Look closely, and you might notice an epidemic in the puppy community. Let’s call it Handleritis. It’s a very common ailment that most pups go through when first getting into the community. Some experience a full recovery, while others become so obsessed that they can think of nothing else. Now, while handleritis is far from fatal, it is a chronic problem many puppies face: they want a handler, a trainer, Master or Sir of some kind that they can call their own. They seek someone to share a very strong bond with. While many puppies are “strays,” so much depends on the individual puppy and how he/she goes about finding their ideal counterpart. Some might they feel they need a handler, while others might feel empowered being a stray, a wolf, or just “a strong independent puppy who don’t need no handler…”
So what is a handler? What are the expectations between the pup and handler? Finally, what are the differences in the types of handlers out there? At face value, a handler is usually the dominant figure, more assertive of the two people in a pup and handler relationship; he/she cares for the pup, guides the pup and provides a safe and consensual space to explore and be a puppy. Beyond that definition, handlers come in all shapes, sizes, levels of experience and with different expectations, respectively. Expectations are sometimes negotiated, sometimes found through play and building a stronger pup/handler bond, and sometimes protocols are specifically given by the handler to the pup.
Expectations are what determine what sort of handler a pup wants or is looking for and visa-versa. Handlers have a lot of latitude as far as how they want to relate to a pup, and that’s where the magical evolution lies. A pup/handler relationship is what both parties agree to (or consent to); it can be about bondage, leather, rubber, cuddling, eating out of a dog bowl, etc., so long as both are happy and one identifies as a pup — you have a handler.
That said, there are a few specific types of handlers, let’s travel to the Pokémon world: a handler can be compared to an Eevee (who can be downright powerful without evolving via stones), the other handler types are simply different Eeveelutions: Flarion, Vaporean, Jolteon, and so on. One such handler is what’s known as a trainer. Trainers are handlers who specifically train pups. Usually, they have a curriculum, or a game plan as far as how pups are trained and at what speed; a trainers goal is to have a trained pup by the end of their encounters. Trainers are not expected to be significant others or have sexual relationships with pups. Another sort of handler might be the Sir. Sirs can be handlers to their boy pups, training them as boys at times, a puppy in another instance, or a mix of the two respectively. Masters, like the Sirs, train their slavepups in a similar but slightly different fashion.
So some of you might be curious – how does one search for a hander? How did I find mine? How and where do handlers and pups look to find each other? While I can’t guarantee that Amazon has them available to order, I can guarantee that we will dive right into that topic . . . next week!