Stray dogs can learn to drive better than your 16-year-old niece - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Stray dogs can learn to drive better than your 16-year-old niece

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(Image courtesy of Digital Trends) (Image courtesy of Digital Trends)


By Natt Garun
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Dogs are some pretty smart creatures. Cops use them to for search-and-rescue missions or drug hunts, the blind use them for street guidance, and Digital Trends' Andrew Couts trains his pup for pure, heart-warming YouTube fun. They've also been known, on several occasions, to be extremely heroic and loyal, saving numerous owners from fires, storms, and assaults. Since these canines are so good at learning various tricks, New Zealand's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) decided to teach them how to drive.

You've read that right: Drive. An activity most humans can't even perform properly. In a recently released video, the SPCA showcases three dogs -- Porter, Ginny, and Monty -- being taught to drive a Mini Cooper, and focuses on Porter making a right hand turn on a giant racing course. The car has been outfitted with custom, extended push pedals so most dogs can reach and control the mechanics.

"We train them to do different actions, touch is the first thing and then we teach them to touch the different objects with the right paw and left paw," dog trainer Mark Vette told News.au. "They've all come through at this point and they're all going really well."

What's even more impressive: The Mini still has a manual transmission, meaning the dog would be required to shift its own gears to successfully maneuver the road. Although the sample video shows Porter making a simple and slow turn, the idea that dogs can potentially drive a manual transmission car is just mind-blowing, to say the least, because that's clearly more than I can do.

Will dogs eventually become the new designated drivers? If so, this just gave a whole new meaning to these pups as man's best friend. Watch the video here to see Porter hitting the race track and schooling most 16-year-old Americans.

Correction: MIKEDV points out that the Mini Cooper being driven is actually automatic transmission. I'm no car expertise, but either way, Porter's ability to drive stands impeccably impressive and maybe he'll manage a manual transmission car one day. We can dream!

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This article was originally posted on Digital Trends
 
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