Lost Dog in Sanctuary Hills. How to Find Your Canine Companion in Fallout 4

Introducing Dogmeat

Dogmeat is the player’s dog companion in Fallout 4. He can be found early in the game near the Red Rocket Truck Stop and will accompany the player on their adventures across the wasteland. Dogmeat was inspired by the dog in Mad Max 2 and was originally going to be named “Dog” but was changed to Dogmeat as a reference to the dog companions in previous Fallout games [1].

Dogmeat is very useful as a companion – he can sniff out and mark enemies, find items, and access places the player can’t. He can’t be killed, only knocked unconscious, and will get back up after a while. Players don’t have to worry about Dogmeat taking damage in combat. He also doesn’t count as a companion for perks like Lone Wanderer.

Searching in Sanctuary

Dogmeat lives at the Sanctuary settlement by default. Check Dogmeat’s dog house near the player home https://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/242995/where-can-i-find-dogmeat-after-dismissing-him-to-sanctuary-hills. If you sent Dogmeat to Sanctuary Hills earlier in the game, he may have wandered off and can be difficult to locate again https://www.reddit.com/r/Fallout/comments/3sce9a/help_i_sent_dogmeat_to_sanctuary_hills_but_i_cant/ .

dogmeat's doghouse in sanctuary hills

Search around the various dog houses in the settlement, as Dogmeat should return to one of them. There are at least 3 dog houses in Sanctuary, so check each one thoroughly https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/ps4/164592-fallout-4/answers/412608-i-lost-dogmeat-in-sanctuary-where-is-he.

If you can’t find Dogmeat after searching the settlement, he may be stuck or glitched. Trying some of the other methods may reveal his location.

Using the Workshop Mode

One method to locate a missing Dogmeat in Sanctuary is to activate the Workshop mode. The Workshop allows you to build and modify structures and items in your settlements. Enabling this mode can also help reveal the location of companions like Dogmeat.

To use the Workshop mode to find Dogmeat:

  1. Open the Workshop menu by holding down the Workshop hotkey (V by default on PC, Back/Select on console).
  2. With the Workshop menu open, Dogmeat’s map marker should appear, even if he is hidden somewhere in Sanctuary.
  3. Check the map and markers to see where Dogmeat is located.
  4. Exit the Workshop menu and go find Dogmeat in the identified location.

using the workshop mode to locate dogmeat

Activating the Settlement Workshop causes all companion map markers to appear, including Dogmeat’s. This is an easy way to reveal his location if he’s wandered off or gotten stuck somewhere in Sanctuary.

Trying Fast Travel

One potential solution is to try fast traveling away from Sanctuary and then returning. This can sometimes reset companion positions in the game world. To do this:

  1. Open your Pip-Boy map and fast travel to a different location, like Diamond City.
  2. Once the loading screen completes, open the map again and fast travel back to Sanctuary.
  3. When you load back into Sanctuary, Dogmeat may now be in a normal location like one of the dog houses.

As mentioned on Reddit, fast traveling essentially resets the non-playable characters and can move Dogmeat out of wherever he’s stuck (/r/Fallout/comments/3sce9a/help_i_sent_dogmeat_to_sanctuary_hills_but_i_cant/). So give this a try if Dogmeat seems to be missing.

Checking Other Settlements

searching adjacent settlements like red rocket
One place Dogmeat may have wandered is to another owned settlement. Due to a bug, companions can sometimes walk between closely connected settlements like Sanctuary, Red Rocket, and Abernathy Farm.

Listen carefully for Dogmeat’s barking near the borders between your settlements. You may find him pacing back and forth, trying to path back to you in Sanctuary. This bug seems especially common between the northern starting settlements.

As one Reddit user describes: “Settlers will wander between the three settlements in the Triangle of Red Rocket, Sanctuary and Abernathy. Because they are pretty close to each other, provisioners and settlers will wander between them frequently.” (Source)

Using Console Commands

On PC, console commands can locate companions like Dogmeat when they disappear. The console can be opened by pressing the tilde (~) key and typing in commands. Useful commands are “moveto player” and “showlooksmenu player”, which will teleport Dogmeat to the player’s location.

For example, this command will move Dogmeat to the player:
prid 0001d162

moveto player

The command “showlooksmenu player” will also move the camera to Dogmeat’s location so you can find where he is. Using console commands is one of the quickest ways to locate a lost Dogmeat on PC (Source).

Mod Solutions

Some mods like Unlimited Companion Framework can fix the lost Dogmeat bug in Fallout 4. These mods allow you to track and locate companions by displaying their exact locations on the map. For example, the Where Are You Now – Companion Tracking mod on Nexus Mods adds toggleable quest markers and map markers to help you find companions like Dogmeat wherever they are in the game world.

companion tracker mods for finding dogmeat

The mod description states “This mod adds toggleable quests with map and compass markers for the companions you want, allowing you to find them wherever they are. Works great with wayward companions who get lost or stuck.” (Source)

Installing a companion tracking mod can be a quick fix if Dogmeat goes missing and you can’t find him using other methods. Check sites like Nexus Mods for companion tracker mods that add markers and tracking abilities.

Avoiding the Bug

One of the main causes of Dogmeat disappearing is sending him too far away from you or your owned settlements. According to posts on Reddit and Steam forums, Dogmeat can sometimes fail to return after being dismissed or sent away during quests or explorations.

To avoid this issue, try not to send Dogmeat too far from your location or owned settlements like Sanctuary. If you do need to send him farther away, make sure to regularly check in on him at places where you’ve built a dog house for him, like your primary settlement.

According to a Steam guide, returning to check Dogmeat’s dog house in Sanctuary or another owned settlement can often cause him to respawn there if he’s gone missing.

So in summary: don’t send Dogmeat too far away, and regularly check in on him at settlements where you’ve built him a dog house. This should help avoid the disappearing Dogmeat bug.

Waiting or Sleeping

Try waiting or sleeping for 72 hours. This may reset Dogmeat’s position [1]. If you wait or sleep in a bed for 3 days straight, the game will reset various characters like companions to their default positions. For Dogmeat, his default location is at the Red Rocket or Sanctuary.

So find a bed or chair and try waiting for 72 hours. After the wait, check your settlements like Sanctuary for Dogmeat. You may find him patiently waiting for you again. This trick doesn’t always work if Dogmeat is truly glitched or bugged. But it’s worth trying before you resort to console commands or mods.

When Dogmeat is Really Lost

There is a rare but very serious bug where Dogmeat can permanently disappear from Sanctuary and the game entirely. This seems to happen most often after dismissing Dogmeat right when first arriving in Sanctuary during the initial quests. Some players speculate it may occur if Dogmeat is carrying a large number of items.

Unfortunately if Dogmeat is truly gone for good, there are only a few options according to players who have experienced the bug:

  • Reload an earlier save from before Dogmeat disappeared. This is the most surefire fix.
  • Some have resolved it by completely uninstalling and reinstalling the game.
  • Using console commands like prid 0001d162 then moveto player may work.

This is one of the most serious and frustrating bugs in Fallout 4. If Dogmeat vanishes after being dismissed, try waiting a very long time or sleep/wait for 30 days. If he’s still gone, loading an old save is the best option. Avoid overburdening Dogmeat when first traveling to Sanctuary as a preventative measure.

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