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MINI teaches adopted dogs to drive

In New Zealand, canines are really getting ready to drive cars.

By AutoWeek Dec 6, 2012 12:01PM

Everyone likes to think they've got the smartest pooch on the block, Autoweek editors included. Even so, few of us have tried teaching our canine Einstein to drive.

Well, MINI has teamed up with the New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to do just that. The SPCA has released a series of videos showing the modification of a MINI Cooper S to accommodate a canine driver, a bit of doggie driver's education and yes, some clips of dogs driving. There's more information on the aptly named Drivingdogs Facebook page.

The idea behind the elaborate campaign is simple: If the SPCA and MINI can team up to teach a dog to drive, you'll have no trouble housebreaking and training your newly adopted mutt. 

It's undeniably gimmicky, but we're enthralled anyway. Besides, the whole concept got us thinking: What if man's best friend could also be man's personal driver? Top-shelf dog food is less expensive than a chauffeur's salary. Who knows—the landaulet body style, unfashionable for decades, might even make a comeback.

Of course, you'll want to choose the right dog for your vehicle, or vehicle for your dog. We have a few suggestions:

Bugatti Type 41 Royale: We imagine a dignified, noble breed—perhaps a Weimaraner—behind the wheel of this stunning luxury battleship.

Jeep Grand Wagoneer: A chocolate lab is an obvious choice, although a Newfoundland or pointer would work here as well.

Mercedes-Benz G-class or Audi A7 Security: Only a German shepherd will do.

Rolls Royce Silver Cloud: A Welsh corgi, plus some phone books to help him see over the steering wheel.

Maybach 62 Landaulet: We're thinking a poodle with a tastelessly styled coat.

We'll leave it up to you to come up with more.

-- Graham Kozak


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