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Pets

Dog marionette freaks out real dogs with wholly believable dog movements

Can't blame pups for thinking he's real because this puppetry is WOW.

dog marionette
Representative image by Eric Masur on Unsplash

A dog marionette in the right puppeteer's hands can be very convincing.

Humans have enjoyed the art of puppetry since ancient times, and like all arts, puppeteering has become more and more refined over the centuries. To see that evolution in action, look no further than the incredible skills of Polish puppeteer Lukasz Puczko.

Puczko's ability to mimic a dog's movements with with his dog marionette, Burek, is so impressive even real dogs are duped. In a TikTok video that's been viewed nearly 20 million times, Puczko is seen on a crowded street at an arts festival with Burek as he pounces around, wags his tail, lifts his ears and crouches into a playful stance just like a real dog would.

And it's so convincing, his real doggy counterpart doesn't seem to know what to do.


Puczko shared that Burek carries the scent of other dogs, so a little wind will quickly catch a real dog's attention. Then the "uncanny valley" experience begins, and you can almost hear the real dog saying, "That's not real. Wait, is it real? That can't be real. Or can it?"

Watch:

@aonsolniki

Burek - The Dog Marionette. Fully improvised show with unique type of marionette. Puppet has a smell from other dogs, what with a propper wind can bring a dog to Burek in seconds what randomly starts interaction. Body language allowed by handmade construction is the key here. Burek is not barking, but people around my shows are 😅 This puppet is working as well as a therapy dog for people who are affraid of dogs 💪 those are very random moments during a show on a street, but not that impossible to handle with this puppet. This is 7th generation of Burek, first has been made in 2009. (For licensing or usage, contact licensing@viralhog.com) st-Art Festival, Tegelen 2024, Totaal Theater. #dogs #puppet #street

Even the people who clearly know it's a puppet will reach down to scratch Burek's ears and chin and pet him as if he were real. It's incredible to witness.

@aonsolniki

Burek - The Dog Marionette. Fully improvised show with unique type of marionette. Puppet has a smell from other dogs, what with a propper wind can bring a dog to Burek in seconds what randomly starts interaction. Body language allowed by handmade construction is the key here. Burek is not barking, but people around my shows are 😅 This puppet is working as well as a therapy dog for people who are affraid of dogs 💪 those are very random moments during a show on a street, but not that impossible to handle with this puppet. This is 7th generation of Burek, first has been made in 2009 st-Art Festival 2024, Tegelen. Totaal Theater. #dogs #puppet #street

Puczko shared that Burek is often used as a therapy tool for people who are afraid of dogs. That makes perfect sense, since his movements are so similar to a real dog he can be used to demonstrate how dogs communicate through body language.

The encounters Puczko shares are fully improvised, which is all the more impressive. It's one thing to memorize a choreographed show with a marionette and another to have the movements down so intuitively that the puppeteer—or puppyteer, in this case—can interact so fluidly in the moment.

Here's Burek meeting other dogs during the holidays. The poor pups seem so confused at what they're seeing.

It's always a joy to watch someone who is a master of their craft, and Puczko's puppetry skills are just as entertaining as the dogs' reactions to them.

You can follow Lukasz Puczko on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook.

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