This might make him a bit melon-collie.
The nation’s premier collie breeders and dog-show judges were ruff on the Japanese man who went viral for walking around Tokyo in a hyper-realistic dog costume, telling The Post that he doesn’t stand a chance against the standard-bearers of the breed.
“A collie should look regal, and I don’t know that he does,” sniffed American Kennel Club judge Jeffrey Presley, who panned Toco’s headpiece as being too wide and coming across as being a “heavy head.”
“[He] should have an expression of real intelligence,” he said of Toco, who was propelled to international fame after sharing a video last month of himself walking on all fours in a collie suit.
Watching Toco waddle around the streets of Tokyo or try to climb up the stairs in his home, several experts howled over the pooch’s “choppy” and “cumbersome” gait — far from the effortless stride you’d expect from a top dog in the Herding Group.
Toco purchased his rough collie suit for over $14,000.YouTube
“Collies are meant to be working with the sheep and in the field, and he’s very stiff,” Katie Skilton-Rendina, Collie Club of America district director for Ohio and Michigan, said of Toco. “Maybe he needs a lot of room to roam and work on that muscle tone.”
AKC judge and collie breeder Erin Blaisure said Toco needs to lay off the chow — and make an appointment with the groomer too.
“My first impression of him . . . is that he’s overweight. I can tell that he’s not just all coat,” she said.
Toco achieved international fame after posting a video of himself walking on all fours in public in a rough collie suitYouTube
Katie Skilton-Rendina, a Collie Club of America district director, noted that Toco’s gait was “very stiff.” Supplied
“I do think he needs to work on clipping his nails, they’re quite a bit long and he has this odd way of rotating his front paws.”
Still, some were charmed by his friendly demeanor with strangers and other animals, which they noted is spot-on for the breed.
“They’re very much a family dog, but they also are not aloof to strangers, so they welcome people, they welcome other dogs,” said AKC judge Robette Johns. “That’s the way the dog was playing it.”
AKC judge Erin Blaisure advised Toco to lay off the doggie chow and get his nails trimmed.Instagram/@erinblaisure
Toco, a long-time collie fan who dreamed for decades of becoming a human Lassie, shelled out an astounding 2 million yen ($14,099) for the life-like costume, which was custom-made by Zeppet, a company that produces costumes for TV commercials and shows.
The final product took 40 days to make and came after multiple revisions.
Over the past year, he has posted videos of his dog days on YouTube, where his nearly 50,000 subscribers can watch him snack on fake dog treats from a bowl and shimmy into his wire cage.
Biting back at trolls who called his lifestyle a strange fetish, Toco said, “I’m just sad that people can think that. I love animals and enjoy play-acting like a collie.
“This is my hobby, so I will carry on,” he said. “It makes me happy and other people happy, too.”
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