Dog - Mabari War Hound build

Dog - Mabari War Hound build - Dragon Age: Origins (DAO)

By zanuffas
Last updated:

Mabari War Hound is the only Dog companion that you can get in the game. For many people, he will attract due to its cuteness, for others it may work as a simple companion that does not need much micromanaging.

Of course, the simplicity of the Dog comes with its own quirks. Due to this, I will go into great detail to write about the Mabari War Hound in Dragon Age Origins.

How to acquire War Hound?

Human Noble

If you are a Human Noble, you will acquire the dog in the Castle Cousland. Later you will encounter it when traveling to Ostagar.

Other Races

Otherwise, you will have to cure the dog before the Battle of Ostagar by bringing the Wild Flower to the Kennel Master. Once this is done, after the battle you will encounter the dog when traveling to Lothering.

He can then join the party permanently

Allocating attributes for the Dog

There are two main attributes that you should level for Mabari Hound: Dexterity and Strength.

Constitution is also an option, but I do not think it is mandatory, especially as the dog will play more of a DPS role.

So my suggestion is:

  • +2 strength
  • +1 dexterity

Until you get dexterity to 23. Then put all points into strength

Talents and their usage

Mabari's do not have many talents and skills to use on the battlefield. However, here are the main priorities for you to get to maximize the Dog effectiveness

dao mabari talents

I would suggest getting Charge first. This will unlock some crowd control opportunities as the Dog will now be able to knock down enemies.

After that your priority is Overwhelm. This is the strongest ability that allows to pin down a single target. Of course, it does not work on enemies like Dragons. However, it will do the job for most of the normal enemies.

By level 18 you will be able to get all talents available to the Dog.

The best gear to use

Mabari War Hounds have two unique equipment slots: Collars and Kaddis (War Paint)

Collars - represent armors. Due to this, you should prioritize the one with the highest armor value. Moreover, they can provide attack and armor penetration. In my opinion, you should go for armor penetration to maximize the Dog’s damage.

mabari war harness dog dao

Kaddis (War paint) – is equivalent to a weapon. It changes the symbols on the Mabari body. Here my recommendation is to prioritize the ones which increase damage. For example:

mabari war hound kaddis warpaint dao

Of course, if you do not have these, any will work, but I would say these are the best ones.


Dog Tactics are fairly simple. It does not have many skills that can be used in many situations. However, here are my recommendations:

  • At the start of the fight when there are many enemies, try to position the dog in the center. Then use Dread Howl. This should stun most of the enemies
  • Then I recommend using Charge and targeting one of the archers or mages to knock down them.
  • Leave Overwhelm for last and concentrate it on the enemy that you think will be tough to handle. That can be a mage, an Elite enemy (yellow HP), or Shrieker.

Regarding the Tactics window, I think the default ones are sufficient, so just take War Dog preset

Mabari war hound tactics dao

As I mentioned before the tactics for Dog are quite limited, but this is probably its charm and simplicity.


Thank you for reading this post. I hope it helped you clear how you should be building your Mabari War Hound companion. Unfortunately, it is quite underwhelming due to its limited talents. However, for those that are dog lovers and play on lover difficulties, this companion should bring much joy.


Post author zanuffas avatar zanuffas
Gamestegy Founder. I have been writing game guides and builds for 4 years. I like to push myself to create something wonderful for the readers!