A PIG called Oakley reckons he’s a dog — and that’s no porker.
The hog chases balls, will “sit” and “lie down” when told and walks on a lead. He snorts at delivery drivers and goes to strangers for a stroke.
Josie Hunt, 51, of Sunflower Park Animal Sanctuary near Gainsborough, Lincs, took in the Kunekune breed pig when his owners could not cope.
She was not surprised to learn he grew up with dogs. She said: “It’s amazing. There’s no pig in him!”
Lovable Oakley’s confusion makes him a real-life ‘Babe’ like the ‘sheep-pig’ made famous by the children’s book and movie.
Baffled Josie said: “He lives in our front garden in a pen and when people walk past, they have to have a second look.
“If you throw him something he will go and get it, if you tell him to sit, he’ll do it and if you tell him to go to bed he does.
“That’s why we haven’t put him with the other pigs as they fight and he’s just too soft.
“Delivery drivers get a bit of a shock when they see him in the front garden and he runs right up to the gate and stands up on his legs like a dog – he loves getting a fuss from them.”
“We will get some funny looks when we go out on walks,” she added.
Debbie Emmerson, a Higher Education Lecturer in Canine Therapy and Animal Science at Writtle University College, said: "Pigs are more intelligent than many people realise.
“They have intellectual abilities comparable to dogs and like all animals will repeat behaviours that benefit them.
"This means they can be trained to perform a wide range of impressive behaviours on cue.
“Being raised in a home, it's likely Oakley had more formal training from his owners than most pigs would experience, and he may have mimicked what the dogs were doing through observational learning.”
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