How to Tame Dogs in Breath of the Wild

  • How to Tame Dogs in Breath of the Wild

Introduction to the Dogs of Breath of the Wild

If you're anything like me (a huge video game nerd and a professional pet photographer), you were probably pretty excited to discover interactive dogs in the latest Zelda installment, Breath of the Wild (BOTW). This isn't the first time that dogs appeared in the Zelda franchise, but the level of interactivity and shear whimsicalness of the canine edition to the game is arguably unprecedented.

Unlike in a lot of other video games, the dogs in BOTW aren't forced into the role of combatant or relegated to mindless window dressing. What is even more interesting about the dogs in BOTW is that their bond isn't assumed. In many games, such as Skyrim, you can just buy a dog and it would follow you loyally where ever you go. But in BOTW you have to work to earn a dog's trust and there are limits of what it will do for you.

While the number of different interactions you can share with dogs in this game are admittedly fairly limited - especially as there is no way to actually pet any of these dogs - what impressed us was how the developers caught the over all feel and magic experience of meeting a free range dog. In many ways, hanging out with the dogs in BOTW reminded me of our wonderful experiences meeting the wonderful stray dogs of Chile, especially the moments we shared with the dogs of Valparaíso, San Pedro de Atacama, Santiago, and Torres del Paine.

It might seem like a small thing, but it is actually a pretty huge and positive step in how dogs are represented in media.

Bonding with a Dog is a Two Way Street

Just like with training a dog in real life, a little effort goes a long way when bonding with the dogs in BOTW. In fact, many of the activities that you would share with a dog in the real world translate into in-game activities, games and tricks.

In Breath of the Wild you can bond with a dog just by spending time near it, running around with the dog, or by playing fetch with a branch. But just like in the real world, the surest and quickest way to bond with a dog is to reward it with a tasty treat.

There are two foods that dogs especially like in BOTW, raw meat and apples. But as we are talking about a video game, it's not enough to just feed the dog. You're going to want to make sure that you're bonding with your new dog friend by interacting with them the way the developers intended.

Taming a dog in Breath of the Wild in 4 easy steps

  1. Find dog.
  2. Turn to face dog.
  3. Wait for pink poofy cloud to appear.
  4. Feed dog 3 pieces of raw meat (or 4 apples).

How to Bond with a Dog in Breath of the Wild

A dog from BOTW, not to be confused with a wolf.

Step 1) Find a Dog

Dogs can be found randomly throughout the wilds of Hyrule, but they are most consistently found near people. Cities, towns, and especially stables are all great places to find dogs. Make sure that you're working with an actual dog. The dogs in this game look like Border Collies. The dogs that look like Huskies and German Shepherds  are not in fact dogs and are actually wolves. None of the following steps will work with wolves.

Breath of the wild dog bonded

Step 2) Face the Dog

Orient Link so that he is face-to-face with the dog you wish to bond with. Some players have had luck just hanging around or even moving about near a dog. But we find we get the most consistent and reliable results simply by crouching in front of the dog and looking them in the face.

Step 3) Wait for the Poof

After a few seconds of staring at the dog it should erupt in a shiny pink puffy cloud. This poof indicates that you have begun interacting with the dog and that you now have the dog's attention.

Step 4) It's Treat time!

Just like most real dogs, the fastest way to a dog's heart in the Breath of the Wild is through its belly. Dogs in BOTW tend to prefer raw meat and apples. To feed a dog, simply drop an item from your inventory near the dog. The dog should begin to follow you as soon as you've fed it once -- allowing you to play fetch with it by tossing a branch or even make it chase its own tail by running in a circle around the dog. To maximize your bond as quickly as possible, feed the dog 3 raw meats or 4 apples.

Why Bond with a Dog in Breath of the Wild?

Making New Friends Has Its Benefits

Bonding with dogs in BOTW is fun, but there are also some interesting perks to befriending dogs in this game. If you maximize your bond with a dog it will lead Link to a secret chest. To remove the metal chest from the ground, simply levitate it with the help of your Magnesis rune.

Most of the treasure chests revealed by dogs will contain a handful of Rubies - making them a great early game perk.  But a few dogs in the game will lead Link to better treasures when fully bonded, such as weapons, arrows, and unique items. In fact, bonding with dogs in Breath of the Field is how Star Fragments are found near the Snowfield Stable and Lurelin Village locations.

BOTW Dog Treasures Listed By Reward

  • Gold Rupee: Serenne Stable***
  • Silver Rupee: Hateno Village*, Highland Stable, Outskirk Stable, Dueling Peaks Stable
  • Opal: Wetland Stable
  • Bomb Arrow x5: Tarrey Town**
  • Shock Arrow x10: East Akkala Stable
  • Ice Arrow x 10: Woodland Stable, Gerudo Canyon Stable
  • Knight's Claymore: South Akkala Stable
  • Knight's Bow: Kara Kara Bazaar
  • Forest Dweller's Spear: Lakeside Stable
  • Feathered Spear: Snowfield Stable***
  • Star Fragment: Snowfield Stable****, Lurelin Village

* Befriend the white dog.

** Only available upon completion of the side quest "From the Ground Up" and after Tarrey Town has been fully developed. Befriend the black dog.

*** Befriend the black dog.

**** Befriend the left most white dog.

Breath of the Wild themed Nintendo Switch protective carrying case

How to Pet a Dog in Breath of the Wild?

Unfortunately there is no way to really pet a dog in Breath of the Wild. However if you unequip your weapons and push the melee attack button when near a dog repeatedly it is possible to get Link to flail about in a way that kind of looks like he is petting the dog.

The game will even reward your efforts by increasing your bonding with the dog slightly when you do this (similar to how playing fetch does), but despite this increase in affection there is no animation for petting a dog. We don't know if this was an oversight by the Breath of the Wild developers or a bug, but it is a feature we wish they would add to the game soon. Maybe we will all get lucky in Breath of the Wild 2? Finger crossed!

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