Meet Porter. The World's First Driving Dog.
Dogs this smart deserve a home.
Every year, the SPCA need to find homes for thousands of dogs just like Porter -- dogs who have been abused, abandoned, or just forgotten. Our dogs may be a motley bunch, but they're all smart and they're all lovable.
So please don't forget about them. Adopt them.
To find out more about our #drivingdogs head to www.drivingdogs.co.nz or visit www.spca.org.nz today to adopt a dog.
1. Dogs being trained to drive cars in New Zealand (video).
2. Dog drives car by himself on live television.
Hoax or Fact:
The video messages show dogs driving a car on a race track, claiming that they were trained to do so. It is a fact. The three dogs became an internet sensation post these videos.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Auckland, New Zealand have rescued three dogs from an animal shelter and trained them how to drive, in an effort to show how intelligent they are - and encourage people to adopt abandoned pets.
The SPCA Training Process
The SPCA first chose 3 dogs for this training - 18-month-old giant schnauzer Monty, one-year-old whippet cross Ginny, and 10-month-old beardie cross Porter. They modified a Mini cooper car to make it easier for the dogs to drive. Then they gave the dogs basic training of driving, followed by driving on a rig equivalent to a car simulator. After two months of training, the final stage of course comprised of training the dogs to actually drive the modified mini cooper car, and then drive it on the race track. The second set of videos show and describe this training process of dogs into driving cars. You can even see the testing of these dogs' drive live on TV from here.
Testing the Dogs Drive
According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), on 10th December 2012, two of these three dogs even passed their driving test successfully on live TV. Ginny did not take the driving test on live TV as it received less interest from potential adoptees, mostly because she did not get as much air time. The animal trainer Mark Vette appreciates this interesting achievement of the dogs saying it's all the dog doing it - starting the key, putting the paw on the brake to allow it to go into gear, put it into drive, then paw on the steering wheel before starting the accelerator on, and going down the track.
The Purpose of the Campaign
It is to be noted that the Mini group of cars came on board with the Auckland SPCA's project to help change the "common misconceptions" about such rescue dogs. The CEO of SPCA Auckland addressed it saying that people sometimes think they're getting an animal that's been abandoned, that it's a second-class animal somehow. Through this campaign, the SPCA wanted more people to adopt these rescued animals.
As of now, it may not be possible for these dogs to drive the normal cars on our normal roads, but nevertheless, this is indeed a good gesture of SPCA - to give a home to the abandoned animals. And surprisingly, these driving dogs have continued to drive adoptions in New Zealand.