Elder Scrolls

Stray Dog

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Stray Dog
Stray Dog
Race Dog
Gender Male
Services Follower
Base ID 00109487

Stray Dog is a dog that can be recruited as a follower. They are encountered through random encounters. However, a stray dog can be found, once exiting the cave that exits Helgen Keep, up the trail to the left.


To recruit Stray Dogs, locate them on the world map. These dogs need to be aided in a fight with other creatures, such as a pack of wolves or a dragon. After dispatching all hostile foes in the proximity of the dog, speak with it, and it follows its rescuer until dismissed or dead. Upon being dismissed, it returns to the location where it was rescued. It is also possible to recruit a stray dog by using the Animal Allegiance shout.

Dogs can be recruited alongside other followers, such as housecarls or mercenaries, allowing for a total of two followers and any summoned undead or atronachs. During the quest where Delphine and Esbern are escorted to Sky Haven Temple, one follower and one stray dog can be brought along as followers, making a total of four potential followers, excluding conjured beings.

Stray Dogs appear to have identical stats to Meeko; their level is set when they are first spawned, and their maximum level is 25, at which they have 250 health.


Stray Dog's Stats
Level 10 → 25
Health 100 → 250
Magicka 0
Stamina 65 → 140
Unarmed Damage 8
Armor Rating 0

Dialogue optionsEdit

The Stray Dog has two options when talking to it:

  • "Wait here." - commands the dog to stay in one place.
  • "Go away dog. I don't need you." - dismisses the Stray Dog as your follower.

If the dog is made to wait for 3 in-game days, a notification saying, "Your dog has returned home." appears.


  • If a Stray Dog is made to wait in a house that you own, it will remain there indefinitely, though it will not be able to follow you again after three days. Hearthfire may allow you to adopt the stray dog, through a random event with an adopted child, so it may be a good idea for players with Hearthfire to put the dog in a house that is owned by the character, should they encounter the dog.
  • In the Hearthfire DLC, after gaining a Stray Dog as a pet, family members, housecarls and bards are known to say, "Stupid dog." This is because adult NPCs are scripted to say this whenever they are within proximity of the dog.


This section contains bugs related to Stray Dog. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Confirm all bugs with other editors on the talk page before adding them below.
  2. Always try reloading an old save first, before asking for assistance.
  3. Do not discuss possible bug fixes or origins. Leave those and all other first-person-anecdotes on the talk page, not the article.
  4. Always add  360  ,  PS3  , or  PC   to clarify which system the bug appears on.
  • It is possible for the dog to disappear entirely after waiting in a certain location. At this point the dog will not even be found in the original location where it was discovered.
  •  360  Occasionally, when told to wait, the dog wanders off on its own.
  • Using Healing Hands on a stray dog that hasn't been recruited may cause it to become hostile.
  •  PC   360   When the dog is told to wait and the current location is left, (i.e. the player leaves a house with the dog waiting inside, or the player enters a house with the dog waiting outside), then the dog will be gone. It doesn't matter how long the player stays in the other location. So to keep the stray dog, take him everywhere, or park him, then let him follow again when leaving.
  • It's possible when meeting the dog for a dragon to appear dead nearby, but one may still be able to absorb its soul and talk to the dog.
  • Sometimes a dog gets caught in a "limbo" of sorts, and no amount of fast traveling or waiting will force the animal to appear, nor can one buy or hire a new one.
    •  PC   Solution: If this happens, try the following. Save game (f5 will do). Reload a previous save where the dog is present. Open console ( ` key) and left click on dog. Search for the RefID starting with ff, e.g. ff000f21. Reload the current save (f9 for quick saves). Open the console and enter the following 4 lines pressing 'Enter' after each:
prid ffxxxxxx (the RefID detailed above)
moveto player

If the players don't have such a previous save file, enter this in console: save test 1. Then the game will make a new save with the name "test" and perhaps not responding for a moment. Then the game will be minimized and a notpad file opened. Search for the keyword "stray dog" and its RefID could be found, with the prefix "FF," like FF00276B. But the RefID is not the same in different games.

    • Other platform solution: visiting and recruiting Meeko will automatically boot the Dragonborn's animal companion, including a missing dog. The player can then dismiss Meeko and recruit other animals.(Confirmed on PS3 Version 1.9.31+DLC's)
  •  360   Dogs purchased from Banning may disappear when left in homes for extended durations.
  •  360  Sometimes when talking to a stray dog, there will be no dialogue options, making it impossible to recruit them. Although other times when this occurs the dog does become a follower.
  • Sometimes, the Stray Dog may have other names such as "Bear". One such dog can be found near Helgen, though it is likely rare.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Stray Dog

  • only bark

    2 messages
    • when "resurrect" my stray dog, he's not my follower. I can't resruit him again. I can't talk to him.(only bark, no dialogue) any idea?
    • That command can have odd effects on followers and merchants and the Stray Dog seems a little glitchy anyway you could try the comm...
  • Stray Deer (Deer/Dog glitch on PC)

    2 messages
    • So I was traveling on Solestiem when all of a sudden I'm attacked by a troll. I then see a deer charging towards it and attacking the troll...
    • OMG I HAVE THAT SAME GLITCHK IDK WHY THOUGH its amazing! I want to make mine essential. 

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