Since the early days of theHunter there has been an important part missing in the hunting experience: Dogs. It has been brought up as a possible feature for the game countless times but circumstances where never quite right.
With adding dogs to theHunter there are two different roles for them to fulfill. First, perhaps the most important one, is to add to the immersion of the game. Having a dog with you who reacts to the surroundings and to yourself is something that intensifies the hunting experience. What we want to give you is the experience of the hunter and the dog – a companionship going back in time to as long as some ten thousand years or more. If we could even slightly tap into that ancient human-canine bond the hunting immersion would increase significantly. This is what EW have tried to achieve. So not everything about the dog has to do about gameplay: It is more an enhancement of the hunting experience.
The second role the dog plays is obviously an aid to the hunter in the game. In real life it is an arduous task to go fetch a downed ducks through waist deep water, or to track wounded animals down. The task may not be as tough in theHunter but the dog will at least let you focus on the more important things.
Impact of the dog on the game
Dogs are more of an experience and a convenience, as opposed to a game-changing addition to theHunter. The dog has no real impact on missions or competitions either since the stalking and shooting is still done by the player.
EW says why specific rather than generic dog types were chosen.
"When we were looking around in the different dog threads over the forums and asked our trusted hunting experts, the first dog type that would come up in almost all cases was a bird retrieving dog. Our decision to make one was solely based on this. Many has also suggested a more 'multitalented' dog that could, for instance, track as well as retrieve. Although we considered making dogs that could do multiple tasks, it quickly became obvious that it developing an easy-to-use interaction (GUI) system for a dog that could flush, retrieve, track and partake in driven hunts would be impossible. It was also difficult to find a suitable breed to base such a multitalented dog on. So, we decided to focus on specialized dogs instead."
These dog species are available in the game.
When you first purchase a dog, it is inexperienced and a bit rowdy, the same as in real life. It may have some issues obeying and following commands, but the more time it spends out hunting with you, the better it gets at understanding what you want it to do.
- If the dog does not understand or chooses to ignore a command, a small icon with a question mark in the bottom left corner is shown.
- If the dog understands the command then an icon with an exclamation mark will be shown.
Better experience will also make your dog calmer and more focused – it will make less noise, ignore other dogs more easily and be less prone to bark at animals close by. Your dog will spook other animals but who wants to see a dog walking through a group of Whitetails who leisurely continue with their grazing?
Your dog has 50 levels and each new level comes with a skill increase, a ribbon or gm$. Leveling up is fairly quick in the beginning but will slowly become tougher and tougher. You can see your dog’s experience and level, as well as its stamina state, in the right corner of the screen when you bring up the commands menu.
Once your dog reaches level 50 it will be the perfect hunting companion: Quiet, focused and efficient.
Important: The dog's level in itself does not change any of the dog's likelihood of succeeding or how well it performs, it is only the skills themselves that improves the dog. Good stamina improves the rate of which the dog receives experience, not how well it performs or how likely it is to obey. Only if the dogs stamina reaches 0 will the dog stop obeying commands.
The dogs have an endurance level. This determines how well they respond to commands. The more tired they are, the less responsive they are, and the slower they learn. The endurance level regenerates over time as they rest.
- Refreshed: 200%
- Rested: 175%
- OK: 150%
- Tired: 125%
- Winded: 100%
- Exhausted: 90%
- Drained: 0%
These ribbons are shown for each of your dogs as experience milestones. You get a ribbon for experience level 1, then a new one for every 5 levels.
A dog's experience level starts at 0 and can go up to a maximum of 50. When ever the dog reaches a new level, awards are made in the form of either of these:
- Skill level increase - both generic skills as well as dog specific skills
The only exception is level 50, where both a ribbon and a skill level increase occurs.
