The Dog Dish
Consent in Pet Play

“But I’m an innocent puppy!”

We pups are notorious for claiming our innocence. (That’s because we are innocent!) But one aspect of pet play gets us in more trouble than it should: Consent. We should all know the importance of obtaining consent before engaging in any kind of scene. Heck, many of us are good as obtaining consent before giving someone a hug. As bipedal humans, most of us know what to do.

But what happens when we’re in headspace? As pups, should we be expected to negotiate a scene and obtain consent? I mean, bio-pups don’t know how to negotiate, right? Wrong. Canines use the bow posture to request and consent to play with each other. So to truly act like a dog, your play should start with a similar request, and play should not begin until your play partner indicates willingness.

The need for negotiation and consent gets more important — and more complicated — when interacting with “muggles” (people not in the kink scene). If someone doesn’t know about pet play, they need to understand the situation before they can consent to it.

This Episode’s Interview

To help walk us through this thorny subject, I interviewed Topher Chandler. He’s been a puppy for ten years, he co-founded Florida Puppy Contest, and he’s co-producer of Unity Leather & Fetish in Tampa, Florida. Topher has plenty of ideas about consent and about what we should expect of one another in the puppy community.

As a heads-up, Topher has a reputation here in Tampa for saying what’s on his mind. When he meets new people, he often warns them: “I have no filter, and if I don’t like something you say or do, you’ll be the first to know.” Our conversation gets blunt, and where many people would suggest an option for behavior, Topher sometimes states ultimatums. It’s an interesting approach when talking about negotiation, but I think you’ll see why he makes his case the way he does.

This conversation is fun, informative, and provocative. I hope it gets you thinking, and I hope it helps you make obtaining consent a regular part of every aspect of your play.