Watch Rescue Dogs Learn to Fly a Plane

New Zealand-based animal behavior expert Mark Vette turned rescue dogs into pilots!

We all know that dogs can do tons of cool things, from acting as therapy pets to seeing for the blind. But could you ever imagine that pups would fly planes?

In this 6 1/2-minute “Dogs Might Fly” video, we see the astonishing results of New Zealand-based animal behavior expert Mark Vette‘s work with teaching rescue dogs how to operate airplanes. After guiding pups through driving cars, Vette — who’s logged a bunch of firsts in the world when it comes to doing amazing things with animals — figured the next logical step would be to take the challenge to the sky.

So he and some of his top trainers took the time to create a training regimen for flying. It’s fairly simple: A blue light means turn to the left, red means turn to the right, and white means stay the course. This protocol was given to rescues Reggie, Shadow, and Alfie, who endured four months of training and finished flight school before going airborne.

With paws firmly on the controls (and an experienced co-pilot present, thank goodness!), the pooches complete figure eights in the sky. It’s the kind of thing you have to see to believe, so let’s be grateful for YouTube.

Whitney C. Harris

Whitney is a New York-based writer for websites including Dogster,, and A former book and magazine editor, she enjoys running (with her dog, Finley), watching movies (also with Finley), and cooking meatless meals (usually with Finley watching close by). She and her husband (and Finley, too) welcomed a baby girl named Rowan in August.


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