If the dog's stamina is at 100%, the following experience points (XP) are gained:
- understand command to fetch a bird: 20 points
- fail to understand to fetch a bird: 2 points
- understand other command: 2 points
- fail to understand other command: 0.2 points
- receive treat: 30% of the successful command the dog was treated for (e.g. 6 points after fetching bird)
If a dog's stamina is higher, e.g. at 200%, then the double amount of XP are gained. If the stamina is lower, then less points are gained accordingly.
The table below shows what you gain for each new level. Golden fields signify what changes for each level. It will be a ribbon, a level gain or a monetary gift in Gm$.
A new dog will behave like a young dog. Wild, inattentive and playful. It takes time to train a dog and make him follow the hunter's commands better. This is done by increasing each of the dog's skills. Each skill has a certain maximum it can reach. Leveling up is not done by training specific abilities though. For example, making the dog run around a lot will not increase the Stamina skill. The skills are increased by reaching certain Experience levels, see the Experience Awards table above.
There are generic skills that build up equally for every dog species, and there are dog specific skills.
These skills are characteristic for all dogs, independent of their species.
|Icon||Loyalty Skill||Max Level||Explanation|
|Stamina||6||Determines how long a dog can work without becoming tired and having to rest.|
|Follow Owner||3||Governs how well a dog can stay close to its owner.|
|Loyalty||6||Governs how well a dog follows a command. It affects all other commands in the game.|
|Follow Stance||6||Governs how well a dog can follow its owner's stance.|
|Focus||3||High level in focus prevents a dog from chasing after animals that it might sense nearby.|
|Stoicism||3||Governs how well a dog can ignore other dogs in a hunting situation.|
Find dog specific skills described under each dog species.
- To bring a dog to your hunt, drag it out from the lodge or tent inventory and place into the dog slot in your own inventory. It will spawn next to you once you close the inventory screen.
- If this is the first time you bring your dog with you, you will be prompted to give it a name. It is not possible to rename a dog.
- Once you leave the lodge or tent area you won't be able to unequip the dog.
- You can access a set of dog commands by pressing the according key. The default key is "V".
- While holding this key, select the command you want to give your dog with the mouse, then press the left mouse button.
These keys issue commands immediately without having to go via the dog menu.
|Go to player||J|
Dog Response Icons
After giving command, you can see the following icons on the screen.
|Dog did understand the command|
|Dog did not understand the command|
|Dog is out of range for a command|
The Labrador Retriever is the first dog in the game. The retriever is much more of an experience and a convenience addition rather than a game changer. You won't have to zip around fetching a whole bunch of birds; you can let your dog do the work while you keep an eye on the skies. The dog has no real impact on missions or competitions either since the hunting is still done by you.
The Labrador Retriever can fetch the following species after they have been shot:
These skills are Labrador specific.
|Rabbit Retrieving||3||Governs how well a dog understand fetching Rabbits.|
|Bird Retrieving||3||Governs how well a dog understand fetching Birds.|
|Blind Retrieving||3||Governs search speed of a dog that fetches from out of a blind.|
|Soft Mouth||3||Governs if a dog damages a fetched bird or not.|
|Mark Bird||3||Governs search speed of a dog that fetches from outside of a blind.|
|Honoring||3||Governs how good the dog is at first fetching a birds that its owner shot.|
Labrador Retriever Tutorial Video
This scent hound will help you to track down wounded animals that run off after an unfortunate wounding shot. The Hound's extraordinary sense of smell can detect even the faintest blood track over long distances. This young dog has received advanced training and is ready for the hunt. And with more hunting experience it will grow to become a loyal and invaluable hunting companion.
How to track
To track a wounded animal walk up to a blood track, ID it (left-click on the track) and then hold “V” and select “Track”. The Scent Hound will move to the selected track to get its scent and then it will start tracking. It can track blood tracks and fleeing tracks of an animal, but not water tracks. When the dog has found the dead animal it will stay by it, baying and barking so you can easily pinpoint the location.
