Barbas is a dog found along the road outside Falkreath. He is the only talking dog in the game. Barbas is Clavicus Vile's companion, a supernatural creature that usually takes the form of a dog, and as with nearly every dog in Skyrim, takes the form of an Irish Wolfhound.
Barbas appears outside of Falkreath upon first visiting the city, or during the middle of The Break of Dawn. One of the guards or Lod will direct the Dragonborn toward Barbas, who needs help locating his "master." Following the talking canine to Haemar's Shame, the Dragonborn discovers Barbas is the pet of Daedric Prince, Clavicus Vile. The Dragonborn can choose to kill Barbas for Vile in exchange for the Rueful Axe, or choose to reunite Barbas with this master and recover a powerful Daedric artifact. Additionally, should the Dragonborn choose to recover the axe and postpone doing so, Barbas can become a permanent and invincible follower.
After returning Barbas to Clavicus Vile, the Dragonborn can return to Lod for a small reward by telling him, "The dog was more trouble than he was worth."
Barbas is one of the quest characters that can be exploited to follow the Dragonborn throughout Skyrim along with an additional follower. The downside of this is that since he is not technically a follower, he'll trigger the detection "eye" while sneaking, making stealing very difficult, because the player cannot tell who has spotted them and will give a bounty if Barbas sees the crime. You can, however, tell him to "stay" before attempting any tricky stealth activities.
Barbas can be used as a companion in combat. Barbas is a useful follower to have in a fight since his bite is strong enough to kill many weaker enemies in one strike, and he's an effective decoy against more powerful enemies, because he cannot be killed during the course of the game. Even if he were to sustain enough damage in a single attack to kill him, he will not die, but instead he will flee, then return to the fight immediately when healed.
His barking, as with any dog follower, is incessant, but it does not alert enemies.
He maintains a very close proximity, frequently bumping into the Dragonborn; any attempts to stop may result in him shoving the Dragonborn, making many basic actions difficult, including boxing the Dragonborn into corners, or worse case, shoving off cliffs or narrow walkways. This can be solved by hitting Barbas with a weapon once, where he will back off and whimper.
It is possible for the Dragonborn to kill Barbas in the heat of battle. Doing so will result in a notice to "speak with Clavicus Vile." Searching Barbas' remains will show that he carried varying amounts of every type of arrow.
In Oblivion, Barbas's statue guides the player to find the Umbra Sword. He first tells the player to go to Pell's Gate. When the sword is acquired, return to Clavicus Vile's Shrine and either give the sword to Clavicus, or keep it.
In the English version, Barbas speaks with a thick New York accent.
Barbas may be a reference to Barnabas, a talking dog character who makes an appearance in the DC Sandman comic book series of the 1990s, and who makes snarky comments to his owner and companion "Destruction" of the Endless.
In Skyrim, Barbas is shown as significantly smaller compared to his iterations in previous games.
This section contains bugs related to Barbas (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template 360 / XB1 , PS3 / PS4 , PC / MAC , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person-anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
Click to the list of bugs encountered
PC 360 PS3 If the Dragonborn chooses to follow Barbas to the shrine, his route through Helgen will see some bandit attacks take place. This may cause Barbas to do a second run through in Helgen.
PC 360 PS3 As Barbas comes to the Helgen gate that requires opening by the Dragonborn, the opening of the door tends to slam Barbas against the wall. The player must close, then reopen it to let him through.
PC 360 PS3 If one decides not to kill Barbas and talk to him before he gets turned into stone, the whole statue of Clavicus Vile will disappear and Barbas will remain in the room forever. He will no longer follow or respond in any way, but remains stuck in the party restricting the ability to recruit any dog companions thereafter.
PC 360 PS3 Lod, the blacksmith, may be dead, but the quest can still show up.
PC 360 PS3 If the Dragonborn decides to follow Barbas through Helgen, and the main exit is locked, Barbas might start climbing the door erratically because he cannot follow his scripted path. If the door gets unlocked during the process, Barbas might get stuck behind it, causing the game to crash.
PC 360 PS3 Solution: To prevent this issue, if the door is not unlocked before the pursuit, one can still get it open by reaching it before he does or during a fight with bandits, since Barbas cannot be killed at that point. The Dragonborn can also unlock the door and then close it again, and somehow Barbas will open the door himself.
PC 360 PS3 Barbas is invincible when one tries to kill him and does not take correct actions.
PC 360 PS3 Barbas can sometimes go through the metal gate behind the Clavicus Vile shrine and start fighting the boss vampire behind it.
PC 360 PS3 Sometimes, when approaching Haemar's Shame, it will not say onscreen that it is discovered, but it is possible to fast travel to it.
PC 360 PS3 Barbas does not show up at his quest marker after speaking to Lod.
PC 360 PS3 Solution: To avoid this glitch complete any misc quest (e.g. treasure hunt quest) involving Rimerock Burrow before speaking to Lod about the dog. Clearing Rimerock Burrow will not affect the quest to retrieve the Rueful Axe.
PC 360 PS3 Entering Haemar's after retrieving the Rueful Axe can cause random objects to spawn in the cavern.
PC Telling Barbas to wait inside Rimerock Burrow may cause him to disappear at the moment the Dragonborn takes the axe.
PC 360 PS3 Barbas may get lost on the path to the statue. In the moments the final dialogue is completed and Barbas becomes part of the statue, he may never actually catch up, which in turn disables the ability to have a follower.
Even when "A Daedra's Best Friend" is completed, the game will sometimes still show Barbas as an animal follower. This will prevent the Dragonborn from getting another animal follower.
PC Using the console command set PlayerAnimalCount to 0 will clear the animal follower state and allow the Dragornborn to acquire a new animal follower.
If Barbas is given to a child in Hearthfire, this will happen.
360 If the Dragonborn attacks Barbas before going to Haemar's Shame, using Command Animal will make Barbas continue on his path (until the spell wears off). This can be done at Clavicus Vile's Shrine, before speaking to him for the first time. Barbas will not be hostile towards the Dragonborn now.
PC 360 Barbas will sometimes glitch and randomly become hostile to any follower. If the follower is in the essential faction, the two will constantly fight.
PC 360 Solution: Reloading the last save will fix this.
Barbas may appear randomly after any transition.
If player ignores Barbas at first sight, and Lod is dead due to Dragon attack on Falkreath, quest is unable to start.
When hitting Barbas with enchanted weapons, the effects of the enchantment are not applied.
PS3 Killing the Hagraven from The Blessings of Nature with Barbas may result in Hagraven's corpse disappearing through the ground. This prevents the player from picking up the Nettlebane from the corpse.
PS3 Barbas can be found in the Palace of the Kings.
Barbas can be found missing sometimes and be stuck in Helgen. This can be fixed by opening console commands in PC and type in prid 00052535, hit enter then type in moveto player.