First driving dogs, now flying dogs

First driving dogs, now flying dogs

What do you do once you've taught a dog to drive a car? Naturally, you teach it how to fly a plane.

That's what Kiwi animal behaviourist Mark Vette did with his rescue dog Reggie, and they've just returned from the UK.

"I mean you couldn't get him out of that plane," Mr Vette says.

"Once they opened the door he was in and he adopted his position as captain."

Under the wing of his trusty trainer, Captain Reggie spent two months in the UK mastering his flying technique in simulators.

It's for the UK-based TV series, Dogs Might Fly, where three dogs take to the skies in a four-seater Cessna 172.

"He can go for 20 minutes at a time, and he can pull 65 degree banks, and he can fly a figure eight all by himself," Mr Vette says.

Reggie was an SPCA rescue dog and Mr Vette says Animal Welfare was on board with his adventure, taking the back seat to ensure he was enjoying the ride. 

"He is a really smart dog," Mr Vette says.

"He's a Labrador-German Shepherd cross, so he's got that stability."

It seems that with a little bit of care and attention, there's nothing Reggie can't do.

"It explains that 30,000 year co-evolution of the dog with man and woman has created an amazing bond," Mr Vette says.

It's a bond that shows dog really is a man's best friend.


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