- Does it cost anything to attend the Woof Camp?
- What do pups, dog or wolves wear at Woof Camp?
- Can I wear my puppy tail butt plug?
- What if I don't have a Handler/Trainer, (I am a stray), how can I get noticed or played with and can I still attend Woof Camp?
- Is there anything I need to bring with me to participate?
- I have health issues, food allergies, etc. could that be that a problem?
- Why do pups need to drink so much water?
- If I have questions or need assistance at the event, how can I identify a staff person?
- Will female pups be at the event?
- Will aggressive or sexual play (other than mild humping) be allowed?
- Is there any kind of pack hierarchy at the events?
- Is nudity allowed?
- Can I bring a toy with me to the mosh pit?
- I heard you can pull your teeth from playing tug with a toy too aggressively, is this true?
- I heard there will be a free commemorative pin given out?
- Will SquarePeg Toys be vending at Woof Camp?
- Will there be any additional surprises?
- Who is hosting the Woof Camp website?
- Who do I contact for more information?
1. Does it cost anything to attend the Woof Camp?
No, as always the Woof Camp event at IML is FREE thanks to our sponsor, SquarePeg Toys. We encourage everyone to support our sponsor SquarePeg Toys during IML and throughout the year – support his business as he supports our pup community!
2. What do pups, dog or wolves wear at Woof Camp?
Wear something that is comfortable and cool. Wrestling singlets, spandex clothes, shorts or cloth jockstraps. We don't advise latex or neoprene due to the possibility of them being torn or damaged from the rough interaction that can occur. For female pups a top or a bra to provide support is advised.
Check out the pics from Prior Woof Camps. It will give you an idea of what attendees wear, or don't wear, for gear.
Please see our Mosh Pit Rules section on what gear and clothing is allowed and NOT allowed in the moshes, thank you.
If the Woof Camp Security (those wearing a yellow fluorescent vest) see anything they think that a pup, dog or wolf or Handler/Trainer is wearing that may cause harm/injury they will ask that item to be removed or the participant to leave the area. Please respect their decision as they are looking out for the safety of everyone.
3. Can I wear my puppy tail butt plug?
Puppy tail butt plugs, like the ones SquarePeg Toys sells are acceptable (see Prior Woof Camps) and we highly recommend wearing a butt plug harness like the ones Mr. S Leather sell to help keep your tail in while moshing so you don’t have to worry about it falling out.
4. What if I don't have a Handler/Trainer, (I am a stray), how can I get noticed or played with and can I still attend Woof Camp?
Absolutely! Pups, dogs and wolves without Handlers/Trainers are encouraged to attend as Woof Camp is all about the pup community itself, and pups without Handlers/Trainers are still pups! Depending on the number of Handler volunteers, pups can still learn, socialize and train with other pups in the the Active or Quiet areas. Also, you never know when you might just catch a Handler’s eye for training, grooming, collaring, etc.
At the Woof Camp party we will LOAN out to those pups, dogs and wolves who identify as strays a necktie bandana to wear around their neck that will help Handlers/Trainers and attendees identify them and hopefully encourage interaction and adoptions. To acquire about BORROWING a necktie bandana, please ask for Brue, who will be located at the podium and he will happily tag you. Once you are done moshing, please RETURN the necktie bandana so the next stray pup may be able to use it, thank you.
5. I'm a new Handler/Trainer, how can I get a pup, dog or wolf to interact with me?
Handlers/Trainers are welcome to play with the pups, dogs and wolves. Think of it as being at a real dog park. Some pups are owned, others aren’t. Look for a collar or tag on the pup. Offer your hand and call them over. If they don't respond, shake their head no or turn away, move on to another pup (they may be owned and don't have permission or they just aren't interested). If they nuzzle your hand or your leg, then feel free to play with the pup! Unlike other kink scenes, others are usually welcomed and may even enhance the experience! Be aware you may get knocked over or attacked and end up down in the mosh pit at some point. In fact, pups love it when Handlers get down on their level and engage them.
Another good article to check out is the “Interacting with Pups by Sparky” on Leatherati.com as it has some good advice for Handlers/Trainers and observers wanting to interact with pups/Dogs in public.
Negotiate between yourselves ahead of time!
Talk with the pup before they go into the mosh pit. Safety is the first priority! If you do happen to meet or find a pup while socializing, or one seems interested in interacting with you as a Handler, take the time to ask the pup some basic questions before you engage in pup and Handler activities: How long are you wanting the interaction to last as Handler and pup? What do you want to do? What are their and your limits/expectations? What are the event organizers limits/expectations? Communicate each others desires, needs and wants ahead of time before entering the party or puppy mosh.
