Does your dog feel the need? The need for speed? Well, if he can pass a series of problem-solving tests and you live in the UK, he may get his chance to fly a jet and ride Maverick’s tail. Just make sure he doesn’t let his mouth write checks his body can’t cash!
OK, enough Top Gun references. Let’s get real. European television station Sky 1 has premiered its Dogs Might Fly, a show which offers exactly what it sounds like it offers. Dogs who might fly a plane. The show features 12 of the most promising pups from across the UK – all rescues! The dogs were selected based on their intelligence and ability to problem solve by Animal Behaviorist, Mat Ward and Dog Trainers, Cath Philips and Charlotte Wilde.
Dogs Might Fly is being filmed for Sky 1 by Oxford Scientific Films who released the following statement:
We will make even the most devoted dog lovers see their pets in a whole new light; proving that dogs have distinct personalities and incredible levels of intelligence.
While the concept has certainly raised eyebrows and garnered plenty of hype, Stanley Coren, professor of canine psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver told The Independent the whole idea is ludicrous:
Given that we would not expect a human three-year-old to be able to fly a plane, I would not expect that a dog could do so either.
Here’s the concept: The 12 pup-testants plucked from Europe’s most proficient pooches will compete at various tasks at a mansion in Sussex. The trio of expert behaviorists and trainers will assess the dogs’ reactions to such experiences as fur-raising speedboat rides across the River Thames and treks to the tops of London’s tallest landmarks.
Each test is designed to reveal the dogs’ abilities to handle the various experiences of piloting an aircraft such as speed, height, and of course, fear. Oxford Scientific Films assures that the dogs’ skills in communication, empathy, memory and reasoning will also be evaluated before they are put through the most stressful challenges.
The final 3 super canines will gain entrance to doggy “flight school” led by New ZealandDriving Dogs star, Mark Vette. All aircraft controls will be specially modified to accommodate the pups and allow them to steer and operate the planes. After 10 weeks of intense training the last pooch standing just may make history and take to the skies during the finale of the 6 episode event.
Sky 1 has promised to reveal more details during the hour long premier episode. To learn more about the 12 adorable contestants and get a look at their furry mugs, check out the Daily Mail.
In the meantime… talk to me, Goose.
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