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This TV Show About "Human Pups" Is So Very WTF

But Secret Life of the Human Pups is also strangely endearing.

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The show claimed that there are 10,000 people in the UK who regularly dress as dogs in their spare time.

Firecracker / Via channel4.com

These people rely very much on the internet to socialise because people are too scared to dress up as dogs in public or tell their friends and family about it.

You might have seen quite a bit of promotion of the show on This Morning and in the tabloids recently.

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There was also this photograph in a Daily Mail article that went viral last weekend.

Channel 4

So why do some men dress up like dogs for a living?

Firecracker / Via channel4.com

Well, apparently, many are people with high-pressure jobs. Women can be dogs as well, but many choose to be cats.

"They control a lot of people. They are CEOs. It's just a way of being able to express themselves in a way they wouldn't be able to do as a human."

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Guy Simmonds, the producer and director of Human Pups, told BuzzFeed News via email how the film came about:

"We stumbled across some pictures on the internet, which as you can imagine were jaw-dropping. We'd never seen anything like it before and were surprised to find out that there'd never been a documentary on the subject.

"On the surface you'd think that it might just be a few people dressing up as dogs behind closed doors, but the more research I did, the more surprised I was to learn just how large the community was globally.

"Through my research I found Puppy Pride, the UK's online community for Human Pups, which is run by a 28-year-old Oxford graduate called Kye. He was very keen to promote the community and introduced us to many pups that were very generous with their time and keen to share their stories."

Some of the pups, like Tom (who, when not a dog, is a sound and lighting technician), like to sleep in cages.

Firecracker / Via channel4.com

There are also pup competitions in different countries throughout Europe, as well as "Pet Play", where men go and pretend to be dogs and play together.

However, what becomes evident is that the practice really isn't used for sex.

"On the surface puppy play seemed very sexual," Simmonds told BuzzFeed. "The truth is, puppy play is a very diverse community with people from many different walks of life.

"For some people there definitely is a sexual element, and in fact puppy play was originally born out of the BDSM and kink scene in San Francisco in the '80s, but now there is a big movement of pups for whom it is purely a form of escapist roleplay. For them it is a way of becoming more primal and escaping the stresses of an increasingly hectic world.

"There is definitely an element of putting on a mask and becoming someone else and I think that anonymity appeals to people. It is a very welcoming and accepting community."

And as the documentary goes on you begin to understand how seriously some of the dogs take the competitions.

Firecracker / Via channel4.com

You see Tom take part in a competition in mainland Europe in which entrants manoeuvre their way through obstacles and howl like a dog in front of an audience who are also dressed up like dogs.

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You also learn from their friends how happy these men feel when they have the opportunity to be dogs.

Firecracker / Via channel4.com

That's Tom's ex Rachel, who is still friends with him in spite of the whole thing.

And some of the contributors feel that they are a different person when they are a dog.

Firecracker / Via channel4.com

"I have social anxiety, so for me it's a way of breaking free of social anxiety," says one.

Plus there's this.

Firecracker / Via channel4.com

When asked what he hopes people will learn from watching this show, Simmonds responds: "I hope people enjoy the film and take away some information about what was previously an unknown subculture. You never know, we may have even unleashed a few wannabe puppies on the community."

You can watch Secret Life of the Human Pups on All4.

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