The Secret of Sending Dogmeat to Vault 101


The Fallout game series takes place in a post-apocalyptic world after a nuclear war. Vault 101 is one of the many underground fallout shelters known as Vaults that were built by Vault-Tec before the Great War to house and protect survivors. According to the Fallout Wiki, Vault 101 is located in Washington D.C. and was designed to never open to the outside world. It serves as the starting location and home of the Lone Wanderer in Fallout 3 before they venture out into the Capital Wasteland.

Dogmeat Companion

Dogmeat is a dog companion that has appeared in several Fallout games, going back to the original Fallout in 1997. He is a German Shepherd that players can recruit as a companion. According to the Fallout Wiki, Dogmeat is “Fallout 4’s most versatile and capable companion.” He specializes in detecting enemies, can carry items and equipment, and is skilled in combat.

Dogmeat starts appearing in Fallout 4 after the Sole Survivor first emerges from Vault 111. He can be found near the Red Rocket gas station and will follow the player automatically. Dogmeat doesn’t count against the companion limit, so he can be used alongside another companion. His perks include increasing damage and on attack commands. Overall, Dogmeat serves as a loyal companion in Fallout 4 that assists the player in exploring the wasteland.

Vault 101 Location

Vault 101 is located in the Capital Wasteland region in the year 2277. It is located northwest of Megaton and southwest of Springvale. The vault was designed to never be opened, as it was a secret control vault intended for social experiments conducted by Vault-Tec. The vault consists of various tunnels, chambers and living quarters built underground.

According to the Fallout Wiki [1], Vault 101 is in the northwestern corner of the Capital Wasteland, close to the Potomac River. It is accessible via a cave opening concealed by a large, fake rock. The vault door itself is massive and made of thick metal. Just outside the vault entrance is a small administration building and waiting area.

The interior of Vault 101 is expansive, with different levels and zones for living quarters, offices, the reactor, security, and more. It was designed to house 500 occupants indefinitely. Being located underground, there is no natural light or windows inside the vault.

Sending Dogmeat to Vault 101

In Fallout 3, the player character can send the companion Dogmeat to a specific location by commanding him to “stay” there. Vault 101 is one of the locations in the Capital Wasteland that Dogmeat can be sent to.

To send Dogmeat to Vault 101, the player must first recruit him as a companion. This can be done by traveling to the Scrapyard and speaking with Dogmeat there to recruit him. Once Dogmeat is recruited, the player can then fast travel or walk with Dogmeat to the entrance of Vault 101.

When at the vault door, the player needs to command Dogmeat to “stay” by holding the activate button. This will make Dogmeat stay in that spot at the entrance of Vault 101 indefinitely until commanded otherwise. The player can then enter the vault while Dogmeat patiently waits outside.

It’s important to note that the player needs to have already discovered Vault 101 and gained access to it in the main quest line for the option to send Dogmeat there to appear. Additionally, Dogmeat must be recruited as a companion first before he can be commanded to stay at any location.

Dogmeat’s Arrival at Vault 101

When the player first sends Dogmeat to Vault 101, he will be initially confused and cautious when entering the vault doors. As a wild dog who has lived his life in the Capital Wasteland, the environment of the enclosed underground vault will be entirely foreign to Dogmeat.

dogmeat cautiously entering the vault for the first time

Upon entering Vault 101, Dogmeat will likely be startled by the heavy vault door slamming shut behind him. He will begin cautiously exploring the first room, sniffing around and taking in all the new smells. Since Vault 101 is abandoned at this point in the game, Dogmeat will not immediately encounter any vault residents.

Without the player character present, Dogmeat will rely on his animal instincts to navigate through the vault halls and rooms. He may pause frequently to sniff the air or ground, using his heightened dog senses to gather information on this unfamiliar place.

Exploring Vault 101

Once arriving at Vault 101, Dogmeat is able to freely explore many areas of the vault that are normally inaccessible to the player early in the game [1]. As a non-human companion, Dogmeat can move through compact tunnels and small passageways. He can access utility rooms, storage areas, and maintenance sections that are blocked off from the main living quarters [2].

dogmeat accessing normally blocked off vault areas

Notably, Dogmeat can enter and exit the vault multiple times without issue. This allows him to traverse between the Wasteland and Vault 101 as needed. Players can take advantage of this to use Dogmeat as a pack mule for transporting items back and forth [3]. However, Dogmeat cannot activate buttons or terminals himself, so he still relies on the player for accessing new areas.

NPC Interactions

When Dogmeat arrives at Vault 101, most NPCs will react to his presence with surprise or curiosity since dogs are rare in the vault. Certain NPCs like Amata and the Overseer will express concern about having a dog running loose in the vault.

According to discussions on Steam, Dogmeat’s interactions with Vault 101 NPCs are sometimes buggy1. Some players report that NPCs completely ignore Dogmeat’s presence. normally NPCs should comment on Dogmeat and may even pet or play with him.

The Fallout wiki notes that Dogmeat was intended as a companion for the start of the game2. But for story reasons he is sent back to Vault 101 when you leave. His interactions with vault residents were meant to reinforce his connection to the location.

Obtaining Items

Dogmeat can be quite useful for obtaining items within Vault 101 that the player may have initially missed. According to a GameFaqs forum post, Dogmeat has the ability to fetch items and carry them back to the player (Source). Some of the useful items Dogmeat can find and bring back from Vault 101 include:

useful items dogmeat can fetch from inside vault 101

  • Ammo – Dogmeat can fetch small amounts of ammo like .32 rounds or 10mm rounds that may have been overlooked by the player.
  • Weapons – Low level weapons like the baseball bat or lead pipe that can be sold or used.
  • Aid items – Stimpaks, Radaway, and other aid items respawn in Vault 101 and Dogmeat can retrieve them.
  • Caps – Dogmeat can pick up caps from containers or that are lying around Vault 101.
  • Miscellaneous Items – Things like Vault jumpsuits, glasses, clipboards etc. Dogmeat can bring back miscellaneous items to be sold.

By sending Dogmeat back periodically to scour Vault 101, the player can obtain minor but useful items from their former home. Dogmeat serves as a useful companion for fetching small items in hard to reach places (Source).

Potential Outcomes

Overall, sending Dogmeat to Vault 101 can result in some interesting and unexpected outcomes for the player. According to sources like, Dogmeat will successfully enter Vault 101 if commanded to do so. Once inside, he will autonomously explore the vault and interact with NPCs like Amata and security guards. Dogmeat cannot die inside the vault, so there is no risk of permanent harm.

Potential outcomes include Dogmeat finding and returning with items to the player, startling vault residents, and drawing the ire of security guards. According to, Dogmeat can even pick up quest items ahead of the player. Overall, sending Dogmeat into Vault 101 can unveil some entertaining emergent behaviors and opportunities.

outcomes and opportunities from sending dogmeat to explore vault 101


Sending Dogmeat to explore Vault 101 can lead to some interesting outcomes. As the Lone Wanderer’s faithful companion, Dogmeat is able to freely enter areas and interact with NPCs in ways the player character cannot. His arrival sparks reactions from Vault 101 residents who will express surprise at seeing a dog from the outside world. Dogmeat can help the player obtain items within Vault 101 like the Wasteland Survival Guide and the Vault 101 Utility Jumpsuit. However, his presence can also lead to hostility from security guards if he strays into restricted areas. Overall, dispatching Dogmeat allows players to experience Vault 101 from a new perspective. While he cannot complete quests, his explorations provide insight and opportunities not possible for the Lone Wanderer. Sending Dogmeat to Vault 101 breathes new life into the starting location and highlights the companions as more than just combat allies.

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