Skyrim Special Edition

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About this mod

A Dog's Life improves upon and adds to the base functionality of dogs in Skyrim in an immersive and intuitive way, whilst also providing control over the mod's wide range of features. Basic new features include trading, home assignment, naming, and petting. More advanced features include dog harnesses, fetching items and dog tracking.

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A Dog's Life improves upon and adds to the base functionality of dogs in Skyrim in an immersive and intuitive way, whilst also providing control over the mod's wide range of features. Basic new features include trading, home assignment, naming, and petting. More advanced features include dog harnesses, dog armour, fetching items and dog tracking.

For those looking for an even more immersive experience, you can enable the needs features, including Happiness and Hunger. This means you will need to keep your dog happy by playing ball and giving regular pets, alongside feeding your pooch to prevent starvation.

New Dogs

Some new strays have been hand-placed into the world at the Riften Docks, Windhelm Docks and Morthal. They will need to be petted and given food in order to gain their trust, however, some stray dogs can be trickier than others to gain their trust and might take a few scratches here and there. Alternatively, you can purchase a war dog at Markarth or find other stray dogs in Skyrim added via random encounters. Dawnguard DLC dogs are also taken care of but will have limited capabilities as they are only hired and not owned dogs.

Dog Items

Dog items can be purchased from general goods stores and blacksmiths, however, these items are restricted and randomised so as not to flood merchants with new items. Alternatively, you can purchase a wider range of dog equipment and items from Banning in Markarth. Items can also be crafted at the tanning rack.

Dog Rextetures

Dream's Unique Dogs has been implemented directly into A Dog's Life, providing standard dogs (Wolfhounds) with improved and unique textures. PlagueHush's husky textures have also been implemented and their alpha channels fixed, providing Huskies with new unique looks, and also changing Bran and Sceolang to have a unique look. Finally, Garmr and CuSith have also been given their own unique skins to one another.

As of update 1.1, you can change your dog's breed and colour via the Mod Configuration Menu.

Dog Armour

The Dawnguard armour has been tweaked to allow it to be added to any dog, however, it's not necessarily going to fit perfectly on all dogs. I could have restricted the use of armours on dogs with clipping, however, it may bother some less than others and is worth allowing, giving the player more options.

Mod Trailer


Any mod that edits the dog follower dialogue and touches any of the same quests, including Meeko's may experience compatibility issues and require a patch. Dialogue is only applied to select dogs already in the game with the PotentialAnimalFaction and PotentialFollowerFacton factions assigned to them. They will also need to be one of the races included in dialogue condition checks. One advantage to this is that this mod shouldn't interfere with dog mods that add their own races and separate follower systems.

Additional Dog Races

The primary focus of A Dog's Life was not to flood the game with lots of dog races with varying levels of model and texture quality, it was to mainly enhance the functionality of the existing races within the game. I'm not opposed to potentially adding a couple in the future so long as they fit well with the game. So far, the Kelpie has been added with no current plans to add more.

If you wish to add additional dog races and compatibility for other dog mods to enable them to be integrated into A Dog's Life, there's a long list of requirements as of update 1.1, given some of the changes to the dialogue system. A video will be posted here in the future to guide those of you wanting to add additional races and add dialogue support for other mods.

Follower Frameworks

My upcoming follower framework also supports animals, dogs included, however, a patch will be provided once that mod is released to allow this mod and my follower framework to work in tandem. Other follower frameworks are going to depend on how they work and what they enforce on dogs. I will not be making patches for follower frameworks.

Added Stealth Perks

For stealth perks to be added to dogs in the game, they must have the keyword ADLKeywordDogCompanion and SPID as linked below will need to be installed to apply the perks to dog companions on game load. Without SPID, the perks for Muffle and Light Foot will not be applied to dogs.

Spell Perk Item Distributor SPID

Patches in General

The creation of patches isn't always down to the mod author and I welcome the community patching my mods and opening up new opportunities. It's just not feasible for me to sit here creating patches in xEDIT and the Creation Kit when I would much rather spend my precious modding time creating something fun and engaging. I work a demanding full-time job alongside family responsibilities, not to mention to need to kick back and relax on occasion. With that said, given the mood, I may create some patches going forward, especially if they are for mods I use myself, I'm just not promising anything.

Recommended Mods

The following mods should help complement A Dog's Life and deal with some features that this mod doesn't cover.

Quiet Dog - Lower the frequency of spontaneous barking, with an option to mute entirely.
Unique Barbas Retexture - A fantastic texture overhaul to make Barbas far better looking.
Husky Sounds - Adds more varied sounds to Husky dogs.

Special Thanks

The following have contributed their resources for this mod and it wouldn't be half as cool without them.

Elianora & tumbajamba - Additional Dog Armours
Viltuska - Draugr Death Hound Texture
triptherift - Kelpie Dog Race
Dreamstar91 - Unique Dogs Textures
7iger - Dog Meat Dog Textures
Wrig675 & Kelsenellenelvian - Dog Textures & Dog Meat Textures
PlagueHush & Aenkill - Husky Textures
Elroy - Dog Armour Resource
Schlangster - Sky UILib for Naming UI
AndrealphusVIII - Bring Meeko to Lod

If I have forgotten anyone, I apologise, please drop me a message via my website contact form or a comment and I'll adjust the credits. When working on a mod like this, it becomes very easy to lose sight of various resources utilised, whether it be a line of script or a particular mesh.

A Life Mods

If you're enjoying A Dog's Life, you may want to check out my other mods that cover different animals.