News

Dogs can drive - here's the proof

Ginny practices taking a car for a spin.
Ginny practices taking a car for a spin. www.facebook.com/drivingdogs

THREE dogs in New Zealand are learning how to drive in a bid to change the public's perception on the intelligence of rescue dogs.

Monty, Ginny and Porter have been taking driving lessons for the last eight weeks in preparation for an official test drive on live television - hoped to position SPCA rescue dogs as a top choice for adoption in New Zealand.

Porter's drive will air on Campbell Live next week as the 10-month-old Beardie Cross takes the wheel of a Mini Countryman.

Mini came on board with Auckland SPCA's project to help change "common misconceptions" about rescue dogs.

The challenge was then taken up by acclaimed animal trainer Mark Vette and his team from Animals on Q to showcase just how intelligent SPCA dogs can be.

"I think sometimes people think because they're getting an animal that's been abandoned that somehow it's a second-class animal," said SPCA Auckland CEO Christine Kalin.

But SPCA dogs are just as intelligent as any other pet, she said.

"Driving a car actively demonstrates to potential rescue dog adopters that you can teach an old dog new tricks. The dogs have achieved amazing things in eight short weeks of training, which really shows with the right environment just how much potential all dogs from the SPCA have as family pets."

The trio was selected from SPCA Auckland two months ago when they were rehoused at Animal on Q headquarters to begin their "doggy driver training process".

"Monty, Porter and Ginny are great dogs each with their own distinct personality. You wouldn't believe any dog could learn to drive a car on its own and the way all three SPCA rescue dogs have taken to training really does prove that intelligent creatures adapt to the situation they're in. It really is remarkable," said trainer Vette.

Kalin said Mini approached Auckland SPCA about the campaign.

"We have a relationship where we have a common love of animals and they're a trusted partner."

She said while the SPCA had never done anything like this before, last night's preview on Campbell Live had been met with a wave of positive feedback.

"People have a compassionate view towards animals that have no home.

"One of our hopes with this campaign is not only do we see an increase in adoption in the next month but on a long-term basis too."

And thoughts on whether Porter's test drive will be a success?

"Like the rest of the New Zealand we'll just have to sit back and hope they perform on the day," she said.

>>Find out more on the Driving Dogs Facebook page

Topics:  dogs, driving, editors picks, new zealand, rspca



Blood thicker than water for ex-Shark Wheeler

Mal Wheeler will be cheering son-in-law Blair on in Sunday's grand final. Blair is pictured scoring a try against Canberra in last weekend's preliminary final.

I have my shirt and beanie and they're both purple.

Which was the best flower at the Murwillumbah Garden Show?

WINNER: Murwillumbah and District Garden Club president Wayne Tagget with Ted Chilcott's winning entry for the general cut flower section.

IN A sea of bright blooms there could only be one champion.

Tweed product Cheysing NRL premiership dream

STORMING: Tweed Heads and Bilambil Jets' product Cheyse Blair scores a try for the Melbourne Storm during the NRL preliminary final against the Canberra Raiders.

Former Bilambil jet in NRL's big dance.

Local Partners

Sludge metal heaven served up across Australia

Black Rheno bring their stripped back sludge metal through regional Australia.

Black Rheno to hit a town near you

Prog metal upstarts to tour Australia

Caligula’s Horse, one of the country’s most exciting and innovative progressive bands, will hit the road for a national tour in November.

Australian prog masters announce national tour

Debra Messing wants to do a 'naughty' Will and Grace reunion

'Will & Grace' star Debra Messing wants a "naughty" reunion

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'working on custody agreement'

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are thrashing out a custody agreement

10 of the worst wedding day disasters

Getting hitched without a hitch. That's the aim, right?

Trump's comments make light of statutory rape

Trevor Noah has gone to town on Donald Trump's sexism

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

Penthouse in beach paradise

Take in the beach front views from the balcony of 701/ 4-10 Douglas Street, Kirra.

This beachfront penthouse is the perfect place to enjoy the views.

Casuarina sets the benchmark in Tweed market

Our property market is as strong as it's been since the crisis

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record