Pup Play 101

A guide for newcomers to puppy play and Pup-curious folk wanting to learn more.

What Is Puppy Play?

While people outside of puppy play may think it can be given a one-line definition, it is certainly not the case here. But here is the most objective attempt of a definition and history we can attempt with our research.

Puppy Play – A constantly evolving fetish where people have an interest in the role-play as canines and their associated handlers. Historical records show it first appear in Europe in the 17th century, while gaining popularity with the invention of the internet in the early 1990’s

Puppy (Pup, Dog, Alpha, Omega, Pupper etc)

Pups expressing their identity at a pride march in Europe. There is this whole other world of social pup play that has nothing to do with sex and brings a lot of joy to people.

Someone who is a “puppy” is the person taking on a role with a canine personality. This can take many shapes and size sounds and smells and looks. As simple as that cathartic outburst of howling at the moon, so just enjoying the platonic touching of ‘pats’ and much more.

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Handler (Sir, Madam, Mister, Ms etc)

Someone who is a “handler” is the person taking on a role to be the human counterpart in a modern animal pet-human role. Some are more dotting over pups, some like crowds of pups, some like to train pups with canine-like agility skills and some like to curl up on the couch and cuddle with their own pup.

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And all In Between

There are packs and chosen families, pah’s and pets. Submissive Alphas to Omega. So much diversities means there are many names and terms. We have a growing urban dictionary that can help you.

What Puppy Play Can Be:

There are many puppy play themed pride flags and some with long histories, there is no universal symbol that can cover all pups and handlers so it up to you that if you want one to band together behind, that its up to you to choose.

Sexual and/Or Social

Over the years, we have asked people on a scale of 1 to 10 if their style of pup play is purely sexual to purely social respectively and over 4,000 people between 2016 and 2019 ranged all over the place, but every region averaging a 5.5 plus or minus 0.3, showing the trend towards social and platonic puppy play but there are still those who practice it sexually between consenting adults.

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All Shapes, Sizes, Ages, Genders and Sexualities

There are those that have been around for decades, there are those who have yet to go to their own social meet-up, there are those who only do it at home and surf the internet. Every shape, age, gender, disability, sexuality, race, hair colour etc. are out there expressing their pup side the way they want to. And if they can, just shows that you can too.

Source: @Boomersm Twitter

There is Gear, But its Not Everyone’s Choice

There is a lot of gear and assorted tools out there to help you along your journey, some are big businesses to all the many artisan artists making one of a kind stuff. Having is no shame either, you definitely don’t need it, there are plenty of pups and handlers who do it purely for the experience than what anyone’s wearing.

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What is The Pup Play Community:

Source: Unknown

Diversity Dialled Up To ’12’

There are as many styles of puppy play as there is breed types of biological dog. Let alone the human element. In all my life, with all the people i have met, I have never met a more diverse community. While we have many social support groups across all major continents, annual ‘titleholder’ community events from Australia to Italy and back again, many of us are still fighting the good fight in their communities to make things more inclusive and supportive for everyone.

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What Puppy Play Is NOT:


Pup Play has older roots than most people realise with the oldest photo where they called it puppy play from 1912. humiliation based terms like dog slave and veterinary style roleplay became popular in the late 20th century till shortly after puppy play appeared on the internet. Puppy play is a constantly evolving and popular opinions and concepts change over time. While people may have a perception that puppy play is about humiliation, that is not the case for a vast majority of people these days where social play, sexual and/or personal identity are more likely focused on. Just remember to make it what you want it to be; safe, sane and consensual.


No, no, no and no. Pup play has nothing to do with bestiality, if you talk about bestiality to most pups, they probably wont want to talk to you again or reaffirm that there is a clear separation between pup play and bestiality.

The Pup Play Community doesn’t consent to being objectified by outsiders as just a sexual act. There is so much more to pup play than some of the people having sex. We are a community, an extended family, with a sense of belonging and identity with a common interest, first and foremost.