Second Collar Training - Play
How to act like a Pup
You will discover your pup self emerging during training, as you engage and try to behave like a pup. Training sessions are not only about such lessons as Posture or Scent or Obedience, they are always simultaneously a practice, a rehearsal at being a pup. What your Second Collar Play is about is creating a system of thinking and reacting that you can access and reproduce at will later. Making a pup self that is consistent and faithful to your intentions and yet fresh full of experience every time. That sounds more complicated than it is.
For Second Collar Play you must think of your pup self as a character, a Persona you shape and create to become during pup play. This pup character you adopt is constructed through objectives - every time you engage in pup play you are there for a reason, to get something out of the experience. It might be to simply relax and forget your stresses as a human being, or it might be to have a highly charged sexual encounter. It can be many things. Your objectives are your own, but also influenced by your Owner and Trainer. If you do not honestly own that you have objectives to the pup play you are engaging in, you will find yourself adrift and confused at times, and uncertain at how good a pup you are. Besides objectives, your pup character is also constructed through physical behaviours and mannerisms, the way you express yourself with body language. Once you combine both the mental objectives - what am I doing and why? - with the physical behaviour - how do I express what I want as a pup? - you are on your way. You will be a ready made whole being, and thrust into the performance space where your pup play and training is occurring. It sounds like acting right? That's because it is to a degree. Your Owner and Trainer, and anyone else present, are an audience after all.
During the Play practice you generate much of what is your pup self from within you. What you need to play the part is already all there. Many new pups mistakenly think that simply by following a masters instructions they are going to learn to be a pup, that a pup self with spring forth spontaneously. Truth is you have to work at it honestly, you have to learn not only to simply obey commands but also how to play the part or role of a human pet. That requires your human imagination to do the work to create the world of the pup, as has been explained in the SCT Mind.
Pup performance is simple. Learn the postures, know what the scene you are about to engage in is about (sex, playful time with pack, training, exploring etc) and work out where you, as a pup, fit into that (pack order, relationships etc). You start with that then listen to your Trainer, and perform and respond in the moment, without self censorship.
Pups should never try and control what is happening, never dominate the action of the moment over others in your Second Collar Play. You must allow yourself to be vulnerable, to feel exposed, and let yourself discover in the Play. Respond to what you experience, what you see hear and feel genuinely, and you are creating a truthful and believable pup. But hang on - that sounds confusing right? For surely responding genuinely means being a human being? No it doesn't. Remember, you ALWAYS start every pup play experience with your objectives, your persona in mind. You establish your pup self, leaving your human self dormant. So responding genuinely is done from your pup self point of view.
Pup Play ultimately involves creating an illusion, a fiction that a man has become a pup. Although you as a pup do some work internally making it seem real to you, the illusion is mostly created by those watching. They do most of that work with their imagination, relying on your mannerisms and behaviours and gear to believe you are a pup. A pup and Handler can help that illusion be conjured for the audience by using non verbal and verbal instructions. Your Handler pointing and saying stay and you woofing and wagging tail gives the play, the show for the audience, an emotional and interactive dimension.
Play is fun. It's all about relaxing and having fun. To do that you need an open mind, an attitude of openness to new experiences. A closed mind, focusing only on what you know and believe, will always inhibit a pups body. A tense and held body reflects a tense and held mind, and is inhibition manifesting. It is very important in puphood to get rid of fixed beliefs, closed thinking, and habitual responses. You need to leave your inhibitions, your experiences as a human behind as you don the pup hood, and abandon habits you formed as a person so you can create a new, pup, self.
Question everything you previously considered to be absolute in your life. Expect the training to be life changing, hold onto nothing you had before it, embrace the change into your pup self. Anticipate nothing about what is on the road ahead. Just learn to go with the flow and be your pup self at play.
That level of acceptance comes in atmosphere of trust in your Owner and Trainer. Follow his instructions readily, submitting to his training calmly. As your pup self develops you begin to think, breathe, and move in an open way. By giving yourself over in trust you act and behave as a pup in an emotionally unblocked way, being genuine rather than forced,. You never want to be holding yourself back and trying to analyse everything as it inhibits you.
As you begin pup play in early training you should be over the top and full of high energy. Don't hold back - in fact do the opposite. Your Trainer will rein you in if you go to far, so you need not worry or be self conscious. Get into the habit of offering a lot of your self, all of your pup self, loudly and directly and brazenly from the start, so that it quickly becomes second nature. Seeing your Owner and Trainer respond to your performance and supporting you gives you confidence to be a pup and act as a pup.
During pup play, you learn to give and receive. You give your pup self and receive positive feedback and admiration from your audience. So during pup play concentrate on unblocking your animal impulses. You can rely on your training to know what to do and you have your objectives to help guide you, so you focus on giving appropriately - through objective setting and developing your pup persona. Openness and vulnerability will lead you to having the right quality at the right moment. Play is your thing as you come to own it.