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 enjoys dressing up as a dog. Around 10,000 people follow the pet play craze in the UK, according to a TV documentary which explores the phenomenon. Channel 4's Secret Life of the Human Pups focuses mainly on men like Kye but he 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. On his Twitter account Spot says he is owned for by Colin, whose own Twitter profile describes him as being into 'Lycra, Gunge, Pup Play, BDSM.' Tom tells the programme: 'Rachel thought I was becoming gay.' He later admits: 'A tiny bit of me regrets being a puppy because I lost what I had.' While those in the programme insist their desire to dress up as dogs is not sexual, it bears a resemblance to the furry fetish. Furries are people who dress up in animal costumes and take on the persona of that animal. Occasionally they engage in full-on sex in costume but more common is the bizarre practice of 'yiffing', a form of dry-humping. Earlier this month nearly 3,000 people attended the annual Biggest Little Fur Con convention in Reno, Nevada, including around 700 people in fursuits.