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A dog, d, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. It is a medium-sized and carnivorous domestic canine that can be seen via infravision. Dogs can be tamed by throwing any type of meat or rations that they can eat at them, and can be pacified by throwing veggy food at them.

A dog has a single bite attack.

Eating a dog corpse or tin will confer the aggravate monster intrinsic, unless you are an orcish character or a Caveman.

Chatting to a dog will give various responses, depending on its tameness and condition.


Randomly generated dogs may generate as peaceful towards neutral characters. A little dog can grow up into a dog, and a dog can grow up into a large dog.

Dogs appear among the random d that are part of the first quest monster class for Samurai and make up 24175 of the monsters randomly generated on the Samurai quest.


As hostile monsters, dogs can be annoying or even threatening to early characters that lack suitable spare food item to pacify them with - cream pies, eggs, and melons will splatter on the dog's face. Veggy food such as lichen corpses will reliably pacify a hostile dog without giving up a food source. During a full moon, dogs have a 56 chance of becoming peaceful instead of tame when throwing acceptable food to them, and further thrown acceptable food rolls this same chance of taming without angering them.[1]

Once a character finds their footing and establishes a basic kit, they may want to keep a veggy food item such as an apple or pear around to pacify dogs and other domestic carnivores they do not want to fight or keep as pets. Keep an eye out for domestic animals while exploring - those with an interest in exotic pets may wish to tame and then polymorph a dog they encounter, e.g. using a wand of polymorph or a leash near a polymorph trap. Running across a named dog is also one of many signs that you are on a bones level.

As pets

Chatting with a tamed dog can provide an idea of how it is feeling.

Below is a table describing how much weight in objects a domestic carnivore at a particular stage of growth can carry, which is generally applicable for credit cloning and otherwise ripping off shopkeepers - remember that cats and dogs can only pick up a single object at a time:

Pet type Corpse wt Can carry unassisted in uncursed bag of holding in blessed bag of holding
kitten/little dog 150 51 72 144
housecat/dog 200 / 400 68 / 137 106 / 244 212 / 488
large cat/large dog 250 / 800 1000 1970 3940


The dog first appears in Hack for PDP-11, which is based on Jay Fenlason's Hack - pets were not present in Hack 1.21, suggesting that they were an early addition by Andries Brouwer, and the dog is part of the initial bestiary for Hack 1.0.


The dog (Canis familiaris or Canis lupus familiaris) is a domesticated descendant of a now-extinct species of gray wolves, with the living gray wolves being their closest living relative. The dog was the first species to be domesticated by humans, with evidence of pre-agricultural hunter-gatherers keeping dogs as far back as 15,000 years ago. Dogs have been selectively bred over millennia for various behaviors, sensory capabilities, and physical attributes, with breeds varying widely in shape, size, and color, and thrive on a starch-rich diet that would be inadequate for other canids. Dogs are omnivorous, rather than carnivorous as in NetHack.

A pet dog performs many roles for humans, such as hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting police and the military, companionship, therapy, and aiding disabled people. Over the millennia, dogs became uniquely adapted to human behavior, and the human–canine bond has been a topic of frequent study. This influence on human society has given them the sobriquet of "man's best friend". Naturally, dogs are an iconic video game pet, to the point that the little dog from NetHack was ranked number 6 on Gamespy's top 10 list of video game sidekicks - another dog, Dogmeat from the first Fallout game, occupies the number 2 spot.

In the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons, dogs appear in two forms: war dogs are simply loyal large dogs trained to fight by their masters, displaying ferocity in battle, and are typically protected by light studded leather armor and a spiked collar; wild dogs inhabit most regions, with pack habitats sometimes overlapping with those of wolves, and well-fed wild dogs simply avoid contact - a wild dog can only be tamed if separated from their pack. As in the real world, Dungeons & Dragons also incorporates various dog breeds, both mundane and fantastic, over its several editions.


<The dog> howls.
You chatted to a dog while it is night time during a full moon, regardless of other circumstances.[2]
<The dog> whines.
Your tame dog is hungry, caught in a trap, confused, scared, or at low tameness.[3] A leashed dog that is near a square with a trap will whine on its own.[4]
<The dog> barks.
A tame dog will become hungry in 1000 turns or less, or you chatted to a peaceful dog.[5]
<The dog> yips.
You chatted to a peaceful or tame dog, and none of the above conditions apply.[6]
<The dog> growls.
You chatted to a hostile dog.[7]



In SLASH'EM, dogs and their other growth stages have their frequency raised to 7. They also do not randomly generate in Gehennom.

Dogs appear among the random d that are part of the second quest monster class for Yeomen and make up 6175 of the monsters randomly generated on the Yeoman quest.

All of the above information also applies to SlashTHEM.


In Hack'EM, little dogs and their other growth stages that can generate randomly (i.e. excluding the guard dog) have their frequency raised to 3 rather than 7, and can randomly generate in Gehennom - all other SLASH'EM details apply.

Encyclopedia entry

A domestic animal, the _tame dog_ (_Canis familiaris_), of
which numerous breeds exist. The male is called a dog,
while the female is called a bitch. Because of its known
loyalty to man and gentleness with children, it is the
world's most popular domestic animal. It can easily be
trained to perform various tasks.