By Pup Scout (AKA Pup Spanky)

I have chosen to write this article from my perspective, and the viewpoints I express are that of my own feelings of what a collar means to me.

I have an understanding of the conventions, traditions and principals of what a ‘collar’ is and its associated meanings. Different Dominants have different opinions and systems that they implement within their own collaring protocols. These systems can include collars of consideration, slave collar, probation collars, first collars, training collars, formal collars, etc..

This is a further demonstration to the diversity of our leather, denim, uniform and BDSM community. A particular collar system that works for one particular D/s or that particular Dominant may differ from another.

“A collar is a symbolism of trust, respect and a journey that is forthcoming.”

However pups generally do not meet accepted conventions or traditions of the BDSM community, therefore, I wish to introduce the notion of a ‘pup collar’. Within this article I will explain key differences and examine my feelings of what a pup collar would mean to me.

I believe that following the accepted conventions, a collar that is issued to you by your Handler/Dom/Sir is always their property and you are the custodian of this until such time either party decides. (That’s right the submissive has the right to also end a D/s relationship just as much as a Dominant has)

A pup collar is outside the accepted conventions and either party can purchase the collar, generally speaking the pup collar does not hold the same importance or meanings as a ‘collar’, however a pup collar can be an important part of either the pups identity or the D/s Dynamic. The pup collar can have various representations depending on what is agreed by the parties involved.

The ‘Pup Collar’ is the property of the pup, and is owned by the pup.  It may either be purchased or gifted. A pup collar can represent many things and can evolve into more than a nice collar brought for a nice boy, or look at that nice collar in the window. Or even – ‘oh shiny thing’…. I think I will get it. A pup collar can have whatever meaning you make of it and hold what memories you wish.

The main difference between a ‘collar’ and a ‘pup collar’ is that a pup collar is not one of ownership, it carries no tags or locks and it does then this is by negotiated agreements, or a representation of the pup’s identity. The pup collar can evolve to one of the collars described above.  However I believe in traditions, and when a submissive is being offered a collar from a Dominant and accepts the negotiated protocols of that power exchange relationship (D/s), this renders the pup collar as an accessory that holds valuable memories of the pups’ identity which is replaced by the ‘collar’ that starts the forthcoming D/s journey.

Personally a pup collar brings me comfort and the feel of either the leather or chain weighing on my neck. It brings the sense of completion to my inner K9. Whether it’s a collar I brought myself or that has been brought for me.

It represents to me, a sense of security, acceptance and pride in who I am and how I identify. I am a pup and I am proud of this. The pup collar also demonstrates my submission in D/s dynamics and that I am cared for whilst in pup headspace. When I have my own collar on, it simply means that I feel secure, and engaged with my K9 side. “It also helps bring the pup to the surface.”

For me a ‘Pup Collar’ does not mean that I am owned. It demonstrates that there are people in my life who are willing to invest time to handle and train me.  There may be no formal D/s relationship and it may be for a short or long time. It may even just a playmate. For me it allows me to connect with my inner K9 sanctuary.