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Take me to Barking, driver
December 6, 2012 6:00 AM   Subscribe

Meet Monty, your designated driver. Don't be alarmed, GOOD BOY! he's trained.

You've probably heard of police dogs, guard dogs, drug and bomb detection dogs, dogs for the blind and hearing dogs. But an initiative by the Auckland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to show even unruly dogs can be trained by teaching them to drive has gone viral. They have their own YouTube channel.

Can you teach a dog to drive?

- Finding the drivers.
- Mini dogification.
- Basic training.
- Training on the rig.

Meet the chauwooffeurs.

- Ginny. Can she drive?
- Monty. Can he drive?
- Porter. Can he drive?
posted by MuffinMan (25 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Clever puppies!

Man, that's great. And, yeah, most "bad dogs" just have "bad owners".
posted by rmd1023 at 6:10 AM on December 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


2 Fast 2 Furry.
posted by fight or flight at 6:10 AM on December 6, 2012 [20 favorites]


The one upside is that they won't be texting while driving.

Downside: squirrels and cats.
posted by Forktine at 6:12 AM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


PetSmart just started installing larger bollards in front of their stores.
posted by orme at 6:17 AM on December 6, 2012


A friend of mine has a couple of beagles that we always joked would like to steal the car and drive through White Castle. This is making me a little bit nervous.

Although this also means that they could be designated drivers, which would be convenient. Well, one of them could. The other one is sort of a heavy drinker.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:18 AM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, that's awesome... Even as a huge proponent of Koehler training I must say I'm impressed that they're doing this using the clicker method, which seems totally ineffective in more "pedestrian" circumstances (yuk yuk yuk).
posted by Mooseli at 6:19 AM on December 6, 2012


I must admit, this makes a lot more sense than training a cat to drive.
posted by TedW at 6:25 AM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well...we have a 15 year old mix who is nearly blind.

Seven year old border collie.

Yea, we're fucked.
posted by stormpooper at 6:39 AM on December 6, 2012


Mooseli, I've found clicker training to be the most effective. It works well, as shown here.

It works on most mammals, including rats, cats, horses and dolphins.
posted by Malice at 6:40 AM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are so many racial jokes I could crack here, but I haven't had my coffee and don't want to freak anyone out.
posted by phaedon at 6:41 AM on December 6, 2012


I must admit, this makes a lot more sense than training a Plasticine-faced felt-helmet-haired actor to fly.
posted by achrise at 6:43 AM on December 6, 2012


Well...we have a 15 year old mix who is nearly blind.

To be fair, I think this is for helper dogs, so you could get a helper dog for your blind dog in a sort of canine recursion.

Things actually go well enough until someone lets their dog off the leash while the car is in gear. Then it all goes south quickly.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:06 AM on December 6, 2012


Damn, beaten to the first Toonces reference.
posted by maryr at 8:31 AM on December 6, 2012


God Tier of training montages
posted by MangyCarface at 9:13 AM on December 6, 2012


There are so many racial jokes I could crack here, but I haven't had my coffee and don't want to freak anyone out.
posted by phaedon at 9:41 AM on December 6 [+] [!]


Yeah let's not.
posted by pravit at 9:14 AM on December 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I sent this to my friend who is a dog-trainer, thinking she'd agree with me that cyoot. But instead, she said:

I think this is an unethical use of our human ability to train a dog for specific purposes. Unless this is for use as a service to people, it's a disservice to all dogs. Just because you can train something doesn't mean you should.

Thoughts?
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 10:05 AM on December 6, 2012


Is "my amusement" a service?
posted by achrise at 10:09 AM on December 6, 2012


Well I hope the exposure raises them a ton of cash. I was at a fundraiser for a wonderful rescue this weekend that volunteers put a ton of effort into, but raised them heartbreakingly little money. But yeah, you'd kind of wonder if the time and effort would be better spent making sure all the dogs in the shelter are incredibly good little citizens so they have less chance of coming back.
posted by jamesonandwater at 10:11 AM on December 6, 2012


Unless this is for use as a service to people, it's a disservice to all dogs

Except for the part where the purpose is to get more rescue dogs adopted (rather than, presumably, euthanized). Did she not watch through to the end?
posted by axiom at 10:17 AM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Daugffeurs ... what a time to be alive.
posted by Schadenfreude at 10:48 AM on December 6, 2012


Better a dog than a cat.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:46 AM on December 6, 2012


Galaxor, I disagree with your friend. I see this as accelerating the integration of non-human species into our culture. Anything that potentially expands the definition of human will benefit us all. Plus, I would totally let my dog drive, except I know she has a lead paw....
posted by ergomatic at 12:25 PM on December 6, 2012


Requisite: http://dogsdriving.blogspot.com/
posted by kensch at 12:34 PM on December 6, 2012


Yeah, I'm not feeling the unethical. Even putting the publicity benefits aside, I don't really see how training your dog to do a stupid trick, even a complicated stupid trick, is something harmful, something to be avoided without a benefit to offset it.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:41 AM on December 7, 2012


The video has been on Letterman, and an invite from Ellen. Oprah might even come out of retirement.

And on Monday, they go solo!
posted by arzakh at 1:05 AM on December 7, 2012


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