What kind of contest is the Wruff Stuff Mr Puppy UK 2018 Contest? Is it a popularity contest?

The Wruff Stuff Mr Puppy UK 2018 Contest, during which the election for the third Mr Puppy UK will be held, is a Mister title contest. This means that the pup who is elected in the contest is allowed to use the Mr Puppy UK title for one year, as a community advocate and representative working for common benefit. The title itself is a recognition of a commitment made by its holder to represent, support, advocate for, and promote the Pups & Handlers community, as well as promote a fun and inclusive brotherhood amongst members and friends of the community.

It is not a popularity contest, a beauty pageant, or a dog show. The title holder is not chosen by a popularity poll, or according to his physical characteristics or the gear he chooses to wear. The title holder is not the winner amongst the pups: we do not declare a winner, we declare a title holder. It is also not a comparison of who is a better pup, or who is more of a pup. We honour all members of the community. The title holder is a chosen volunteer who offers his service and commitment to the Pups & Handlers community.

A title holder is no different from any other member of the community, but for the recognition of his commitment to contribute his time and effort towards the good of the community. He is expected to perform service for and contribute to the Pups & Handlers community, as well as the broader fetish community. He represents the UK at pup events and contests abroad, including Mr Puppy Europe and the International Pup & Trainer Contest. He helps shape and record the history and development of the Pups & Handlers community. He also helps connect the Pups & Handlers of the UK to the international brotherhood of kinksters, fetishists, and leathermen. He is, in short, expected to offer himself in service to others, and that service is the meaning of the title.

All within the community are special, and all are valued. Mr Puppy UK supports and advances this principle.

Why does it have to be a competition? Don't competitions encourage bad feelings?

It is a competition – a friendly and supportive one. We strongly encourage, and do everything we can to promote, a weekend in which everyone who competes does so in a spirit of camaraderie and friendship. Everyone gets cheered. Everyone gets applauded. Everyone receives a gift or prize of some kind.

And, we really don't consider that you're competing against anybody, except perhaps against yourself. You're competing alongside your friends. Everyone wins, and everyone is honoured for having participated.

Let the competition bring out the best of you, let yourself help others to bring out the best in them, and let yourself have a fantastic time of it!

Eh – why so many rules? Isn't being a pup about being free?

Sure, it's great to be a free pup!

And, being a title holder is about more than just being a pup. It is a community service position, attached to which are responsibilities and obligations.

It's fun, of course, and it's meant to be really exciting and enjoyable. And also, we take it very seriously. The rules are meant to help us help you. They're there to help guide the contest and the title, and to ensure things go effectively and fairly.

It's like football: fans understand that the rules are there to guide and define the game, and fans also understand that it's important for everyone to play by those rules. That's what makes it fun to play, and fun to watch.

It sounds like a lot of work. Are you sure it's fun?

The "work" is promoting and supporting the community that you're a part of! It involves going to events, meeting and socialising with people, playing and moshing, gearing up and down, posing for the camera, traveling to big events, and seeing your friends at familiar pup events as well as kink and fetish events.

And the contest itself is essentially an interview plus a whole series of games, done whilst surrounded and encouraged by friends. It's light-hearted and playful. It's designed by pups, after all!

Don't take our word for it, though. Ask Zentai Spot or Piglet! We encourage you to ask anyone who's joined a title contest, or held a title, what they think of the experience.

Alright, I'm convinced.

That's pawsome!

If I've competed before, can I compete again this year?

Sure! You're welcome to join us as many times as you'd like.

Why do you use a progression system?

We have time and capacity constraints to consider, as well as what works best during a contest. It's our job to balance on the one paw giving time and attention and dedication to as many contestants as we can, and on the other paw putting on a fantastic event that fits just right in the venue and time allowed.

Because there is only a certain amount of time available for interviews, and because of how important the interviews are to the judging process, we can fairly allocate only ten interview places. This is why only the top ten contestants from Part One progress to the interview stage at Part Two. The interviews can't be rushed: each contestant has to have a reasonable amount of time to speak.

Also, because there is only a limited amount of time available for the final performances, and because these performances form part of the excitement for the audience, we can fairly allocate only five performance places. This allows us to give pups time to set up and get ready, time to put on a really fantastic show for everyone, and time to engage with the audience and get some fun feedback in the form of cheers and applause.

Whoever does not progress is still a part of the contest, and is still involved: we have a Pup Handler round in Part Two that involves contestants that are not being interviewed, and everyone is welcome in Part Three to cheer and encourage the final performances! Plus, every contestant, regardless of placement, is eligible for our Puppy Congeniality prize.

A progression system honours the friendly competitive nature of the contest, gives contestants the right amount of time for what's important to them, keeps things fun and flowing well for the audience, and fits in with the venue and available time. We believe this is the fairest way to run the contest.

