Man’s best friend is now being trained as possibly man’s best driver. As a potential (and somewhat surreal) incentive for adoption, the Auckland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has been training rescue dogs how to drive a car. While it may seem a bit peculiar, the canine family has always been recruited in other human assist activities—leading the blind, working with law enforcement—and as it turns out, dogs are just as capable of driving a vehicle.
The Auckland SPCA had trained a group of cross-breed rescue dogs and the vehicle itself, a Mini Cooper Countryman, was inevitably modified to contour to the dogs’ anatomy. The Mini’s brake and accelerator were moved closer to the steering wheel for better accessibility and the steering wheel as well as the shifter had extra padding to provide a better grip for the dogs’ paws. As this was a test run after only 8 weeks of training, the car’s speed had been limited to only a walking pace.
And while the test run wasn’t without its mishaps, the dogs did fairly well—which is still a sight to see.
You can watch dogs being taught how to drive a car here.