Dogs taught to drive by NZ animal welfare group

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A New Zealand animal welfare group eager to prove the intelligence of shelter dogs has spent eight weeks teaching three of them how to drive.

Three mixed breed dogs were chosen by the Auckland SPCA from a group of seven and given daily training exercises to familiarise themselves with the mechanics of driving.

After just eight weeks Porter, Monty and Ginny were put behind the wheels of an adapted Mini Cooper and took to putting it into gear, accelerating and steering.

"They don't have a license, so that poses some challenges, so it's a very controlled environment," Auckland SPCA CEO Christine Kalin told ninemsn.

Previously the dogs have been driving with the help of an assistant inside the car, but next Monday night they will be driving solo on live New Zealand television.

"They will hop in, start the car, put it into gear, use the accelerator," Ms Kalin said.

Ms Kalin described the three pooches as "highly adoptable", but said the SPCA would look carefully through requests to ensure they ended up in the best possible homes.

"They are very intelligent, but they aren't any more special than any of the other SPCA dogs," she said.

"Our dream would be throughout our major cities and across Australasia will be people will be proud of owning a rescue dog."

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