Do I need to show identification in order to compete?

Yes. This is for us to verify your identity as well as your age.

We accept a valid passport, a valid driver's license, a UK armed forces ID card, or a valid European national identity card. We accept other government-issued identification if it verifies your photo, identity, and age.

Contestants without identification documents are unfortunately unable to join the contest. We do need to know who you are.

What if I do not have, or am not eligible for, a passport?

If you do not currently have a passport, then you will need to apply for one as soon as possible. It will need to be valid for travel among the UK and Schengen Area countries throughout 2018.

If you are not eligible to hold a passport, or are not eligible to travel among the UK and Schengen Area countries, then unfortunately you are not eligible to compete for or hold the Mr Puppy UK title, as holding the title requires international travel.

Contestants are only identified by their pup names, and we will always identify contestants and title holders by their pup names. Whilst we cannot guarantee anonymity, we only use pup names to identify anybody involved in the contest or holding the title.

If you don't have a pup name, you're welcome to use your given name if you wish, make up a pup name or nickname on the spot upon registration, or ask us and one of our team would be happy to give you a pup name of your own!

Can I compete if I don't want the title, or compete just for fun?

If you really don't want the title, or wouldn't make use of it were it to be given to you, then please don't compete for it. Whilst we welcome any eligible contestant who wishes to compete, and will support whoever wishes to do so, we take the contest seriously and ask all contestants to do the same.

However, if you're just competing for fun or for the experience of the contest, and you're willing to make good use of the title to work for and support the community should you get it, then go for it! Each year, we get pups who are uncertain about it and yet who are happy to contribute and get involved. That's great. We help each title holder make the most of his title year.

What if I have a personal connection to one of the hosts, judges, or sponsors?

It may happen that a contestant has a personal connection, such as a current or former relationship, with one of the organisers, hosts, judges, or sponsors.

If the personal connection is with one of the organisers, hosts, or sponsors, then we leave it to your judgement if you wish to compete. The panel of judges is independent of both the organisers and the sponsors, and nobody other than the judges has any influence at all over the contest scoring, aside from the audience vote which is open to all ticketed guests. Even the Head Judge has no influence over contest scores: his role is to administer the contest, not to adjudicate it. This is designed so as to be as fair as possible to everyone.

If the personal connection is with one of the judges, then this must be declared publicly at the beginning of the contest. That judge will then not adjudicate that contestant at all, and the contestant's scores will be prorated.

Maintaining the integrity of the contest is important to us, and we do not allow any contestant to be advantaged or disadvantaged because of a relationship with one of our judges.

Can I compete if I can't, or don't wish to, show my face in public?

We're afraid not. Mr Puppy UK is a community advocate, and as such needs to be publicly visible. He needs to be able to speak to the media, to speak to crowds, and to hold his own on a stage, and that's not always possible behind a hood or mask. That's why parts of the contest require contestants to remove their hoods and masks. We need to be able to see you!

We understand that some of you have personal or professional reasons that make it impossible to be publicly identified as a human pup, or as a member of a kink and fetish community. We understand the need for discretion. You're more than welcome at our other events throughout the year, at which you can wear whatever gear you wish, and we'll always have events and outings at which being hooded or masked is possible or encouraged. However, we aren't able to give the title itself to a pup who is unable to show his face in public.

What if I miss part of the contest?

If you're absent for any reason from any of the contest rounds, we'll give you a score of zero for the rounds you miss. You may still take part in the rest of the contest freely, subject to our normal progression system, and you will be scored normally for the contest rounds you do participate in, just like every other contestant.

What if I'm present throughout the contest, but miss the Prize Presentation?

If a medical emergency or other serious occurrence happens prior to the start of the Prize Presentation, either speak to one of our team (Brock or Kitty) or have someone speak to us on your behalf. We may be able to make an accommodation or to hold a prize for you.

However, unless it's a medical emergency or similarly severe occurrence, we must regard a no-show at the Prize Presentation as representing forfeiture of any prizes awarded. It's not fair on the other contestants, and it's not fair on the audience, to allocate a prize with nobody there to receive it.

What happens if a title holder gives up his title?

Unfortunately, it sometimes occurs that an elected title holder is unable, for various reasons, to uphold the title during a title year. When it happens, we do something called a handover. We have a set of procedures and guidelines in place for this eventuality: the Mr Puppy Team meets and discusses potential alternatives, who are usually (but not always) the runners-up from the last election. There is no fixed order of succession, and runners-up do not automatically accede to a vacated title. Our priority is always to uphold the integrity of the title itself, with respect and dignity to the men holding it.

If you're a title holder and you feel the need to give up your title, talk to us. Likewise, if we feel it necessary to ask you to step down, we'll talk to you. We'll help arrange the handover in a way that works for everyone as best as possible.