Secret life of the ‘human pups’: Weird world of the grown men who enjoy dressing up as DOGS in roleplay craze sweeping the nation
- Around 10,000 people in the UK enjoy the pet play craze
- Men tend to prefer dressing as dogs while women identify more as kittens
- Channel 4 met and filmed some of the ‘human pups’ for its documentary
- One of them, Tom, won the coveted Mr Puppy UK title as ‘Spot’
- ‘Puppy play is definitely not about sex, it is a form of escapism,’ says Kye, a 28-year-old Oxford graduate who looks after some of the pups.
Around 10,000 people follow the pet play craze in the UK, according to Channel 4’s Secret Life of the Human Pups, which explores the phenomenon.
Kye says: ‘Females who are into pet play are usually into kitten play as they identify more with kittens than pups.’
The programme also features the sad story of Tom, 32, a theatre technician from Tring, Hertforshire, who split up with his fiancee Rachel because of his yearning to dress up as a Dalmatian.
He says: ‘You disappear and start chasing puppy toys. You go so deep into the head space, you crave it and want it. It’s just magic.’
‘I didn’t understand it. I didn’t want to understand it,’ says Rachel, who remains friends with Tom.
Tom has spent more than £4,000 over the past 10 years on his canine habit and he shows off his rubber costume, complete with breathing tube, but admits: ‘It is quite awkward to put on, you need a lot of talc.’
So intense is Tom’s craving that he has taken to sleeping in a dog training crate, lined with puppy training pads in case he has to answer the call of nature.
Tom – or Spot, as he likes to be known – was crowned Mr Puppy UK in November – pipping Minty and Oakleigh – and is filmed travelling to the finals of Mr Puppy Euro in Belgium.