Did You Know Dogs Can Drive?

Did You Know Dogs Can Drive?

Author WDF Staff


There is no denying that dogs are smart. One Border Collie learned more than 1.000 words and names for different objects. They are capable of learning incredible things if they have dedicated enough owners or handlers and proper motivation.

SPCA in New Zealand decided to test how far dog training can go, and they taught two dogs to drive a car. The historic event was broadcasted, and Porter, a ten-month-old Bearded Collie crossbreed, was the first dog to drive a car. He was followed by Monty, an 18-month old Giant Schnauzer crossbreed that repeated everything his predecessor did.

Training process

Of course, teaching two dogs to drive a car is not a small thing, and it involved extensive training and dedication from the amazing staff at New Zealand SPCA. Of course, the actual cars had to be fitted with special controls because the dog’s anatomy wouldn’t allow them to drive a car like we do. Nevertheless, it is a fantastic achievement.

driving dogs new zealand

Initially, the staff started with three dogs, Monty, Porter, and Ginny. But only two advanced to the stage of driving a real car. They mentioned that the whole process lasted about 8 weeks and started with a makeshift cart with specially fitted controls. The first thing the four-legged racers learned is to steer the cart while their trainers were pulling them around.

In an interview their trainers made, they said,

"In this case, we've got 10 behaviors we're all putting together, so each behavior is a trained behavior, and then you put them into a sequence."

It is no surprise that these dogs are capable of learning such complicated tasks. Their parent breeds are considered some of the smartest dog breeds in the world.

You don’t need to train your dog to drive a car, but all dogs should undergo obedience training. Basic commands will teach them respect, behavior, and manners, and the most important thing, it will build a strong relationship between you and your dog.

monty and trainer in car

Bearded Collie

The Bearded Collie is closely related to the most intelligent dog breed in the world, the Border Collie. Bearded Collies, or Beardies, were used as herding dogs for several centuries in Britain. They are known for their mild, active, lively characters and their lovable disposition. You can read more about these dogs here - Bearded Collie breed profile.

Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzers are cattle driving dogs originating in Germany. They were used as personal and property protection dogs. Even the German police and military use these dogs for different tasks. That would not be possible if these dogs weren’t highly intelligent and trainable. You can read more about this breed here - Giant Schnauzer breed profile.

The driving

After the 8-week training period and countless dog treats used, it was time for the big day. A modified Mini Countryman was placed on a racetrack, and the drivers were ready. They were strapped in with their front paws on the wheel and their hind paws connected to the throttle and brakes.

spca dog driving

Their trainers were ready by the car, and they were by the dogs at all times. Porter was first in line for the drive, and he took off with no worries in the world. He listened to the commands and successfully maneuvered around the corner. Monty was right after him, and he was equally successful.

Adopting a dog

Dog adoption has some negative sides, especially if you are going for a younger dog that hasn’t fully developed yet. You can’t be sure whether the dog will be active or how big they will get. Yes, there are some uncertainties, but SPCA clearly showed that shelter dogs can be just as smart and capable as pureblooded dogs.

If you want to get a dog, but you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars for a top breeding line or get one from a shady breeder, adopting is always a great option. You will give a dog a new chance at life, and they will make excellent pets for you. Plus, this is an example of how smart and capable these dogs can be.

World Dog Finder team

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