6. Is there anything I need to bring with me to participate?
Yes, there are several things to bring but the most important is your desire to participate and have fun exploring your pupdom or Handler/Trainer side.
Please see the Mosh Pit Rules for more suggestions.
Below are some quick overview items:
For pups: to help protect your knees, knee pads are highly recommended. If possible some form of hand/knuckle protection. Some form of bowl (metal, plastic, collapsible, etc.) to hold water/liquid in as you will get dehydrated very quickly from exertion. A towel to wipe off sweaty bodies, wet mouths or use to lie on or cover yourself when resting. A collar (leather, metal chain, etc.) so you can be leashed or to help put you into your pup head space.
For Handlers: A leash (leather, metal chain, rope, etc.) to assist with Behavioral Training, walks, etc. A collar (leather, metal chain, etc.) to temporarily use on new pups to help with pup activities. Some form of bowl (metal, plastic, collapsible, etc.) to hold water/liquid in for the pups/Dogs as they will get dehydrated very quickly from exertion. A towel to wipe off the sweaty bodies, wet mouths or to have the pups/Dogs lie on or cover them when resting.
7. I have health issues, food allergies, etc. could that be that a problem?
Health conditions. All health conditions should be discussed ahead of time. If you take medications, make sure that the pup play will not interfere with taking them (remember, Handlers or Woof Camp Security (those wearing a yellow fluorescent vest) can give pups medication while in pup headspace). If you have a bad knee, bad back, Asthma, high blood pressure, heart condition or any other health concern or physical limitations, please disclose it with your Handler, Woof Camp Security or the on-site EMT before you engage in any physical activity. If you have something like a rescue inhaler or allergy injector, give it to your Handler, Woof Camp Security or the on-site EMT so that it will be there in case it’s needed. By using common sense you can usually work around these issues and still have fun pupping out.
Food allergies. Unfortunately some attendees have food allergies and these should be discussed ahead of time with your Handler, the event organizers and/or Woof Camp Security (those wearing a yellow fluorescent vest) so appropriate action may be taken. Please be aware that giving out an “innocent treat” in the social area or pup mosh may be potentially harmful to someone, either from first-hand or second-hand interactions (food in mouth gets on toy, toy gets picked up by another, who then gets food contact and an allergic reaction). Please refrain from bringing any kind of fruit, nuts, chocolate, honey Graham crackers, etc. as snacks. If you are unsure or have a concern, please contact the event organizers ahead of time.
8. Why do pups need to drink so much water?
Active pups use an abundant amount of aerobic/cardio energy when running around on all fours (romping, chasing, fetching) and need water or diluted replenishment drinks to replenish the loss due to the sweaty exertion. If you feel thirsty, stop and drink water, diluted drinks or other similar liquids. Long straws are a great help or water bowls with built-in sippy straws work great for those wearing hoods. Water is always provided at Woof Camp events.
Handlers/Trainers are advised to keep a water bottle or bring a bowl and use the free water stations located in both the Active and Quiet Areas to replenish the bowls/bottles. If you are a stray pup, make sure you ask or arrange with one of the Woof Camp Security (those wearing a yellow fluorescent vest) some form of signal that indicates they need to give you water before you go into the pup, dog or wolf head space. Also try and bring a towel to wipe down the sweaty body after playing.
9. If I have questions or need assistance at the event, how can I identify a staff person?
Woof Camp Security will be wearing yellow fluorescent vests with Woof Camp logos on them and will be able to assist or answer questions you may have. You may also head to the podium where Brue or a staff member should be at all times.
10. Will female pups be at the event?
Yes, but this is International MISTER Leather and as such Woof Camp is designed as a male energy event. We would ask both pups, dogs and wolves and Handlers/Trainers of both sexes to respect the others' preferences and signals (a growl or turn of the head is usually a good sign to ease/back off or not interested).
11. Will aggressive or sexual play (other than mild humping) be allowed?
Aggressive play. Up to a certain point this activity will be allowed in the Active Area only as the Quiet Area is for the more shy, mellow pups, dogs and wolves and a place to peacefully relax. Any pup, dog or wolf being too aggressive will be asked by the Woof Camp Security (those wearing a yellow fluorescent vest) to settle down. If the overly aggressive behavior continues the pup, dog or wolf will be asked to leave and/or be escorted from the event.
If you do not want to be Dominated, give clear body posture, voice signals indicating this or just temporarily leave that particular area if you are approached by an Alpha. Hopefully they will respect your wishes. Again, if you are having problems please approach one of the Woof Camp Security to help assist with the issue.
