Dogmeat. Man’s Best Friend in the Wasteland?

Introducing Dogmeat

Dogmeat is a German Shepherd dog and a possible canine companion of the Sole Survivor in 2287.

According to the Fallout Wiki, Dogmeat can be found outside of the Sole Survivor’s neighborhood in Sanctuary Hills, either lying down or scrounging for food. He will quickly bond with the Sole Survivor and follow them.

Dogmeat was originally owned by a man named Moe Cronin, who was the administrator of a baseball league in Diamond City. Moe gifted Dogmeat to the Sole Survivor after realizing the dog had chosen them as its new owner.

Dogmeat is described as “man’s best friend” and is fiercely loyal to the Sole Survivor. He will fearlessly defend his owner and is handy in combat situations.

Loyalty

One of Dogmeat’s most defining characteristics is his unwavering loyalty. Unlike other Fallout companions who can dislike certain player actions, Dogmeat loves the Sole Survivor unconditionally and will never turn on them (source). This makes Dogmeat a dependable companion who will always have the player’s back.

Dogmeat’s loyalty is referenced on his MTG card Dogmeat, Ever Loyal, which states “When Dogmeat enters the battlefield, mill five cards, then return an Aura or Equipment card from your graveyard to your hand.” This represents how Dogmeat will steadfastly retrieve and return items to the player (source).

dogmeat's loyalty referenced on his mtg ever loyal card

Players never have to worry about managing Dogmeat’s affinity or loyalty. He will eagerly follow them anywhere without question or complaint. Dogmeat’s unconditional loyalty makes him a comforting constant in the chaotic world of Fallout.

Combat Assistance

Dogmeat can be a great asset in battles against enemies like raiders, super mutants, feral ghouls, and more. He will automatically engage any hostiles in your vicinity. Dogmeat can distract enemies, allowing you to flank or get to cover. He can also take down weaker enemies on his own if you are overwhelmed. Unlike human companions, Dogmeat won’t hamper stealth approaches, making him ideal for sneak attacks.

According to the Fallout Wiki, Dogmeat has a chance to perform special takedown moves on humanoid enemies like triggering a leg bite to cripple movement or a throat rip for massive damage (https://fallout.fandom.com/wiki/Dogmeat_(Fallout_4)). These add variety and can turn the tide of close battles. Dogmeat can’t be killed, so you don’t have to worry about healing him in the heat of combat. He will go down temporarily if he takes too much damage, but will always get back up to rejoin the fight.

dogmeat performing special takedown moves in combat

Doesn’t Talk

One of the most notable aspects of Dogmeat as a companion is that he does not actually speak or have verbal dialogue options like many of the human companions in Fallout 4. As a dog, Dogmeat communicates through barks, whines, and other canine vocalizations rather than human speech.

While some players appreciate Dogmeat’s silence as staying true to his nature as a dog, others feel it limits his interactions and character development compared to companions like Nick Valentine or Piper who have extensive backstories and dialogue trees to explore. As a non-speaking companion, Dogmeat has no personal quests to complete and lacks the ability to comment on locations and situations during your travels.

However, Dogmeat’s inability to talk does not necessarily make him a poor companion. His loyalty and aid in combat help make up for his lack of conversation. Players who want a companion focused on action over story may find Dogmeat’s quiet cooperation a welcome change from chattier human allies. Still, those seeking complex follower interactions may want to pair Dogmeat with another companion if possible.

According to early game files, Dogmeat was intended to have a more developed personality and dialogue before it was cut from the final game (source). While his muted role matches his status as a dog, an expanded vocal repertoire could have made Dogmeat a more well-rounded companion.

Helps Find Items

One of Dogmeat’s most useful abilities as a companion is his skill at finding and leading you to useful items hidden in the world. While exploring, Dogmeat will occasionally pick up the scent of nearby loot and notify you with a bark. You can then command him to search the area and he will sniff out the item, even digging it up if it’s buried, and lead you right to it.

