Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Puppy Typology

I mentioned that Sir taught a great class on Puppy Play at SITS.  He started out by talking about different kinds of puppies.  It was very interesting to me as a long-time pup who has had little contact w/ other pups b/c it really helped me see how there are lots of other ways of doing pup play than what I do.  It certainly gave me a lot to think about…

Sir identified four types of pups… and he conveniently had examples of 3 of the 4 romping on the mats at his feet.  :)
  • The “innate pup” (that would be me) is one for whom being a pup is a (basically) constant state… like being a slave, or being a Christian, or being gay, or being a African-American.  It’s a part of who we are and how we interact w/ the world.  When I do pup play (get down on all fours), it’s a matter of letting the hound that’s always under my skin come forward and psychologically take over for a while.
  • The “play pup” (that would be Tebow) is one who enjoys pupping-out as a kind of fetish play… like w/ bondage, gear fetish, boot-blacking, or interrogation play.  It’s essentially a fetishized role-playing game.  I think for the play pup it’s primarily an opportunity to let-lose, be goofy and uninhibited, and… well, playful.
  • The “furry pup” (our Pepper) is one that I don’t know much about.  I learned some more about furries talking w/ Pepper at SITS (while looking at porn on his phone).  For instance, I thought that furries were all about the costumes.  I had no idea that there were non-costumed furries!  I’m still learning about this furry thing… but one difference that Sir hit upon in his class is that apparently furries don’t have the D/s dynamic that leather-pups emphasize (the Handler/pup dynamic).  Maybe that’s why the furry pups I know are the most unruly.  Ever heard the expression, “He listens like a brick”?  Yeah… when it comes to some of the furry pups I know, I think goldfish are more trainable.
  • We don’t have a “cur” in our pack.  The cur is really an odd-ball that maybe doesn’t even fir in as pup-play strictly speaking.  Curs are submissives who enjoy being humiliated by being “forced” by a Dominant to behave like a “less than human” animal.  “Get down on all fours and crawl, bitch!”  Personally I consider this more humiliation play than pup play… but I’m NOT saying, “If you’re a cur then you’re doing it wrong.”  What works for you, works for you… I just find it to be a very different play and a very different headspace from what we do.

Let me note (as Sir did) that these distinctions are continuous, not discrete.  Tebow is mostly a play pup but w/ a dash of the innate pup in him.  Pepper is a furry, but interested in exploring the leather-pup (D/s) side…

I saw these differences really come out in the mosh pit we had at SITS.  We had six of us in there, including three furries.  I was glad that we had Sir’s class first, b/c his typology gave me a good tool for understanding the dynamics of what was happening. 

Coming from the perspective of an innate pup, I expected that for others, the mosh pit would be a way to sink deeply into the canine headspace (pup-space).  When I pup-out… I let go of my human thoughts.  As I sink deeper, the verbal part of my brain shuts down (or grows a lot quieter); it becomes hard to verbalize or even understand sentences w/o focusing on them.  I visualize myself as a large, lanky, shaggy dog.  I’ve never used bondage mitts b/c when I sink into my headspace, I forget that I have hands – I “see” paws.  This visualization, for me, can become so complete that one time I had the unpleasant experience of trotting past a full-length mirror.  Expecting to look over and see a wolfhound reflected there, I was genuinely surprised and unpleasantly shocked to see an awkward-looking human crawling by.  It snapped me right out of my headspace!

What I was surprised to find was that most of the pups in the mosh where playing, being mischievous, and chasing balls around… but w/o getting much into what I think of as pup-space.  When I pup-out… I want to be a dog as much as I can.  I want the humans to treat me just like they would treat a big, shaggy canine in the room w/ then.  But some of the pups, I found, talked throughout the mosh – never giving-up their words – and their actions (while playful and puppy-like) were more methodical than my brain gets when I play.  (Including sneaking away and sitting at the dinner tables w/ the humans.  LOL)

Of course there’s a whole other aspect to this when we bring in different breeds (which Sir also touched on in his class).  I’m fascinated by evolutionary psychology… and naturally a sight hound will have a different psychology from a sled dog, or a shepherd, or a retriever, etc.  Wolfhounds are easy-going, highly loyal, laid-back but very protective, and we respond easily to those we see as our pack leaders.  Beagles are… different.

But… I could do a whole other post about dog breeds…  Another time.


  1. Ello pup!

    The way I categorize it in my head is kinda like a yes or no answer checklist. Is he a pup or cur (willing or unwilling)? Is he a furry, or not (D/S or not)?? Is he an innate or a play pup?

    Pepper to me seems like an innate pup, despite whether or not he identifies as furry. The way he communicates, and his mannerisms are very pup like.

    I think finding an actual Cur in a pack might be difficult. From what I understand of it, the Cur doesn't get into the headspace of pup play, and that would include pack mentality.

    This is all, clearly, my speculation though.


    P.S. It was pretty easy to see during the pup play class that you had the longest time transitioning out of the headspace.

    1. Pepper definitely shares some of the innate qualities as well as the furry background, which is why I wanted to make the point that they aren't sharp dividing lines.

      I think I'm modifying the third category to call it 'gear' pups, which would include furries. That would encompass ones who are into the appearance and the toys/gear (eg., hoods, muzzles, fursuits, tails, etc.) more than the pup headspace.

    2. And you're right on curs. I need to expand on that next time I teach the class. For my definition purposes, a cur is someone who doesn't go to the headspace, but is forced to act like and be treated as an animal while retaining their human awareness of that degradation in status.