Sexual play. This has never occurred at the event, except for some mild playful humping. What you do in your own private hotel room is up to you. Who knows, maybe you will be lucky and meet some others interested in taking the party back to their room at the end of the night?
12. Is there any kind of pack hierarchy at the events?
Pack mentality and hierarchy. At the Woof Camp events you do observe some of the participants engaging in a hierarchy structure (Alpha, beta and omegas), mainly due to the fact they either already know each other from past encounters and experiences or already have a structure in place. If you do not have such a structure set up or experience, don't worry as it is not necessary and you can still have fun at the puppy mosh.
Alphas. Alpha, beta and omegas, these roles tend to be determined through attitude, voice cues and body language. Alphas are not on top because they are cruel or a bully; being an Alpha is not related to being overly physically aggressive, like using human wrestling/pinning moves or unnecessary biting. The wanna-be Alphas sometimes fail to realize this and often keep up the aggression. Those who truly understand and appreciate pup mentality will pick up and perceive verbal and non-verbal cues and respond accordingly. I understand with real canines that there is always just one Alpha in a pack and when two Alphas encounter each other they normally try to reestablish a hierarchy, but in the end we are still human and need to accept that with so many human pups, dogs and wolves out there that there will always be multiple Alphas. When human packs come together, they will negotiate the power structure if need be, but in many cases there are no such conflicts. They just want to be social, playful and interactive with each other.
13. Is nudity allowed?
Full nudity will not be allowed and anyone that does not comply with this will be asked by our Woof Camp Security (those wearing a yellow fluorescent vest) to leave the event. Even though Woof Camp is held in a private ballroom and is a safe place to be yourself, the event is still subject to the laws of the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago. Pups, dogs, wolves and Handlers/Trainers are asked to use common sense, and to help keep this event fun for everyone.
14. Can I bring a toy with me to the mosh pit?
Yes, toys are allowed. Know your toy. Every pup needs some good chew toys to chase. The best toys are soft and easy to clean, for example, toys made of durable memory foam, tooth-rugged nylon, vinyl squeaky toys or empty plastic bottles. Be wary of toys made with fur or plush (stuffed animals) or felt (like a tennis ball), as they get matted and dirty quickly, usually don’t feel/taste good in the mouth, and are more likely to transmit blood unknowingly. Hard toys like bones, rawhide, or hard rubber shouldn’t be used since human teeth are not as strong or secure as dog teeth and these toys can cause tooth damage when tugging, pulling or chewing. Beware of toys with sharp edges, pointed surfaces, small parts (choking hazard) or flaking paint on toys. Keep an eye on toys that are wearing down such as a rubber pull toy that might break/snap and cause injury. Rope toys are not recommended but if you choose to use them they should not be tugged on hard. Handlers should inspect toys from time-to-time, especially in a multi-pup situation, for any signs of blood.
15. I heard you can pull your teeth from playing tug with a toy too aggressively, is this true?
Can you pull your teeth from playing tug of war with a toy too aggressively? Yes, this is true. We have seen first hand the loosing of teeth from playing too aggressively with tug of war between a pup and a Handler and between two pups. The human mouth/teeth is not genetically designed for tugging or pulling, unlike a bio canines, which is. We all get caught up in the spirit of the tug and not wanting to give in or let go, but is better to keep your teeth then to have to be rushed to the hospital for emergency dental surgery.
Three things you can do to help avoid this is first wear some kind of mouth guard, like they sell at sports or boxing stores, that cover and protect your teeth. When grabbing and holding a toy with your mouth, use the back section of your teeth, not the front section, as that area of your mouth is stronger and finally common sense has to take place at some point and you just need to let the toy go.
16. I heard there will be a free commemorative pin given out?
Those participants attending from 7pm-10pm will receive (1) free Woof Camp 2014 commemorative pin (while supplies last). Please see Brue at the podium to get your pin.
17. Will SquarePeg Toys be vending at Woof Camp?
SquarePeg Toys will not be vending at Woof Camp as they will have been vending all day at the vendor mart and would like to participate and have fun as well.
18. Will there be any additional surprises?
We have the 30 minute Happy Puppy Yoga happening before the 7pm mosh as well as the “Return of the Villains” making an appearance. It's always possible that more surprises may occur sometime during Woof Camp. Keep your eyes and ears alert!
19. Who is hosting the Woof Camp website?
Since the beginning of the pup parties at IML, Leather Creations has been generously web hosting our website. Please support their business as they continue to support our community.
20. Who do I contact for more information?
Send an email to WoofCamp@yahoo.com with any questions.