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Dogs learning to drive down under

Monday December 10th 2012

Dog owners are used to taking their pets for walks, but soon they could find themselves being driven around by their canine charges.

Three stray dogs are being taught to drive and are said to have already achieved "amazing" successes in just eight weeks.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in New Zealand is instructing Porter, a collie cross, Monty, a schnauzer cross and Ginnie, a collie whippet cross, on the art of motoring.

The dogs are being trained in an adapted Mini Countryman vehicle, after starting out in a smaller custom-made car at the charity's base in Auckland. The animals control an accelerator, brake, gear-stick and steering wheel using their paws.

However, owners might want to consider the costs of motoring Pet Insurance before letting their dogs drive them around.

The SPCA's Christine Kalin said: "Driving a car actively demonstrates to potential rescue dog adopters that you can teach an old dog new tricks."

Trainer Mark Vette said: "It proves intelligent creatures adapt to the situation they're in. It's remarkable."

Copyright Press Association 2012

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