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New Zealand now has Driver's Ed... for dogs!

Well, looks like the SPCA New Zealand has a new trick to teach dogs that even some humans still can’t seem to figure out, driving.

Seriously, watch the video below for a preview of what the future may hold for our K-9 friends:

Ghost Theory writes:

Yes, it’s a topsy turvy world, filled with amazing and bizarre things. However, this is one that I don’t think anyone ever expected. The following story may not be paranormal, but on the freak you out scale, it ranks right up there, especially if you happen to be sitting in the vicinity. This is the story of Monty, Porter and Ginny, three lovable K-9s in New Zealand. Of course they spend their days doing what dogs do, barking, playing, begging for affection and treats. However, there is more to this motley crew than you would expect. In fact, they are involved in intensive training and it ain’t to catch Frisbees. The SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has decided that it would be quite an effective publicity tool if man’s best buddy could be taught how to drive a car. Yes, I said it! Drive a car! What better way to show just what our four legged friends are capable of than to put them behind the wheel of a 3,000 Lb. battering ram. I mean, come on! They couldn’t do any worse than half the population of America, right? Commentary from Sky News: “Three rescue dogs in New Zealand have been taught how to drive a car. Monty, Porter and Ginny have learned the skills to prove how intelligent dogs can be, in an attempt to encourage more potential owners to come forward. The drive for publicity by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals saw the four-legged friends spend weeks getting to grips with four wheels. The dogs, a giant schnauzer, a whippet cross and a beardie cross can change gear, steer and brake. They sit in a driving position on their haunches responding to instructions called out from the dog behaviour experts. Animal trainer Mark Vette and his team began training the animals using a mock vehicle before introducing them to a real car – a Mini especially adapted for paws. He said: “We chain behaviours together … in this case we’ve got 10 behaviours we’re putting together. Then you put them into a sequence. 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. “So we’ll start the car, get into position, brake on, gear in place, back onto the steering wheel, accelerator, take off and hoon (drive fast) along the straight and then stop.” However, the animal trainer says things did not always go smoothly when the dogs got into the real car. “A couple of days ago the car was going too fast, the trainer nearly got run over,” he said. Now the animals can start a car, accelerate and steer they are scheduled to show off their skills on live TV in New Zealand next week. For the final test the dogs will also have to brake as they are driving along a narrow lane. Trainers are hoping they won’t become too distracted driving past any lamp posts.” I for one think this is a terrific way to show us just how valuable discarded dogs can be and I applaud the SPCA for their ingenuity.

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