Skyrim talk:Stray Dog


I checked out the RefID of a Stray Dog by pausing the game and then clicking on the Stray Dog, and I got 'ff0029bc' (without the quotes). Can anyone confirm if this is the only RefID of the Stray Dog, or if there are many Stray Dogs with different RefIDs? Galacticninja 14:54, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

There is only one Stray Dog actor in the CK. — Unsigned comment by (talk) on 3 May 2012
My Stray Dog has RefID 'ff001197' - found on the hills overlooking Saarthal with very little health left (there was a dead wolf nearby). — Unsigned comment by Paprsek (talkcontribs) at 03:07 on 17 March 2013
The refid always changes, shown by it beginning with 'ff'. It's the baseid that doesn't change. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 03:25, 17 March 2013 (GMT)

RefID & BugEdit

I believe there are multiple refid's for the stray dog. possibly a unique id is made when the dog is recruited. my ref code was ff001c6a.

Also a note about the 2 bugs Stray Dog has; in the console just type kill <refid> then disable <refid>. This will tag the dog as killed and despawned, so you can then recruit a new dog. This is what worked for me. User:Anonymous — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 00:09 on 13 December 2011

I think RefID's starting "ff" are copies of an existing actor. There may be a couple variations of stray dog, but there will be many copies, hence "ff------" for each dog's RefID. Eric SnowmaneQuestions? 00:19, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
There is only one baseID, which is the same for every actor or item of that type (ie imperial soldier or iron sword), what comes up when you select something in the console is the refID, which is unique to that particular actor or item. That's why you can't use the code that comes up when clicking on an item for the 'player.additem' command, you need the baseID which you can only find out with editors or here. — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 16:09 on 16 December 2011
This is true generally but in this case, as has been indicated, the Stray Dog is just a randomly spawned event (when he fights the two wolves) and can occur in any of the event spawn places. Hence why each Stray Dog a player finds will have a unique 'ff' code reference to mark it as a 'copy' and using the BaseId from the 'original' RefId does not work. — Unsigned comment by Lunamoonraker (talkcontribs) at 00:47 on 20 December 2011
There could be...however every single time I try, and I deleted all my files and totally restarted skyrim, and it works everytime ....Player. placeatme 00109487 and the stray will appear at ur side and follow you forever. Good Luck — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 17:44 on 5 September 2012

Barbas + Stray dogEdit

The stray dog will follow you even if Barbas and one other person is already following you too. I'm not sure how to add this to the page itself, or if this tidbit is relevant enough? -Momatoes 18:12, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

dont click too fast.Edit

i accidentally picked the second option and told the stray dog to go home. i dont even know what the first dialogue option was.. and then watched him walk away, no more dialogue options after this.

it then said 'your dog' is going home. or something, i am paraphrasing.

i continued to my quest and finished it. then thought to stop at markarth and check to see if he went near the stables? i am new to companions and dog followers. so alas. no idea where he may have gone or if i can even get him again.

now im just hoping i didnt glitch him out. to mess up any dog followers in the future.

xbox ~ 1.3.5 RaW 16:08, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

The Stray Dog is in fact a random spawned event so it is worth checking the spot you originally found him (allow time for him to travel back like a follower) However if there was no dialogue option once he started walking then it is unlikely it would return once he is there. The dog companion found at Markarth stables is Vigilance and is not the same as the Stray Dog. You could speak to Banning at the Stables and buy Vigilance as a follower instead for 500 gold. If you tell him to return home he will go back to Markarth stables and can be brought again, unless killed then he will not respawn. if you can't buy him then try to suggestions made here to clear the Stray Dog should work. Moonraker 01:38, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Finding the stray dog after losing it.Edit

There is actually a way of finding the Stray Dog's RefID, which is useful if you told it to go home upon meeting it but had no home. I'm not sure if this is possible on consoles, but it resolved the issue on PC.

1) Open the console and type:

    save temp 1

The '1' is important as it creates a text version of the savegame file. 'temp' in this example is simply the filename; you can of course change this to your own name.

2) Open the new save game file in a text editor, such as notepad (Skyrim may do this automatically for you).

3) Search the file for "stray". The first occurance will start with something that looks like this:

    00109487    49/83    00000208  57 Stray Dog <...>       

The 8-digit number at the beginning of the line if the BaseID, which you may recognise.

The second occurance will look something like this:

    FF0014B2  2615/5315  90000427  57 Stray Dog <...>

The 8-digit code starting with "FF" is the RefID; note that this will be a different code for you.

3) Go back into Skyrim. If you move to the location of the RefID, you will probably find nothing. Instead, you need to move the dog.

