Rover the racer: dogs in New Zealand learn to drive

Wednesday, 5th December 2012

Three mixed-breed dogs in New Zealand are swapping their walkies leads for seat belts after learning to drive.

The petrol-head trio – named Porter, Monty and Ginny – have been put behind the wheel of an adapted Mini Cooper by the Auckland SPCA, and are soon to show off their skills in a programme on national television.

Chief executive of the Auckland SPCA Christine Kalin told that the dogs are able to start the car, put it in gear, accelerate and steer, although they have yet to pass their theory test so the won't be venturing out onto the roads.

Instead they have been driving round an off-road race track in specially adapted cars that can be stopped remotely by SPCA staff at any time.

The idea behind the project is to highlight the intelligence of dogs in order to encourage more people to adopt them.

As you've no doubt seen in the movies, dogs are intelligent animals that can be trained to perform complex tasks, although maintaining your pet's mental health requires making sure they are well-fed with the correct dog food.