— -- Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
One U.K. production company hopes to prove this old wives’ "tail" false -- but not by teaching the pups to rollover or play dead.
"Dogs Might Fly" is a new U.K. television show that puts man’s best friend to the ultimate test: flying a plane. After all, dogs have learned to drive cars, so why not planes? But this show has one special humanitarian twist: The dogs learning to fly are being given a new "leash" on life, as they were all unwanted or abandoned dogs rescued from shelters.
The six-part series begins with a team of dog experts scouring the U.K. countryside in search of rescue dogs with talent, eventually narrowing the field to 12 dogs -- each with very different personalities but all with extraordinary intelligence.
From there, the dogs are moved to a mansion in the South East England (sounds "ruff," eh?), where they are put through specialized training that tests their memory, as well their ability to reason, communicate and solve problems. The top dogs in the class ultimately advance to flight school where they will learn to fly a single engine aircraft.
So "howl" hard will it actually be to train these dogs?
Robin Bennett, chair of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, told ABC News there are a lot of variables for the trainers to consider, but suggests that dogs could be smart enough to fly a plane ... of sorts.
“They’re smart enough to follow a sequence of behaviors that they can be taught to do,” Bennett said.
“Touching or manipulating a control is easy to teach in terms of the actual function,” she added. “That kind of thing trainers do with positive reinforcement all the time.” For example, a light comes on the dashboard and the dog has to respond by pushing a button or, in this case, pulling up on a throttle.
Sounds "pawsitively" awesome to us!