How to Get a Dog in Skyrim

Horses are the more well-known animal companion in Skyrim, but did you know you can also have a faithful canine? Dogs follow you and assist in battle. They can go places horses can't, such as into caves, cities, and buildings. They are large, shaggy creatures bred for hunting, and look very similar to the Irish Wolfhound.

There are numerous ways to get a few different dogs, ranging from free to a bit costly. Below are the dogs capable of being owned in Skyrim, and how to find or buy them.


Vigilance can be purchased outside of of Markarth. Simply travel to the stables, and then find Banning, who should be somewhere around the horses. You'll see Vigilance nearby and can offer to buy him for 500 gold. It's that simple!


Meeko can be found in a shack near Solitude, aptly named 'Meeko's Shack.' His owner has died of Rockjoint, leaving the poor pup to fend for himself. He is generally lying down near his master's corpse, waiting for him. If you speak to him, you can offer to let him come with you, which he'll be happy to do.


Barbas is....quite the beast. To find him, you will need to enter Falkreath, where a guard will ask you if you've seen a strange dog about. Talk to the blacksmith in Falkreath who is looking for him, then head out to the road. Barbas won't be far. When you see him, talk to him and he will explain that he is the banished companion of a Daedra. His absence has weakened his master considerably, so you will need to make a journey to speak to the demon. He will tell you to fetch an axe to return Barbas to his favor.

However, if you want to keep Barbas, ignore the axe quest and the hound will stay faithfully by your side. He's a rather amusing animal to have around.

Stray Dog

This dog appears as a random event. Usually he is being attacked by wolves and must be rescued. When safe, you will have the option of bringing him along with you. Note that if you tell the stray dog to stop following you, it will head off to an unknown place and may not be found again.

And that's it! Finding or buying a dog in Skyrim isn't difficult, but it adds a sort of completeness to your little group that I find oddly comforting. Dogs are formidable battle companions, capable of taking down the weaker monsters, but always watch his health in a fight. I can tell you right now, losing a dog is one of the saddest moments you'll have in Skyrim. Hopefully, you can avoid that and instead have many a happy adventure with your new, faithful sidekick!

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Comments 46 comments

Aisha 5 years ago

Found a stray dog that saved itself... I can talk to it but it won't join me. I'm not sure if it's because I have a companion already or not. I've tried dismissing said companion then talking to the dog, same problem, the dog will not join be but I can talk to it. Any ideas?

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Gofygure 5 years ago from Kutztown, PA Author

The human companions in Skyrim bug me, so I haven't run across this scenario myself. I would guess that you have a certain window to take the dog along that closed itself when you had a follower?

Rachael 5 years ago

I got the stray dog and when I fast travelled he disappeared.

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RadAdMusic 5 years ago from Dryden

cool! didn't know you could get dogs in Skyrim that's awesome

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Gofygure 5 years ago from Kutztown, PA Author

Rachael - I've found that companions are the buggiest part of the game. My Lydia disappeared off the face of the Earth, my horse got rocketed into the atmosphere and subsequently died, and when I dismissed Vigilance to write this article, I didn't realize he'd be unfindable again,

RadAdMusic- I love traveling around with just a horse and a dog. :) Makes for a great team, and they don't irk me like human followers.

Audi 5 years ago

i went to get meeko and didn't find him there

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Gofygure 5 years ago from Kutztown, PA Author

Sometimes he is out wandering. You may also have had a companion/other dog, which might prevent him from showing. I went to the cabin with a follower and he wasn't there. Came back alone and took that screenshot.

DizZy Domo 5 years ago

I found meeko out near the road that's next to the shack

Veelon 5 years ago

i don't know if this is true but i think the dog will go to one of your houses when dismissed so recommend having one before dismissing...

nc90 5 years ago

Found Meeko dead near his hut, almost cried :(

Pooka 5 years ago

you can also go to missing people or pet's locations. bring up the command line - for a computer it's the ~ button - and type: player.moveto

then add a space after "moveto" and type the characters code name. to find google skyrim (person's name) character code name. it will look like: a2c94 for example.

i used this to find my missinf spouse after I got married. maybe this can be used to find missing pups?

a friend 5 years ago

whenever i get vigilance after i leave him at m house for a little bit and come back hes gone.i go back to the markarth stables and vigilance is for sale again. what's with that?

