Several changes in “Taking your dog on a hunt”, “Tracking” and “Dog states” sections.
Added a “Dog visual behavior” section (thanks to @the_1_sandman for the suggestion)
To get your first dog you need to access the kennel in any outpost or tent.
The first dog will be given to you for free, but any next dog will cost you 45000 cash.
There are 6 fur types available, you also can choose between male and female variant:
Black and tan fullcoat
Black and tan saddle
Liver and tan fullcoat
Liver and tan saddle
Red and black pigmented
Red and liver pigmented
Once you’re satisfied with how your dog looks, you can buy it.
You’ll see a small window where you can type a name for your dog.
Be careful, there is no in-game option to rename or delete your dog after you buy it!
After purchasing a dog, it will appear in a kennel under My dogs tab
Taking your dog on a hunt
First of all you need to activate your dog.
To take the dog out of a kennel choose the dog you want to use, then click “Set as active”
Your dog will immediately spawn somewhere nearby.
To move your dog back to kennel, you need to do the same steps, but this time you need to press “Kennel”
Dog statuses and level
There are two statuses of your bloodhound: Focus and Bond
Focus is a “stamina” of your dog. It affects how quick and how well a dog performs a task.
Every time you give any command, focus will deplete by some amount.
Focus will regenerate over time if you don’t give any commands to your dog. You can also restore it by putting your dog back to kennel.
Bond shows how well you treat your dog. If your bond is high, a dog will have a boost to Focus regeneration. Low bond will result in opposite effect. You can raise your bond by praising, petting, playing and giving a treat.
A bloodhound also has two separate level bars: Companion and Tracker
Companion level is always increasing while you’re on a hunt with your dog. This level is used to unlock new traits for your dog. Also higher Companion level will affect how attentive your dog to your commands and how willing it will be to stay close to you.
Tracker level shows how experienced is your bloodhound at tracking. It increases when your dog performs any tracking action. Tracker level will affect how fast and how good your dog will be at tracking.
There are currently 30 Companion levels and 15 Tracker levels.
You can give your dog commands and interact with it. There are two command wheels, one – when you’re on some distance from your dog, second – when you’re close to your dog and when you look at it.
By default, you need to hold [B] to open up both wheels.
Remote command wheel:
Close interaction command wheel:
Let’s go over some behavior and movement options available on these wheels.
Will order your dog stop and remain on its current place.
Similar to stay, the dog will sit and remain on its current place.
- Lay down
As options above, the dog will lie down and remain on its current place.
Will order your dog to follow you and stay close to you, mostly on your left side.
There are also several options to interact with your dog to increase your bond:
You’ll endorse your dog by whistling. Gives little amount of bond.
A dog will give you its paw. Gives slightly more bond, than a praise.
You’ll pet your dog. Gives even more bond.
- Give treat
This option appears on a close interaction command wheel, when you have doggy biscuits in your inventory. You can get it in a shop under EQUIPMENT -> CONSUMABLES.
This option gives the most bond out of 4 options.
Context sensitive commands
There are also some quick commands available for your dog
- Quick Heel command
Instead of using the command wheel, you can tap [B] once and your dog will heel to you.
- Quick Track command
Again, instead of using the command wheel, you can tap [B] once, after you’ve examined a blood clue and if you’re within 5 meters of it. Then your dog will start tracking that trail.
- Quick Petting
When your dog is idling or sitting, come close to it and tap [B] once.
Every 5 Companion levels you’ll be able to choose between two traits.
There are 12 traits in total. You can have only 6 active at a time.
Choose traits wisely, there is no option to revert them.
Here’s an explanation for all given traits:
- LEVEL 5
Increases your maximum Bond
Without this trait your dog will directly follow a trail. But with this trait active it will be able to skip over some clues in favor of more recent ones, making its overall path shorter and quicker.
- LEVEL 10
With this trait active, your dog will be able to alert you if there’s an animal nearby that’s about to be spooked. A dog will whimper, snuggle to the ground and its state will change to “Critical position”.
Increases the default ~60m radius by ~50m at which your dog is able to find a blood clue.
(See Tracking section for more info)
- LEVEL 15
Purely cosmetic function. It makes your dog howl.
When a dog howls in a group of other dogs in multiplayer, they will also howl.
Your dog will be better at finding smaller blood clues, if your shot wasn’t good enough.
- LEVEL 20
Increases your maximum Focus
With this trait your dog will be able to highlight a wounded animal that you’re tracking. Useful, when you messed up your shot and wounded animal has ran far away.
- LEVEL 25
With this trait your dog will remain at your heel for a longer period of time.
Increases a chance of your dog finding fresh droppings while it’s wandering around.
(Note: it still doesn’t track an animal itself with this trait. It just tells you that there are fresh droppings nearby)
- LEVEL 30
With this trait your dog will have a chance to scare off predators from attacking you.
(Note: this trait only works for predatotrs, like wolves. Your dog still won’t be able to scare an aggressive buffalo, for example)
With this trait your dog will have a chance to skip the blood trail altogether and go straight to the downed animal.
