Teaching dogs to drive
The SPCA (Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals) are an organisation who take in stray animals as well as fight to prosecute irresponsible animal owners. In New Zealand they came up with a very clever advertising campaign which was designed to raise awareness of the organisation, but more importantly to show people how clever a shelter dog can be. Their goal was to get more people interested in adopting a rescue dog when considering adding another furry friend to the family.
So what they did was teach dogs to drive. Literally starting the car, putting it into drive, accelerating, braking and turning all by themselves. Three dogs were chosen and Vette and his team who have trained animals in movies such as Lord of the Rings and The Last Samurai began on a daily training program. The dogs, Monty a giant schnauzer, Ginny a beardie whippet cross and Porter a beardie cross spent there days learning to push buttons, move gear sticks and turn steering wheels and after 7 weeks they had their first in car training. After 12 weeks they were driving by themselves. News of the driving dogs soon spread around the world and the advertising campaign ended up being way more successful then expected.