This ability makes Dogmeat an invaluable companion when scavenging. He will frequently locate ammo, weapons, armor, aid items, and other loot that you likely would have missed on your own. Dogmeat seems to have a knack for finding rare and valuable items too. According to players on Reddit, Dogmeat has helped them dig up mini nukes, fusion cores, and more [1].

dogmeat digging up rare items he has discovered

While other companions in Fallout 4 offer assistance in combat, Dogmeat’s item finding ability provides unique utility you won’t get from human companions. He makes scavenging easier and more rewarding, helping ensure you have the gear and supplies needed to survive in the wasteland.

Customization

Dogmeat has limited customization options available. The Sole Survivor can equip Dogmeat with various types of dog apparel found throughout the Commonwealth such as dog armor, bandanas, welding goggles, and collars. Dog apparel can provide damage resistance and bonuses to certain skills. For example, the Vault-Tec branding iron collar grants +10 damage resistance. To equip apparel on Dogmeat, the Sole Survivor needs to command Dogmeat to trade inventory items, then select the apparel and choose the equip option.

While there are several dog apparel items in Fallout 4, the options are still rather limited compared to human companion customization. Players cannot change Dogmeat’s fur color or breed. Overall, Dogmeat’s customization system provides some ability to alter his appearance but lacks extensive cosmetic options.

Carrying Capacity

Dogmeat can’t carry as many items as human companions in Fallout 4. According to the Fallout Wiki Dogmeat’s carry weight is set to 25 by default, and will increase to 150 when equipped with armor or accessories. This is much lower than other companions like Preston Garvey who has a default carry weight of 210. On Reddit, one user reported being able to get Dogmeat’s carry weight up to 149.4 pounds before he became overencumbered.

The limited carry weight is especially noticeable in Survival mode. As noted on Steam community forums, Dogmeat struggled carrying just 3 modified pipe rifles weighing around 21 pounds each. So Dogmeat’s low carry weight capacity can be inconvenient when scavenging the wasteland.

Doesn’t Count as Companion

One of the best things about Dogmeat is that he doesn’t count against the limit of having only one human companion at a time. Unlike previous Fallout games where Dogmeat was considered a full companion, in Fallout 4 you can have both Dogmeat and a human companion following you.

This makes Dogmeat extremely useful, as you can benefit from having a companion like Piper or Nick Valentine while still getting all the bonuses of having Dogmeat with you. Dogmeat can run ahead scanning for enemies, fetch items, and attack enemies, while your human companion provides story commentary and unlocks special dialogue.

Some players choose Dogmeat specifically for this reason – he provides all the benefits of a companion without taking up the companion spot. This frees you up to bring along a human companion for their unique perks and dialogue. It’s the best of both worlds.

So if you want to roam the wasteland with your trusty canine by your side while also having a human ally, Dogmeat is the perfect choice. He’ll always be at your side, never complaining, and leaving the human companion spot open.

(Source: https://www.nexusmods.com/fallout4/mods/13459)

Immortal

One of Dogmeat’s most unique traits is his immortality. Unlike human companions, Dogmeat cannot permanently die. There are numerous accounts across the Fallout universe of Dogmeat surviving normally fatal events. According to discussions on Steam, “Dogmeat is immortal across all time. Any apparent death (eg FO4) is temporary.”

theories about dogmeat's immortality across fallout games

This immortality makes Dogmeat an extremely reliable companion. You never have to worry about Dogmeat getting killed in battle or by environmental hazards, as he will always return after a period of time. As one Redditor theorized, “Dogmeat is a recurring follower, every Fallout game has a German Shepherd you can recruit who is presumably the same dog.” So even across Fallout titles, Dogmeat possesses an undying loyalty.

Some players see Dogmeat’s immortality as a positive, while others view it as breaking immersion. But overall his inability to permanently die makes Dogmeat a low-maintenance companion who will never abandon you.

Conclusion

In summary, Dogmeat has a number of pros and cons as a companion in Fallout. On the plus side, he is extremely loyal, helps in combat by distracting enemies, finds items, and can be customized. He also doesn’t count against the companion limit, allowing you to bring another companion along. His immortality prevents him from dying permanently. However, Dogmeat also has some drawbacks. He doesn’t talk or provide commentary like human companions. His carrying capacity is limited, and he has no hacking or lockpicking skills. While cute and endearing, Dogmeat may not suit every playstyle.

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