Woof! Joeyrope shares tips for fun pup play

Joeyrope with pup


a softer side of S/M play

By Joeyrope

“WOOF!! WOOF!!” 
(the obvious opening but still valid nonetheless).

I still get a rush when I hear that sound from a pup at the end of my leash. There is nothing more appealing than walking into a room and being confronted by a guy on all fours barking for your attention.  To those who practice pup play, there is no more satisfying experience or more intense power play than a Trainer/pup scene … but how to do it? What is pup play? Pup play is basically a power exchange that takes the form of a sub on all fours in the “pup mode” frame of mind helped along by the proper handling by an experienced Trainer/Handler/Owner. It is not bestiality and does not involve play with biological pups (although I have caged boy pups with actual dogs for an afternoon).

JoeyropeHow is it done? For a satisfying experience for both Trainer and pup there has to be a conversation about expectations and logistics: what gear you have, where will it occur, what you expect from each other, etc. You have to be on the same page or it could be a disaster if the Trainer wants to spend some quiet time with pup and pup is too frisky and wants to run around with other pups. Conversely, it doesn’t work out for the best if the Trainer wants to show off his pup and put him through his paces and pup just wants to nap in his cage all evening. There are different aspects of pup play to consider. There are training sessions, time just spent in pup mode bonding with each other, showing off your pup in public such as an organized pup party where multiple Handlers show up at the same venue with their pups in tow, etc.

WOOF!! WOOFPup play is similar to other SM play. The most important aspect, like other SM play, is trust. Being stripped down, muzzled and wearing a collar and leash is really putting it out there, especially if you’re in a public situation. Pups need to understand and offer a Handler their vulnerability and it is the Trainer’s responsibility to protect and ensure that the vulnerability he is given is savored and protected. For pup play to be the most satisfying for the pup, he has to establish a very trusting bond with his Handler. This is not for the faint of heart!  Publicly, it is not like cruising in a bar with a a colored hanky as the only indication of your desires, this is being all the way out there with everyone knowing what you’re up for the minute they see you. For it to be a good experience for the Trainer, he has to be confident, know how to bring out the best in his pup and trust that pup will respond in kind. Trust is established in the same way as any other situation. TRUST YOUR GUT! First you have to want it yourself and open up yourself to your Trainer as he has to open up to you as well. Chemistry counts!  If there is no chemistry between Trainer and pup the scene is over before it even gets started. Once trust is established, both of you can put yourselves into the scene and explore and experience it. A great aspect of pup play is the pride that develops within both Trainer and pup. Nothing gives an Owner/Handler more pride than an obedient, loyal pup built up with the confidence that respect and training can bring out in him. And nothing makes a pup feel better than a confident trainer who will appreciate and protect his pet.

Joeyrope has been a reliable member of the BDSM community for over thirty yearsThen there is the power exchange. The Trainer, leash in hand, has the ultimate power over his pup. He is in control, monitoring every aspect of his pup’s behavior. There is both affection and discipline (besides a pup’s favorite toy, I also carry a rolled up newspaper or magazine just in case pup gets a little too frisky. Nothing keeps a pup in line like a good whack across the butt!) Communication is primary. When pup is “in mode” he does not stand, he does not speak words. Because his access to communication is limited, he has to express himself through body language and sound and his handler has to know how to interpret each growl, bark and whimper. Use physical contact to communicate. Try rubbing or patting your pup on the head, scratching him behind the ears or a confident slap on the side to show affection. Pup can cuddle at his Master’s feet or even jump up into his lap. And don’t forget the puppy licks either!  A Handler can indicate an end to play by saying so or unleashing the pup and a pup needs to know how to signal an end too, several hours in pup mitts and on all fours in knee pads can ultimately be too painful for a pup to continue further.

There is specialized gear for pup play to help enhance the experience. The obvious gear choices include a collar, leash and dog mitts to keep that opposable human thumb from coming into play (dogs don’t have them) I keep a lighter set of mitts for home use and a heavier, thicker pair for use on concrete floors and harder surfaces. A good pair of thick knee pads will go a long way to making a pup comfortable enough to extend playtime. A good muzzle helps as well as does dog bowls for food and water. Try a puppy tail butt plug or a dog shaped hood. I also have a portable cage that can be easily set up for apartment living or transportation. and I have used an electric dog collar.  And let’s not forget the toys! Visit your local pet shop for ideas.

A pup should also have a name to go along with his identity. I have always given my pups strong names to encourage them and give them confidence. My favorite is Maximus, given to a most excellent pup who will always have my affection. I encourage Owners to consider names thoughtfully.

A word about care and safety. A human is not built to be on all fours so care should be taken when playtime is over. Massaging knees and hands after gear is removed helps with the bonding process as well as general comfort of your pet. There are also two sides to the question of human consumption of food specially made for animals (not taking sides here). I also NEVER allow anyone else to handle my pup when he is under my control and never let him out of my sight even if he is sniffing under the bushes or in a bar.

These are a few of the issues and concerns involved in pup play. Not all of them are discussed here. I encourage both Trainers and pups to thoughtfully explore this most satisfying side of BDSM and, above all, be safe and have a blast! It can be the most exhilarating experience for both pup and Handler.


Joeyrope has been a reliable member of the BDSM community for over thirty years. A member and President of GMSMA [Gay Male S/M Activists], IML [International Mr. Leather] judge, teacher and mentor, he is available for lectures and both private and group classes. He can be contacted by using the ‘contact Metalbond’ form at the upper right of the About tab.


NOTE: This article was originally published in The Leather Man’s ‘Tips & Tricks’ eNewsletter, May 2012. Metal would like to thank Joeyrope and The Leather Man for allowing this article to be posted here.


The leatherman

2 thoughts on “Woof! Joeyrope shares tips for fun pup play”

  1. WOW!! What a truly FANTASTIC article! Puppy play is a fetish I would love to play at. I’ve often fantasised about it, what it would be like to be owned, collared, leashed, eat from a bowl, caged, etc. But this article was a REAL eye opener. For example, I never assumed puppy play would see a naked, collared pup taken out in public. I also never thought about the safety aspects of it which I found a very intersting read. The whole first paragraph was also fantastic about establishing that initial bond between owner and pup. Woof Woof!! I so wish I could experience this…

  2. hey joeyrope, great article…I just would add there is a little difference between ‘puppy play’ and proper ‘dogplay’…so I have seen mostly puppy play…running around, playing with dog toys, sniffing eachother etc…funny to see big older guys to do that…some guys prefer to do dog play, obedience, silent service,
    always protecting handler…great with the humiliation aspect in public…
    so pups and dogs have to decide what role they prefer :) I would call me more a dog than a pup :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.