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Driving school for dogs: a really good idea

Usually dogs are taught to sit, paw and at best fetch the newspaper.

But in 2012, a New Zealand driving school was established to train dogs to drive cars. It is the “Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals” which is at the origin of this movement which is, to say the least, original.

Indeed, this New Zealand animal rights association has trained dogs to demonstrate to the whole world the intelligence of our companions, which is not limited to being man's best friend.

This training was carried out on three dogs named Monty, Ginny and Porter, found abandoned by the association. The latter wanted to raise awareness among the population against this scourge by demonstrating that dogs can be used for much more than society suggests. The training took place in a Mini Cooper adapted for the occasion and lasted eight weeks. This learning therefore included the essential actions for driving, namely: accelerating, braking, turning the steering wheel and shifting gears.

Of course, this learning process was not easy. Before being able to drive a real car, the three dogs first practiced on a motorized chair.

Porter, Monty and Ginny learned to sit in the driver's seat, harnessed. Then, under the orders of Mark Vette, they use their paws to press the brake or accelerator pedals, installed on the dashboard.

“There are about ten attitudes to master: use the accelerator, put your paws on the steering wheel, start, put your paws on the brake…” explained instructor Mark Vette. "Each time the animal masters a new gesture, we make it repeat then we link all the gestures to each other, so that it learns to chain them together. First outside the car, then inside ". Three canines learned in eight weeks to master around ten maneuvers to “drive” a specially equipped car.

So, when will there be a dog-specific driving license?


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