On Tuesday 19 September 2023, hundreds—and I mean hundreds—of people who identify as dogs met up at a train station in Berlin. Now, while I don’t speak dog, I can imagine the incessant barking and howling did have some kind of purpose:
The event, allegedly organised by a group called Canine Beings, took place at the Potsdamer Platz train station. The group was created as an advocacy centre for individuals who identify and choose to live their lives as dogs. While the concept might seem pretty far-fetched and niche, there is actually a massive community for this particular lifestyle.
Some individuals within the pup community see this cosplay as a sexual fetish and usually like to be in character with and around sexual partners. Others, however, happily inhabit their dog personas alone and enjoy participating in ‘normal’ canine behaviours, such as drinking from a bowl, playing at the park, getting treats, and all of that good stuff.
Some people online obviously feel odd about those who choose to live the dog lifestyle. A number of comments under the video showing the canine event joked about how evolution must be digressing and that humanity as we know it might soon cease to exist.
Other commentators were trying to figure out which “rights” the dogs themselves would be fighting for. However, while dog cosplay might not be for everyone, it’s definitely true that a lot of social stigma remains attached to these kinds of lifestyles.
How would you react if you saw hundreds of people gather in public to act like dogs?