An affectionate and dexterous hound, Dogmeat's skills as a four-legged scavenger and ferocious fighting companion were not lost on his first master who was killed by Raiders in the vicinity of the Scrapyard. Dogmeat's also highly intelligent and well trained, to the point of being able to identify and retrieve weapons, ammunition, and chems. This hound is also notable for having heterochromia: One of his eyes is blue, the other brown.
Interactions with the player character
This character is essential. Essential characters cannot be killed.
This character is a permanent party member.
Dogmeat can be recruited at the Scrapyard near Minefield, engaged with a band of raiders. He can be recruited by any character, regardless of karma. Shooting him before recruitment will, obviously, make it impossible to hire him.
Dogmeat is unique in that he can be asked to retrieve ammunition, chems, food or weapons from the cell the player is in, bypassing locked cabinets and retrieving weapons that may be otherwise hard or impossible to find. Firelance is a common example, if the random encounter that spawns it occurs over a built-up area.
Furthermore, he will also growl when enemies are nearby. Hostile NPCs will prioritize him over the player character, making him a good bait, though care has to be taken: He can (and will) be killed by overwhelming firepower.
Dogmeat can be scolded in dialogue (or praised), but these options have no effect on gameplay.
Broken Steel With the Broken Steel add-on, Dogmeat's stats are beefed up significantly, making him a powerhouse, even when the player is level 1.
Broken Steel The Puppies! perk will effectively immortalize Dogmeat. Every time he dies, a new one will spawn at Vault 101 (called Dogmeat's puppy, but he's actually even more powerful than the original).
Behind the scenes
Dogmeat returns for the third time and is a callback to the original dog out west. By extension, he is also a continued reference to Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and A Boy and His Dog, modeled after the Blue Heeler appearing in the former and named after an insult used in the latter movie.
According to pre-release materials, Dogmeat was supposed to be found in a random encounter. However, this was changed to a fixed location before release.
PlayStation 3Xbox 360Paralyzing Palm perk or any other method for knocking down characters will allow the player to use him as a mobile stash with unlimited capacity, as these allow the player to loot the dog. Of course, this will make item retrieval by Dogmeat unfeasible, as the script automatically removes all items from Dogmeat's inventory into the player's.
PCPlayStation 3Xbox 360 Dogmeat is prone to getting stuck in small spaces, as his size can lead to other NPCs being unable to move, effectively locking the player in.
PlayStation 3 Dogmeat will occasionally fail to register the command to retrieve items and stand still.