4) Type the following, replacing ffxxxxxx with the RefID you found in step 3:

    prid ffxxxxxx

5) Move the dog to you by typing:

    moveto player

6) If you exit the console, you still may not see the dog yet as it's apparently in a limbo. Go back into the console and type:


7) if this doesn't work, try:


I hope this helps for you - it took me 4 hours to figure it out! — Unsigned comment by (talk)

Nice guide. You can skip Stages 1-3 if you have a Save with the Stray Dog on it. Just load it and then open the console and click on 'your' version of the Stray Dog to obtain the unique ffxxxxxx RefID. Word of warning on Stage 1, running the 'save temp 1' command will likely lock up your computer for a while as it writes the text .ess file. Depending on size of the save and your computer this can be a long time but it should complete and open the file for you. Moonraker 01:37, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
any program I use to open ess files with tends to crash, even though they aren't that large (14MB). Most of the symbols in the text are random characters and the word 'stray' does not occur in the document (maybe I have a different dog though). Typing 'save temp 1' into the console causes skyrim to crash. — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 07:00 on 2 February 2012
Worked perfectly! Skyrim did not crash for me, and it only took about 30s to write a 11MB file (my computer didn't suffer much performance wise while it was doing that). Thanks for the tips, everybody should give this a shot.
Also worked perfectly for me. It only took less than ten seconds to write the file and didn't crash, either. In my case, the stray dog causing the problem had disappeared over 20 levels prior to me finding out that it was bugged when I went to recruit one of the Volkihar hounds. Using these instructions, my dog appeared back next to me after resurrecting him and functioned exactly as he should, allowing me to send him back home and recruit the hound instead. I'd recommend that anyone having this issue try this fix! Ivoryecho 05:15, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Stuck inside houseEdit

I told the Stray Dog to wait inside of Breezehome; after enough time passed, the prompt that stated he was going home appeared, but I returned to Breezehome to find him still inside and now he will not respond to me at all. Any way to fix this? — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 05:00 on 24 December 2011

All you do is player. placeatme 00109487 , and you will have a stray dog everytime. :) — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 17:42 on 5 September 2012
Stuck in House on PS3, too
I told him to wait in Proudspire Manor, hoping the kids would adopt it. They didn't. Returned later on, and told it to go home, and it won't leave and I can't command it. I did NOT get the "your pet heads home" message. Everyone is always telling it "stupid dog". I can attack it, I can heal it, but I can't click on it and get it to do anything. Even tried attacking then leaving the house to see if it would chase me outside. No luck. I may have to move the family to escape! 05:26, 7 May 2014 (GMT)Bluest


I just randomley found him, on his own, he was a little hurt so i assumed hed killed the wolves then tracked me down, so i decided to see where he went when told to go home, eventually we arrived at the bodies of two wolves, he walked to spot a little away from there, turned around, walked past the bodies again the way we came, turned again and continued to move between the two spots, so it may be smart to make some note of where you found him. (Eddie The Head 15:46, 3 January 2012 (UTC))

setting his "home" locationEdit

It appears to be possible to set the Stray Dog's "home" location, at least on PC. I'm not sure how I did it, but I've managed to make him "return" to an assortment of random spots, including inside dungeons, the Whiterun stables, Honeyside, etc. It seems to involve either the last place where the "enable/disable" console command was used on him OR the last place he was told to "wait here" and then "follow" before being dismissed.

Useful trick if your Stray Dog is getting outleveled and isn't useful as a fighting companion any more, but you want to retire him to one of your homes. It does seem to break his "re hire" feature though -- it's hard to get him to talk to & follow you again after doing this, so save first and only use if you know you aren't going to use him any more. — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 06:15 on 17 January 2012

so if it told my dog to wait in my house, then to follow me, then fired him he'd go back to my house? I'd test it myself but I lost him... (Eddie The Head 07:20, 17 January 2012 (UTC))

When I took my dog home, Lucia (my adopted kid) asked to keep him and I said yes. Does this affect his "home" location and/or whether he can be rehired? -- 21:32, 9 September 2018 (UTC)


does the random encounter generated stray mean that if you had him and he died you can meet another stray dog to replace him? — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 04:45 on 6 March 2012

It does. I just had this happen on the 360. — Unsigned comment by Soylentx (talkcontribs) on 19 March 2012

If he's a follower...Edit

Would he be a valid kill for the Ebony blade? If he truly is a random encounter, then wouldn't one be able to (eventually) find and kill enough stray dogs to bring the blade up to it's full power? Or does the ebony blade only accept human sacrifices? — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 16:33 on 10 March 2012