Bloodhounds are only able to track wounded animals, so to use your dog you’ll need to shoot an animal first.
The severity of an injury will affect how quick and precise your dog will be able to follow the trail.
There are two options for tracking:
- First option is good when you don’t remember where exactly you’ve shot an animal. To use it, just move into area where presumably the blood clue is. Then just press Track on a command wheel. The dog then will look for a blood in a small area around it. By default it’s around 60 meters, with the Nosy trait this area will be around 110 meters.
Dog state will change to “Searching for blood”. If it finds a blood, a dog will run towards it and then will follow a blood trail, its state will change to “Tracking blood”. If there’s no blood around, dog state will say “Track not found”.
- Second option is used when you’ve spotted the blood trail yourself. To use it, first examine the blood clue and then use Track on a command wheel. Your dog then will follow this specific trail. It’s good to use when you have multiple blood clues of several animals and you need to track a specific one.
Eventually your dog will lead you towards an animal you shot. It will never fail at it, however at lower levels of Focus, Bond and Tracker level it may take longer time. Be aware, if you’re tracking an animal that is still alive, your dog may not stop at all. A dog is able to spook animals by itself, although at a much shorter distance than you.
If you feel like you’re getting too close to an animal, you must stop your dog by yourself.
(See more information in a “Dog visual behavior” section)
There’s no need to wait for your dog to bark once it stopped near an animal. Mechanically, a dog “finds” an animal the moment it gets close to it.
Once you have your dog out, you’ll notice a small state window above your compass.
It will tell you what your dog is doing at the moment.
Let’s take a look at all states
Basic dog state. In this state it will wander around. It will still follow you, though not as close as when it’s heeling. There’s a chance it will find some droppings while in this state.
This state will appear once you use Heel command. In this state your dog will stay very close to you for some period of time. This time period increases with dog’s experience, Close trait and your bond.
Appears when you use Sit command.
(Note: if you move too far away, a dog will follow you ignoring this command)
- Lying down
Appears when you use Lay down command.
(Note: if you move too far away, a dog will follow you ignoring this command)
- Searching for blood
Appears when you command your dog to search for a blood clue somewhere close to you.
- Tracking blood
Appears when your dog finds a blood clue and follows a blood trail.
- Track not found
Appears if your dog wasn’t able to find a blood clue.
- Scat found
Your dog has found fresh droppings. You might want to investigate it.
- Critical position
This state is triggered by 6th sense trait. It means that there’s an animal close to you and you can spook it.
- Tracking prey
This is a very interesting state. It sounds very similar to Tracking blood and it does kind of the same thing. This state triggers when there is no more visible blood clues. If your shot only hit the flesh, there will be very few blood drops, to the point when they’ll dissapear altogether. However, bloodhound is still able to smell even the smallest blood drops, that are not visible to a player.
So if you see this state, don’t be confused. Your dog is still tracking blood trail, it’s just invisible to you. (Note: a dog is tracking not the animal itself! It still takes the path where visible blood clues could be)
Dog visual behavior
This is a pretty complex section.
A bloodhound behavior is not only displayed on your HUD. A dog itself is also capable to subtly change its behavior during the hunt.
To notice it, you must always pay attention not just to your HUD, but to the dog as well.
All dog behaviors are tied directly to its companion level and your bond. At higher levels your dog will display these behaviors at an increased distance. Lower levels will lead to an opposite result.
Here’s a few examples of dog behavior changes:
- While you’re walking through a reserve, you may not always notice a nearby animal. However your dog is very good at it. It can sense an animal from quite a distance.
At about 300 meters from an animal, your dog may start doing a very slight barking noises. If you continue moving towards animal, the dog at some point will transition to a different moving behavior. It will slightly cuddle to the ground, reducing its visible silhouette.
Default dog stance
Lowered dog stance
If you end up very close to an animal, the dog will start slowly creeping.
- If you have a 6th sense trait active, in addition to the behavior above, your dog will learn a couple of new tricks. At some distance, your dog can start whining slightly. It means, that there’s an animal nearby, but it’s also aware of your presence and you may spook it, if you’ll proceed moving sloppy. A dog will also gesture to the general direction of that animal.
- While you’re tracking an animal, the dog will also sometimes show these behaviors. However, if an animal is still alive, a dog often may get too carried away and lead you straight to that animal, without stopping.
So you, as the owner, must pay attention to your dog and still you need to roughly imagine where the animal might be. If you feel you’re getting too close, you can always command your dog to stop tracking, so it won’t end up spooking an animal.
- Your dog is able to sense predators, even without a Brave trait. When any predator gets closer to you, a dog will notice it and start growling. If you hear that, you can assume that a predator is very close.
End of guide
This is all for now.
I’ll be trying to update this guide if any new stuff will be added.
Please report misspellings or inaccuracies, if you spot any. If you want something to be added in this guide, don’t be afraid asking for it. I’ll be very grateful.
Thanks for reading my guide, I hope it helped you!
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