Monty the dog drives a car perfectly, unlike Don, the tractor-crashing sheepdog,
Forget walkies! Monty the dog drives a car to perfection round a racecourse to focus attention on a New Zealand dog-rescue charity. Unlike Don – the Scottish sheepdog in the news recently for accidentally driving his owner’s tractor onto the motorway and crashing into the central reservation – Monty, a giant schnauzer-cross, has been trained to drive by the Auckland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Monty, together with fellow abandoned pups Porter the bearded-collie cross and Ginny the beardie-whippet cross, was first taught to make the necessary movements to manipulate the levers and buttons, then over a number of weeks they progressed to taking the controls of a go kart in their training facility…
Once they were considered top dogs at the steering wheel they were allowed to move on to a specially adapted Mini, which has handles on the steering wheel and dashboard-height brakes, for ease of use. The car also has an accelerator pedal and a speed limiter, to make sure these dogs don’t go haring down the track…
After a couple of months, with their training completed, the furry drivers took to the racecourse, to show off their expertise to the cameras with their trainers guiding them from outside the car. Monty followed Porter and having started the engine, he changed gear and steered off, managing to drive down the straight and negotiate the sharp corner before bringing the car safely to a halt.
The charity hoped the driving dogs would demonstrate how unwanted pets are not second-class canines, but have lots of potential and can be rewarding and intelligent companions.
The charity was inundated with offers to rehome the three driving dogs but they were all eventually adopted by their trainers. Monty now lives on a farm – maybe he could give Don a few lessons!