Man who spent $14K on collie suit doesn’t want to be a dog

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By Dan Sears

He’s not into the dog’s life after all.

The Japanese man who went viral after posting a video of himself wearing a hyper-realistic rough collie costume in public howled that people and news outlets were “misinformed” about the idea that he wants to live like a dog.

“My desire to be an animal is like a desire to transform…a desire to be something that I am not,” Toco told The Post, adding that he wears the costume maybe once a week, mostly at home.

The wannabe Lassie, who was catapulted to international stardom last month after posting a video of himself waddling around Tokyo in the $14,000 suit — and interacting with strangers and real-life pups — admitted he “did not expect such a big response” about his ruff life. 

His family, meanwhile, didn’t put him in the dog house over his unusual hobby. 

“The family was surprised, but received it favorably,” Toco said. “I am very happy that they accepted it.” 

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Toco in a realistic rough collie costume looking out a window.
Toco said that his family received the news about his hobby favorably.
YouTube I want to be an animal

Toco in a realistic rough collie costume on a leash
Toco said people were misinformed that he actually wants to be a dog.
YouTube I want to be an animal

In addition to the viral clip, he’s so far has amassed 19.5 million views on his YouTube channel “I Want To Be an Animal,” where he shares snippets of his dog days, including wolfing down fake dog treats, scuttling into a wire cage, and rolling over. 

Toco declined to share how much money he’s made from his YouTube account, where his subscriber base has skyrocketed to 51,000 subscribers. 

The life-like costume cost a staggering 2 million yen ($14,099) and was custom-made by Zeppet, a company that produces costumes for TV commercials and shows. 


Toco in a realistic rough collie costume placing his paw on a woman's hand.
Toco has racked up nearly 20 million views on his YouTube channel.
YouTube

It took 40 days and multiple revisions to make the final suit, although American Kennel Club judges barked that the impersonations could use some improvement. 

The part-time herding dog, however, didn’t run with his tail between his legs after trolls trashed his canine cosplay as a bizarre fetish.  

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“I’m just sad that people can think that,” Toco said. “I love animals and enjoy play-acting like a collie.”

He added, “This is my hobby, so I will carry on. It makes me happy and other people happy, too.”

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