How to Teach a Dog to Drive
Teaching a Pup to Drive
One of the great joys in the life of
a dog owner is finally handing the keys over to your loyal friend.
The first time you watch him back out of the driveway and give you a
big tongue-dripping grin as he slides into first gear will be the moment
you'll frame on your wall of memories. And as he crisply accelerates
toward the freedom that all pets might well deserve, you will howl for
your own wild spirit in knowing that you were able to teach your furry
little buddy how to drive a car.
The primary challenge in preparing your
four-legged friend for his four-wheeled lifestyle will be breaking him
of the habit of chasing other cars. All pups are born with the
instinct to follow. Early on you'll notice that it doesn't matter
who or what is leading, as long as it is moving, your puppy will be
attempting to follow. This habit *must* be corrected before you
allow him behind the wheel of an automobile, otherwise it is very likely
that your dog will follow other cars inappropriately. These actions
often lead to civil action against your furry follower in the form of
restraining orders and, in the worst cases, monetary damages for emotional
suffering. Your dog will have his license revoked, his pride stripped,
and his social standing ruined.
When you are satisfied that he can control
his insatiable lust for all things in motion, it is time to put him
behind the wheel and introduce him to the rules of the road. This
is very important: you must at all times remember that he is a
dog, not a human. As far as senses go, a dog's keenest sense is
smell, followed by hearing and then, distantly, sight. You must
teach him to see with his nose and to smell with his eyes. A dog
uses a different balance of senses to safely navigate a car from point
A to point B. Attempting to rely solely on visual acuity will
leave your fledgling friend ill-prepared for the challenges of the road.
The Keenest of Dog Senses
Unfortunately for canine and human-kind
alike, the streets are not lined with salami. Surprisingly, though,
each geographic area has a distinct odor. Tests performed by advanced
researchers have found that dogs can differentiate among virtually indistinguishable
places merely by small variance in the amount or type of foliage.
Imagine a vocabulary of smells. When we see a tree and some grass
and a utility pole, we can describe those things using words.
Dogs describe those things using smells. Unfortunately, that smell
can't be reproduced, but it can be remembered. This gives dogs
an extraordinary navigational tool built into their brains. Most
dogs can even distinguish between the conceptual "left" and
conceptual "right" (as long as they are in the northern hemisphere)
because tree dander will swirl in a clockwise pattern (see Coriolis
effect) causing certain smells to "drop out" to the right
of the swirl and others to drop to the left. If you use olfactory
devices in your automobile to help train your dog, it will be a very
easy matter of aligning right with right and left with left once he
has caught on, which will lead to fewer, "Oh bleep, puppy, you
are driving on the wrong side of the highway" moments.
When you've properly wired your automobile
with Google Dogs and Maps, the real training begins. If you remember
way back, the first command your pup probably learned was "sit".
And how did you get him to sit on command? Simply by stating the
word "sit" at the exact moment he was in the process of sitting.
The easy way to induce a "sit" action was to hold a treat
over the dog's head and move it slowly backwards. Once he heard
"sit" enough times with the actual process of sitting, no
treat was necessary.
Google Dogs and Maps
For driving, there are 5 main commands
he must learn: Accelerate, Brake, Turn Left, Turn Right, and Honk.
Using Google Dogs and Maps (gDAM) along with the Rhinolfactory Training
Module(RTM), you'll want to practice these maneuvers with your pup
by playing the voice activated command for "Turn Left" at
the exact moment the aerosol bacon sprays from the left side of the
RTM improvised gDAM rig on the dashboard. Similarly, you'll want
to practice each direction. gDAM recommends using goose poop aerosol
for "Turn Right", stink-shoe for "Brake", cat pulp
for "Accelerate", and stagnant pond water with midsummer algal
bloom for "Brake". If your dog is a smart one, he'll
catch on in no time. Before long gDAM won't even need to release the
evocative smells that cause junior pooch to steer the car with his lunges
toward the wild, wonderful aromas billowing from the device in front
of him. No, he'll just be steering the car without the stink.
Now comes a word of warning: most pups will crash a few times before society would consider them "adequate" drivers. Because of the steep learning curve, it becomes a nightmare to insure them. Premiums are outrageous for dogs behind the wheel, so we recommend the following: Emancipate your pet before allowing him to drive. You will obviously still be his caretaker, bread-winner, and pooper-scooper, but, in the eyes of the law, you will no longer be legally responsible for his transgressions. If he does happen to cause some property damage with poor driving decisions (dogs hate to yield, for example), just present his emancipation papers to the inquiring legal entity and it'll be clear that pup is the only responsible party. And when the only responsible party's earthly possessions consist of what may be buried under the back porch, the "wronged" persons tend to sulk away without any legal paws to stand on. Of course, this isn't exactly ethical, but, if you are ketchup-on-eggs crazy enough to let your dog behind the wheel of a car, you probably don't have a rigorous set of principles anyway. In short, don't even bother insuring him. Though, one final word of caution: if you do choose to allow him to drive uninsured, you absolutely must teach him high-speed evasive driving techniques in order to outrun any law enforcement officers and or jealous husbands.
Links to Other Dog Articles
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