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"Dog" is a Mabari War Hound found in Dragon Age: Origins. It first appears in the game's prologue, and may join the party as a permanent companion shortly after the prologue's completion. This dog can be given any name the player desires, though its default name in the name entry field is "Dog." Dog's voice was provided by a real dog.
Dog both levels up and takes up a party member slot just as any other companion might. He has his own unique special abilities that exist outside the standard class skill trees, and he also equips special equipment such as collars and "kaddis" or war paint. Kaddis apply a visual change to his appearance as well as status effects such as elemental resistances and attack/defense buffs.
Dog has an amusing property that comes into play when conversing with him. If the Warden is covered in blood spatters, the Warden may request that Dog clean it off. The screen will then fade to black temporarily to the sound of the dog licking the blood from the Warden, who will then appear perfectly clean when the picture fades back in.
How to obtain Dog
There are two ways to obtain the dog as a playable character. The easiest and most straightforward of these is to choose the Human Noble path. As a human noble, the player automatically begins the game with the dog as a pet. He officially joins as a party member after an amusing scene in the larder during the course of the origin story portion of the prologue.
Outside of the Human Noble path, the other way to obtain the dog involves speaking with the Mabari kennel master during preparations for the battle at Ostagar. The kennel master asks the player to help an injured war hound by obtaining a special healing herb in the Kocari Wilds. If the player locates this herb and gives it to the kennel master upon returning from the Wilds, the dog will appear in a cutscene while traveling between locations on the world map following the battle of Ostagar. At this point, the player is given the option of allowing the dog to tag along.