Watch these SPCA rescue dogs as they learn to drive a car. The exercise is designed to show how intelligent dogs can be, in an attempt to encourage more potential owners to come forward.

The animals can start a car, accelerate and steer. They sit in a driving position on their haunches responding to instructions called out from the dog behavior experts.

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Driving Dogs – Basic Training

Animal trainer Mark Vette and his team began training the animals using a mock vehicle before introducing them to a real car – a Mini especially adapted for paws.

He said: “We chain behaviors together… in this case we’ve got 10 behaviors we’re putting together. Then you put them into a sequence. It’s a lot to do, and for the dog to actually start to get an idea of what actually is happening takes quite a long time.

“So we’ll start the car, get into position, brake on, gear in place, back onto the steering wheel, accelerator, take off and hoon (=drive fast) along the straight and then stop,” said Mr Vette.