Dogs in the Middle Ages

Our last achieved stretch goal was the dog companion. He should follow you, help you and just be your new best buddy. Even dog related quests will be probably included. But how do you imagine this cooperation - thinking of Fable, GTA or other games? And the even greater question: What do you know about dogs in the middle ages? Races, behavior, keeping, “benefit”? Share your knowledge and tell us about your expectations.

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I think dogs played big roles for hunting and herding anmials. Of course there have also been a lot of half-wild living estrays and dog-catchers that were trying to capture them. To prevent that dogs would escape they were often chained or hold on a leash.

I looked some things up [(source)][1] and found this:
There have been diffenrent types of dogs for hunting, the greyhound was very fast, the hound (ger, bracke) had a good nose and winded the trails of the animals they had much endurance and exhausted them. Diffenrent dogs were specialized to hunt different animals like hare, wild boars etc. other dogs were just used to scare up game.

hare hunting dogs

Dogs that were used to herd animals must have been big and strong to defend the sheeps for example against wolves.
Smaller dogs were suitable to prevent that birds eat the seeds on the field like on this picture:

There have also been guard dogs to hinder thieves from stealing and protect house and yard or property like this one at a mill:

Dogs were sometimes even used to cart something like on this picture:

There is evidence that there even have been some dogfights.

For the game I’d like Henrys dog to be some kind of hunting dog maybe with a good nose so he can scare up game so that we’ll see where the animals hide. It would be cool too if hes also some kind of guard dog so that he will warn us of bandits or danger from wild animals (bears, wolves) when we are sleeping in a set up camp maybe in the middle of the forest

I dont know if its possible to do this but it would be very nice if hes not always right behind or ahead of us but runs away sometimes (maybe around 20-40 metres) when he sees something like a bird or when he catchs up a track so he would also have kind of his own head like the horse.
The Dog may also help us in fights when there is more than one enemy for example he could bite the other one so the guy will go slightly injured into the fight

I just found that theres another thread with very good postings about that:



Goddamnit, I sure hope as hell that when Henry gets drunk we can cart away being towed by the dog!!!

Do you mean dog POV playing?

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I was talking about quests where your dog plays a major role.

I’d love if the dog wasn’t just following you. @janfo’s idea is probably the best solution in order to not make the dog-feature annoying. I imagine a dog just simply walking behind you the whole time could be super irritating but having a dog with it’s own personality roaming around the place and exploring the location around you might actually be pretty cool… I imagine just sitting down on a bench ingame and watching the dog run around and sniff out animal tracks and maybe even secrets hidden purposefully by Warhorse :wink:
Depending on how well trained that dog is gonna be you might have to add a leash to the game so in cities and other places where you don’t want him to roam around, you can actually make him follow you or leash him to a post or tree somewhere…
Even though I feel like I would forget him there and my dog would only be a feature for 5 minutes until he starved to death :smiley: And a well-trained dog won’t probably need a leash and just follow you by command.

And I imagine a thief character could make great use of a well-trained dog which can cause chaos at places while you use that distraction to just grab everything you can.

I don’t know how well a dog would do in combat. I think a sword (or any other weapon) wielding opponent could easily take care of a dog and depending on how close that dog is to Henry he might not want his precious pet and friend to die in combat against the first opponent.


Well something like this:

It for one would make for a good quest to acquire the dog.

But what I expect the dog to be able to do is things humans can’t do well such as using smell for tracking.

Using the dog to guard your home while you’re on a mission would be nice, so thievery at your home is less likely (depending if that is a feature in the game). You could have five possible outcomes after the mission:

  1. Dog had some “friends” to play with… means some thieves came in, wanted to rob you and just got killed => bloody bloody mess mess (which is a reference to

  2. Your dog was abducted, some stuff is stolen and you get a side mission to find your stolen stuff… and hopefully your dog. There should be traces to follow, maybe NPCs might help you to guide you to the right direction, while not giving you exact whereabouts of where the dog or your stuff could be. If the dog is well trained, you could whistle or call for him, so maybe he’s making some noise so you can find him.

  3. Your dog got hit hard, some stuff is stolen, you need to take care of your dog first, then use your dog to track down the thieves.

  4. Your dog welcomes you like nothing has happened… because nothing has happened.

  5. Your dog ran off to the wilds (happens a lot in the beginning when he’s not trained to guard the house). It could have two reasons for this to happen: either the dog was looking for the main character or something more interesting happened. For the latter it either means he did some good deeds or some mess in the town for which you’re responsible if the people know that this is your dog.

Just some ideas I had in mind, no need to implement them. :smiley:

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Hi Tobi!

Janfo already linked it, but I made a post about this a few months ago: Dogs in the Medieval Period

Posted quite a bit of info on the topic of dogs in the middle ages, and so did some other community members. Including lots of good period paintings, drawings and tapestries depicting dogs. Dan saw it and commented on it too. I’ve been meaning to go back and edit the post with more information I’ve discovered since then, but I haven’t had time (got married, work, etc. ). Hopefully I’ll be able to update it soon!

In terms of cooperation, I’d definitely say something more Fable like would be interesting.

Hi Tobi !

Ich würde gern sehen, wie der Hund seinem Herrchen die Wunden leckt, die er bei dem TURNIER davonträgt :slight_smile: …das war (glaube) das Goal davor. Sony hat übrigens für die PS “Wild…etc.” in Arbeit, sehr schöne Tieranimationen, sehenswert.

Its so hard to wait for this pet :wink: TY a lot