[Watch] Teaching an Old Shelter Dog the New Trick of Flying a Plane

(Photo: Sky 1)

[Watch] Teaching an Old Shelter Dog the New Trick of Flying a Plane

it's a bird... it's a plane... it's a dog flying a plane!

Published April 1, 2016

Shadow is one of the dogs shown in the Sky 1 series Dogs Might Fly. In the series, expert trainers use techniques and experiments to test dog empathy, communication, and intelligence.

All of the dogs in the program are rescue dogs that were at one point abandoned by their owners. The same trainers, who’ve also taught a dog how to drive a car, facilitated the series of experiments.

Shadow stood out from the pack when he successfully completed an experiment where he retrieved a treat hanging from the ceiling. In order to reach the treat, he had to move a step up box across a room by pulling it with a rope.

Shadow was the first dog to complete the task, and the trainers knew he would be a viable candidate to learn to fly.

A light aircraft was taken up into the air, and once they reached a suitable altitude, Shadow took over the controls from the pilot. Shadow’s trainer sat behind him and “[pressed] buttons, which emit lights and noises in front of Shadow, directing him where to turn.”

While flying, Shadow was secured by a special harness and was trained to sit in a position that allowed him to steer the plane.

A video of a teaser for the episode can be seen below:

(Photo: Sky 1 via Youtube)

Written by Rachel Herron


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