Will dogs learn to fly a plane?

Dogs Might Fly - Oxford Scientific Films
Dogs Might Fly - Oxford Scientific Films

A trio of unwanted dogs from Appledown Rescue are set for TV stardom as millions of viewers watch them train to fly an AIRPLANE!

Poppy, Spike and Tess were selected from the Eaton Bray kennels to appear in Dogs Might Fly, a new Sky 1 series starting on Sunday.

Poppy.... Dogs Might Fly, Series 1, Episode 1


Poppy.... Dogs Might Fly, Series 1, Episode 1 Poppy

The show sets out to prove how ordinary dogs can achieve the extraordinary and, with the right training, learn to fly a single engine aircraft.

All 12 dogs on the show were strays abandoned by their owners or unwanted pets handed in to rescue kennels for rehoming.

Spike, an inquisitive young Parson-Jack Russell cross had been at Appledown awaiting a home for more than a year after he was found by the dog warden roaming the streets.

Kelpie-collie cross Poppy and boisterous Belgian shepherd pup Tess had both been handed over to the charity by their owners, who found them too much to handle.

Spike.....Dogs Might Fly, Series 1, Episode 1, Spike

Spike.....Dogs Might Fly, Series 1, Episode 1, Spike

Happily all three of them have now found homes – with Dogs Might Fly crew members or their friends who fell in love with them during filming.

Chair of Appledown trustees Julie Shelton said: We couldn’t have hoped for a happier ending for our dogs. All three of them had a wonderful time, learned lots, socialised with many other dogs and people and then found permanent loving homes.”

But Julie admits she thought it was a practical joke when the production team ​ from Oxford Scientific Films​ contacted her last year asking if they could audition Appledown pooches to be pilots.

“I just couldn’t see how it could be possible,” she said.

Tess... Dogs Might Fly, Series 1, Episode 1


Tess... Dogs Might Fly, Series 1, Episode 1 Tess

A team of experts, including trainers, animal behaviourists and vets, met a string of Appledown strays, selected the brightest three and took them to live in the lap of luxury in a Sussex mansion for 10 weeks of intensive training.

The six-part series, presented by Jamie Theakston, follows their progress. In the last episode, viewers will find out if a dog can fly a plane.

Jamie said: “I was surprised by our dogs’ ability to display empathetic behaviour bearing in mind the difficult circumstances most of them had grown up in.

“Even if a dog has been deprived of human contact or has been badly treated, it is just as able and motivated to initiate a new relationship with a human very quickly.

“The rescue dogs quickly transformed. It just goes to show that with enough patience and dedication you can achieve anything. Expect to be amazed by how dogs really think and feel!”

> Dogs Might Fly starts on Sunday on Sky 1 at 7pm.