Stick 5 years ago

Will I be able to get barbas back after dismissing him?

hannah101 5 years ago

i keep travelling to falkreath and none of the guards talk to me do you need to go at a certain time of day or need to be a specific level to get barbas?

mike 5 years ago

i told vigilence to wait some place and now don't know were he went

skyrim land 4 years ago

I had vigilance but he died in battle so I went to meekos shack and found meeko I read owners diary and almost cried but anyway got lydia and meeko and went to sleeping tree camp and fought a giant and they both died

los 4 years ago

I have a pet dragon he is located when you reach 100000 gold .

Gamergirl 4 years ago

To Los: I have 438,901 septims and haven't seen the option to own a dragon.

kindo 4 years ago

i left meeko and vigilance at home once and left and i came back and i got a message saying meeko left your house and vigilance left your house

Joe 4 years ago

Where did u get your pet dragon because I have over 100000?

killer 4 years ago

you can't get a pet dragon stupid nonsense you can only get horse dog follower and i don't know if this counts but i guess the character you marry ???????????????

Sup 4 years ago

When i went 2 go get meeko a dragon killed him and the 2nd time i went lydia attacked him 4 no freakin reason!!!

Sup 4 years ago

how do i get 2 dogs?

noname 4 years ago

You can pretty much get a pet dragon after you defeat alduin a second time a dragon said he would be yours or something like that

do 4 years ago

How do you get a cat

Caine 4 years ago

Those dogs are so freeking annoying all the do is bark bark bark. mine didn't help very much in combat,I was fighting Two silverhands ingaging them with dual swords then out off nowhere my dogs jumps right in front of me and the silverhand and my sword comes down on my dog killing him because of course that sword was enchanted... anyway are their othere species of dog in skyrim I don't like how those dogs look and I preffer a more combat intelligent dog.

Mike 4 years ago

You cant get a pet dragon.. Its just a "call dragon" shout u learn and can use like sum one above said u can use it after u really kill alduin.. Its awesome tho.. When he comes after u shout for him he will fight for u

Jessa 4 years ago

My Meeko died ):

az 4 years ago

my vigilance is dead when all bandit targetting it and shoot it with arrow without sad

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SkyrimBlob 4 years ago

I went to meeko's shack with Lydia and a Horse, he s not there but i had to kill 2 frostbite spiders, after that i headed south and followed the road back to the shack and there he was! now if he dies i load it to a point he was alive =)

Matt 4 years ago

Dogs are so fun to have. What annoys me is that when you tell them to wait, and you go to battle something, they come along instead of waiting and in most cases they die.

Butt 4 years ago

My meeko was killed by a frost troll. He was hit off of a cliff.

Hobo 4 years ago

Went to meeko's shack he wasn't there. Dragged his owners body outside and took his stuff. Then bought vigilance. He disappeared from when I went to the underforge to become a werewolf

tnm 4 years ago

Can i have 100 dogs ?

tv 4 years ago

Can i have vampire kids

archer nut 4 years ago

okay do we half to download that new thing for skyrim the dawnguard i think it is. to get the dog as a pet?

Bam 4 years ago

You people type like you're 7years old.. -__- and all this, "my meeko died by bandits" yadda yadda, maybe you just shouldn't have a dog companion. there are reasons why game designers take animal options off.

rr 4 years ago

where can i find a dragon priest i am vampiric lord and werewolf not to mention my invinsible vampire girl and i want to kick their butts

rr 4 years ago

where can i find a dragon priest i am vampiric lord and werewolf not to mention my invinsible vampire girl and i want to kick their butts

Ulric 4 years ago

Guys stop complaining about how stupid dogs in game are, at least the creators of skyrim were so kind and hard working that after they made the most amazing game ever they still took the time to add dog companions.

megan 4 years ago

I found meeko and died by a dragon :(

ii 4 years ago

talking dogs! how ?

ii 4 years ago

and most amazing game ever !c'mon Ulric dragon age is still better.

Name withheld 4 years ago

I found the stray dog getting attacked by two dragons 1 dragon ran off but the other stayed and i saved the dog i don't know how in the world he survived and then i healed him and i didn't know how to bring him home with me. (I SO STUPID)

k.k 4 years ago

One of my dogs died then the other one i left in some guys house in Riften!!!

Whatsaapppp 2 years ago

My vigilance died cause I was using flames, he jumped in between me and the enemy and I started a fire on oil to kill other enemies and he just went for them.

You could say it was a crispy death

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