dogs test out their skills on the track (15 minutes)