A typical Commonwealth canine, Dogmeat is capable of tracking a man's scent for miles. While he doesn't really have an owner, he is a loyal and faithful companion to those he accompanies.
During the time that the Sole Survivor was cryogenically frozen in Vault 111, Dogmeat assisted Nick Valentine on a number of cases, and also accompanied Preston Garvey and his group of settlers on their way to Concord. When the group was ambushed by raiders, Preston Garvey sent Dogmeat to search for help in nearby Sanctuary Hills, who has since been patiently waiting at the Red Rocket truck stop for someone to come along and lend a hand.
When the Survivor arrives, they can choose to adopt Dogmeat, who will accompany them on their travels throughout the Commonwealth. Dogmeat's remarkable senses and tracking abilities come into good use when the Sole Survivor searches for Kellogg.
When first encountered at the Red Rocket truck stop, an objective entitled "Greet the dog" will appear in the "Miscellaneous" section of the "Quests" tab in the player character's Pip-Boy. The objective is completed when the player character first initiates a 'conversation' with Dogmeat.
Like with every companion character, the Sole Survivor can command Dogmeat to do certain tasks, such as commanding him to go to a certain location of the Survivor's choosing or fetching an item for the player character.
Dogmeat loves the Sole Survivor unconditionally, and thus is neither negatively nor positively influenced by their actions. As of the base game, he is the only companion, aside from temporary followers during quests, who is considered to be truly neutral.
After first encountering Dogmeat, he will just be named "Dog." However, later on, Mama Murphy mentions to the Sole Survivor that Dogmeat is his real name. She can also mention that Dogmeat is his own man, but she has seen that he will follow the Survivor.
If this conversation is missed, Dogmeat will be named "Dog." However, during the quest Reunions, Dogmeat is referred to by his name whether or not the Sole Survivor had the relevant conversation with Mama Murphy. He will then be named Dogmeat from that point on.
During the quest Getting a Clue, if Dogmeat was never met previously, Nick Valentine will call Dogmeat with a whistle.
Nick Valentine will also say beforehand that he "knows a guy that can help" and remark, "I've worked with him a quite a few times before." while talking about Dogmeat.
During the quest Reunions, dismissing Dogmeat after finding Fort Hagen will make him stay there until the end of the quest, regardless of the location the player asks him to go.
Dogmeat is the only companion whose perk Attack Dog must be unlocked via the perk chart.
When the player character is rebuilding a settlement, they can place a dog house for him to stay in. If he is dismissed to a settlement before that he will go and live in or around one of the existing dog houses.
Dogmeat can be healed during battle if a stimpak is used on him when he is down.
Dogmeat is able to "fetch," detecting the surrounding for the choice of items, enemies or containers. Upon finding something, Dogmeat will either stand in front of the item (if on the floor), bite the enemy (triggers enemy detection) or pull out the items from the container. If told to fetch an item near Custom House Tower, he will run to a rubble pile near some existing mannequins in the display windows and pull out random hats. One of these hats can apparently be the Lieutenant's hat or Captain Ironsides' hat.
When traveling with Dogmeat, he may occasionally detect enemies and containers on his own without being asked to do so by the Sole Survivor, which prompts the player character with messages such as 'Dogmeat found something,' when he finds a container or 'Dogmeat found an enemy,' when he detects enemy presence nearby.
Upon detecting containers or enemies, no matter if told to or otherwise, Dogmeat will react accordingly: he growls if an enemy is detected and keeps doing so while he tracks them, or, when he finds a container, gives the player character a warning bark, runs towards it, and then happily stomps his front paws, while pointing his head to whatever he has found.
If not able to reach a container he found, he will still point his head towards the direction of what he found, giving the player character a hint on chests, trunks and other containers with valuable loot usually placed in the top of buildings.
While Dogmeat is technically a companion, the benefits of Lone Wanderer still apply if the Sole Survivor adventures with Dogmeat.
If sent to wait at the Red Rocket truck stop where he is first met, one of Dogmeat's idle animations is putting his front legs on certain objects, like the hole in the pillars. Other dogs encountered, such as the one sold by Gene will also do this.
If Dogmeat is sent back to a settlement (by dismissal) and is then asked to trade, the Sole Survivor will refer to him by his real name, regardless of whether they know it yet.
Dogmeat does not count as a settler when in a settlement and will not respond to the "Settler Rally" bell. He will stay wherever he is at the time, likely near the closest doghouse.
If entering the "Command" menu while crouched, the Sole Survivor will whisper to Dogmeat. If entering after telling Dogmeat to stay and being a fair distance from him, they will shout and whistle.
When not in combat, Dogmeat will occasionally pull out a teddy bear and will chew on it and throw it into the air, playing with it. The teddy bear will not be "consumed" and remain in his inventory for storage. This happens regardless of whether Dogmeat has a teddy bear in his inventory or not.
If an ally of any faction is killed, Dogmeat will give a "mournful howl," as called by subtitles.
During Arthur Maxson's first speech, Dogmeat will walk to the center of the room and will be unable to be interacted with for its duration. Once Maxson finishes it with his "Ad Victoriam" salute, Dogmeat will perform his "bunny trick."
When engaged in combat against humanoid enemies, Dogmeat can trigger a variety of melee moves during the fight, such as a limb bite move, which he uses to hold an enemy in place by biting their limbs, which works with humans, synths, super mutants and feral ghouls, and a neck bite finishing move, which can eventually trigger when he engages a human enemy with health low enough to be instantly killed by his attacks, on which he jumps and knocks them down to finally kill them with a deadly neck bite.
Dogmeat has the highest stealth compared to other companions.
He is the only German Shepherd to appear in the game, making him unique among the canines that roam the Commonwealth.
Dogmeat is modeled after River, a female German Shepherd, owned by Michelle Burgess who is the wife of Joel Burgess, Senior Designer at Bethesda Softworks.
The following is based on unverified behind the scenes information and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
Dogmeat's name is undoubtedly an homage to previous Fallout titles, although there is no evidence to suggest that he is in any way related to any of the dogs from those titles.
Originally, the Sole Survivor was going to be able to have a full-fledged companion (such as Nick Valentine) as well as Dogmeat as a companion simultaneously, for a total of 2 companions, like with Fallout 3's version or ED-E/Rex in Fallout: New Vegas. This was scrapped due to the risk of this system breaking. Dialogues revolving around this system (such as companions commenting when Dogmeat is hurt, or Vault 81's security asking about "what about his/her friend and dog?") are still left in the game's files.
“Originally there were two slots for companion types, you could have both Dogmeat and a single human companion. That is why there are two aliases and two separate functions. Now we are only letting you have either dogmeat or a single human companion. Rather than risk breaking everything by trying to unifying everything into a single alias/function call I am going to just put hooks in SetCompanion and SetDogmeatCompanion to auto dismiss the other.”
In the movie "A Boy and His Dog," the main character 'Vic' would use the name 'Dogmeat' whenever he wanted to insult the dog.
End of information based on unverified behind the scenes information.
pcps4xboxone In Survival mode, when Dogmeat is downed there is no quest marker to heal him as there is with other companions. [verified]
pcps4xboxone In Survival mode, Dogmeat's carry weight is set as 25 by default, and will be increased to 150 when Dogmeat has a piece of equipment on (i.e. any bandana, armor, or dog collar). Welding goggles do not count. [verified]