So pigs can't fly - but four clever pooches showed they could, no sweat.

Working dogs from the Royal New Zealand Air Force and police were winched on to a helicopter hovering 15m above the ground and spent about 20 minutes being flown around on Friday as part of their ongoing training to prepare them to be airlifted into difficult terrain.

The exercise was carried out at the RNZAF Base in Auckland and military working dog co-ordinator Sergeant Jeremy Drummond said it was a great chance to give the dogs and their handlers refresher training and and ensure they would not be unduly stressed by the situation.

NZ Police and NZDF teaming up to give their working dogs familiarity with operations around helicopters.
NZ Police and NZDF teaming up to give their working dogs familiarity with operations around helicopters.

The two air force and two police dogs had already undergone familiarisation with helicopters as part of their initial training and last week's exercise was a refresher which they took part in without any problems.

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The dogs and their handlers were given a pre-flight safety briefing before being winched up on to the RNZAF NH90 medium-utility helicopter in pairs. The air force dogs are primarily used for security while the police dogs' duties include search and rescue and tracking.