I believe followers are excluded from powering up the Ebony Blade. Robin Hoodtalk 06:58, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
It does count as a legitimate kill for the Ebony Blade. Any follower does. You will know it worked because for every two kills that are absorbed by the Blade, you will hear the voice of the Whispering Door. If you want to check if a kill counts towards the Blade's recharging:
1. Save your game.
2. Kill Lydia or whatever follower you currently have.
3. If you hear the voice, then reload your save.
4. Kill the animal/person in question. If you did not hear the voice, then it does not count towards the recharging of the Blade.
ALTERNATIVELY (Same first two steps)
1. Save your game.
2. Kill Lydia or whatever follower you currently have.
3. If you did NOT hear the voice, then kill the animal/person in question. If you still did not hear the voice, then it does not count towards the recharging of the Blade.
If you didn't want to kill the person/animal/follower, then simply reload your saved file.
NOTE: If you give a beggar 1 gold piece, he will trust you and thus count towards the Blade. I recommend giving him the gold piece, hiding somewhere, casting the spell Fury on him, and then kill him right away with the Blade. You will not get a bounty if no one saw you whilst casting the spell and you can kill him in public since he attacked first. Afterwards, you can simply loot his corpse and take your gold back (if you really want to).
Good luck! When fully charged, the Blade is an excellent weapon. It needs no recharging, as well as steals health from the enemy to heal you. -Relimez — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 13:18 on 17 June 2012

Problem with fixesEdit

I've tested most of the fixes to have your stray dog wait at certain areas on the Xbox, but none seem to work for me. I've tried everything I could think of, but my dog seems to be that rare case who wouldn't respond to any of the "treatments." This is very upsetting, as I've grown fond of my dog yet can not complete the Dark Brotherhood story line as followers can not enter the building. Any suggestions? — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 21:25 on 11 March 2012

You could just kill it and get another dog later on. RIM 21:30, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
"I've grown fond of my dog...", so killing it is not the solution. If you have Hearthfire you can have your kids adopt it as the family pet.

About stray dogsEdit

Stray Dogs are a completely random acurance in Skyrim. If one dies it is possible to find another. When you tell it to go home it will walk away untill it despawns or dies. I am not sure but I believe its possible to have 2 or more 'Strays' follow you. Stray dogs aren't as good as hunting or war dogs but like wolves if they were to congregate they could most likely take down a bandit with no assistance. If you want to keep it from dying I suggest healing hands, heal other and sometimes at the start of battle courage some spells may not affect it though

Oh and Stray dogs are easy soulgem 'bait' — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 20:15 on 1 May 2012

FAST console fix for stray dogEdit

If you are unable to recruit a new dog follower and have no idea what happened to your old dog, you can simply reset the global value that determines whether or not you can get another dog. It's PlayerAnimalCount, and the console command you need looks like this: Set PlayerAnimalCount to 0 (capitalization doesn't really matter) — Unsigned comment by Susurruss (talkcontribs) on 3 May 2012

Will you ever run out of Stray Dogs?Edit

I want to kill them for my Ebony Blade. If I keep going, will I eventually kill al the strays? Or will the ones I've killed still respawn in it's original area? If so, will I be able to recruit it again?? Does the dog you buy (Vigilance, I think) respawn if you kill him? — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 13:22 on 17 June 2012‎

There is nothing to suggest that they will ever stop spawning. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 23:29, 1 November 2012 (GMT)

Fix for Xbox UsersEdit

I've personally tested a fix I found for the vanished dog but still thinks you have a follower glitch. This will ONLY work if you haven't yet gained Meeko as a follower. Simply go meet Meeko and get him as a follower. His join option that first time you meet him overrides other animal followers and thereby removes you nonexistent stray dog as a follower. I've tested and confirmed this twice now. Lord Eydvar Talk|Contribs 04:34, 11 November 2012 (GMT)

I have just noticed that recruiting a Riekling as a follower (if you have the Dragonborn DLC and complete the Thirsk Hall quest in favour of the Rieklings) fills your 'pet' slot and seems to clear the issue with being unable to get a new pet due to Stray Dog disappearing. I recruited a Riekling, dismissed it (at which point I got the 'your pet is heading home' message), travelled to Markarth and bought Vigilance. Previously I had been unable to do so due to the 'you already have an animal following you' problem. I haven't yet tried this with other animal followers such as the Dawnguard dogs and trolls, but I will. Ragged Claw (talk) 03:01, 24 March 2014 (GMT)


Stray dog just turned hostile towards me after I dismissed him. I decided to follow him to see where he would go and at a certain point he turned around, began barking like he was warning me (similar to giant, wolf, mammoth and horker warnings) to stay away before he attacked me.-- 01:29, 27 January 2013 (GMT)

I ran across a stray dog a couple times. The second time I just stared at it without trying to "talk" to it and after awhile it attacked me. I guess if you ignore the dog long enough it will attack you. You may have followed the dog back to its original spot where you found him and then it turned on you after to stared at it long enough. 05:41, 5 October 2013 (GMT)

Can't find RefIDEdit

I opened the temp.ess.txt but after searching for the word "stray", apart from the first result, nothing more shows. It says "couldn't find 'stray'" after the first result. — Unsigned comment by Mystical101 (talkcontribs) at 18:15 on 19 May 2017

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, so I'll to cover all the bases. Stray Dogs exist in the game, they do not have a unique refid which is why there is none on the page. Not being technically minded I don't know what the temp file holds, but given its name it probably only holds ids of things you have encountered, so if you haven't found a dog in your game it wouldn't have created an id for it. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 17:35, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Return to "Stray Dog" page.