There are two scenarios when tracking can fail. The first is that the dog simply got distracted during tracking. It may have caught the scent of another animal or the distance between two clues was too far. The second scenario is that the tracked animal just got brushed by a projectile, bled for a few minutes then the bleeding stopped. In this case the dog cannot continue the tracking.
Bluetick Coonhound Skills
These skills are Coonhound specific.
|Blood Tracking||3||Governs how well a dog can find blood tracks.|
|Heel||3||Governs how well a dog can stay in the Heel position while its owner is moving.|
|Footprint Tracking||3||Governs how well a dog can find footprints of wounded animals.|
|Tracking Focus||3||Governs how well a dog avoid being distracted by tracks from other animals than the tracked one.|
|Tracking Speed||3||Governs how fast a dog can find the next track while tracking.|
|Tracking Distance||3||Governs how far away a dog can detect a track of an animal.|
Coonhound Tutorial Video
The German Pointer is going to be your personal guide when it comes to finding ptarmigans, rabbits, canines, felines and eventually even deer. When using the Pointer's special ability from the "V" command menu he/she will strike out and scan the area for traces of your prey. When one is found it will assume the "point" position with neck extended and paws raised to direct you to the animal in question. If there are no prey animals initially in the area your dog will roam until a trail is picked up.
German Pointer Skills
These skills are German Pointer specific.
|Detection|| Governs how well a dog can detect different species of animals. The Pointer will always detect the closest animal of the type you commanded it to find.
|Awareness|| Governs how successful is at detecting animals in the vicinity every 10 seconds of having Detection active.
|Detection Range|| Governs how far a dog can detect animals.
|Detection Recovery|| Governs how long you need to wait before the dog can detect another animal.
|Critical Position|| Governs how well a dog can proactively tell that an animal is about to spook (transition from calm to alert/attentive state) depending on how close the owner is from the prey. This skill is a passive skill and is a way for your dog to say "Shhhh!". An exclamation point will show up in the corner for 5 seconds together with the dog whimpering. This only applies to animals you are tracking/moving towards.
|Detection Accuracy|| Governs the safe distance away from the tracked animal. The closer the dog gets the higher possibility of spooking the animal.
German Pointer Tutorial Video
Other Dog Facts
- There is no functional difference between male and female dogs.
- Dogs cannot be injured or killed.
- Dogs do not need to be fed.
- Dogs can swim.
- Each player can only take out one dog at a time, although you can own more than one.
- Neither a dog nor any of the accessories take up backpack space.
- The max distance at which the dog wants to return to the player after been given a “stay here!” command is 75m.
- If "stay!" command is given, the dog will stay still until the player walks outside the maximum stay distance or gives another command.
- Abort going towards the player if we tell a Retriever to stay, except when the dog is returning with an animal.
- Retrievers can fetch birds in deep water.
- If a Retriever somehow fails to retrieve an animal, this animal is removed as a target for fetching.
Collars are just for cosmetics. They do not give camouflage (even if they have camo look!) or any other rewards. Visit the Collars in the store.
|This device will allow you to see where your dog is using your HunterMate. The GPS is added to your HunterMate as soon as you buy it. After the purchase the HunterMate will show your dog's position whenever you choose to bring a dog with you.|
Using Dog Equipment
First add a dog to your field inventory. Once a dog has been selected, a new option "Dog" appears. Use the Dog panel to equip dog accessories.
Dogs or their equipment do not use any of your inventory capacity.
If issued after a successfully performed command, the dog treats will add a small XP amount to the dog.
Add the treats to your backpack. After the dog successfully performs a command get close to it, open the dog command menu and select the option in the middle.
How they work
- An extra slot will appear in the inventory if the dog backpack is used.
- It allows to bring more equipment in the field by letting the dog carry some of the smaller items.
- The items can be up to 1.5 capacity usage.
- The total capacity of the dog backpack is 5.
Labrador Retriever Community Videos
|Pre-Release Live Stream video by community member Pratze.|