Dogs gone driving: Man's best friend hits the road in a Mini

Pigs might not yet be able to fly, but dogs can now drive, thanks to the efforts (and a lot of training) by a New Zealand charity.

Pigs might not yet be able to fly, but dogs can now drive, thanks to the efforts (and a lot of training) by a New Zealand charity.

Teaching a dog to drive might seem absurd. However, there's an altruistic aim to the exercise. The folks at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Auckland created the program to show rescue dogs are smart and can be trained to do just about anything in an effort to increase adoption rates.

As the SPCA puts it: Dogs this smart deserve a home. Adoption offers have poured in--for at least two of the three driving dogs--since live video of their feat aired this week, reported the New Zealand Herald.

A team of trainers led by animal psychologist Mark Vette taught three shelter dogs how to drive a car. You can check out the whole process, including how the team ultimately picked Porter, Ginny and Monty, challenges like car sickness and their basic and advanced training.

Porter, the dog in the video below, is the first dog to successfully drive a MINI Countryman car. The car, which was donated by Mini, was modified by Ikon Engineering to allow the dogs to reach the pedals. The car is set up similar to a special needs vehicle for people with the addition of a few dog-friendly features.

The brake, ignition and accelerator are placed within reach of a dog and special handles were installed on the steering wheel to accommodate paws, instead of hands.

Photo: Screenshot from SPCA video

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com