Dogs Trained To Drive Mini In New Zealand

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Yes, you read the headline right. Three dogs have been trained to drive customised Mini Coopers in Auckland, New Zealand. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Mini have joined forces to create awareness about dogs through this unique attempt.

SPCA has stated that it trained three dogs to drive cars to change misconceptions about shelter and rescue dogs. The three dogs - Monty, Porter and Ginny were trained by Mark Vette, an animal trainer from Animals on Q.

The Mini Countryman cars driven by the dogs have been modified to suit them. The dogs were trained for eight weeks. The trainers used mock controls to train the dogs on how to start the car, put the car in to gear, accelerate, apply brakes and steer.

The story continues. Click through the slides for more:

Driving Dogs

SPCA, Auckland New Zealand has trained three dogs to drive cars.

Driving Dogs

The dogs were initially trained in side using mock settings where they were trained to change gear, apply brakes and steer.

Driving Dogs

Mini New Zealanand has modified the Mini Countryman specifically to suit the needs of the driving dogs.

Driving Dogs

controls such as accelerator and brakes are closer to the steering so that the dogs can use them using their paws.

Driving Dogs

SPCA undertook this unique project to increase awareness about rescued and shelter dogs.

Driving Dogs

The dogs were trained for eight weeks by animal trainers and were successful in driving through a closed circuit track.

Driving Dogs

Here are the three dogs - Monty, Porter and Ginny driving Mini Countryman cars on a closed circuit.

Driving Dogs - Vidie

Check out how the three dogs drive the Mini Country. Unbelievable - believe it.

Driving Dogs

The dogs were first trained to use brakes. Safety always comes first.

Driving Dogs

Driving Dogs

Driving Dogs

Driving Dogs

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Driving Dogs

The dogs are so well trained that they can independently drive through a closed circuit. Two of the dogs even drove on live television in New Zealand. Speaking about this unique event, SPCA, Aucklann CEO Christine Kalin said: " We hope that people will take the ‘driving dogs' message to heart and that SPCA dogs will be their first choice, not only because they are smart and intelligent, but because they have been abandoned and deserve a home."

The Mini Countryman driven by the dogs is powered by a 181bhp turbocharged 1.6-litre four pot engine. Mini New Zealand who actively participated in this project has said it was a unique experience personalising its cars for four legged drivers.

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Story first published: Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 12:58 [IST]
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