Dog Tips

About the Fallout 4 Dog

Either you’re a Fallout fan or you’re about to become one. And here’s the reason that will happen. In the vast, post-apocalyptic world of Fallout 4, where danger lurks around every corner, a loyal companion stands by your side—a dog named Dogmeat. It has been a part of the series since the first version that came out back in 1997. While you’re venturing into a world where survival is difficult, Dogmeat can help you find enemies and offer a comforting presence. But it’s not just the help that matters. Dogmeat is a symbol of friendship and hope in that broken world. 

The inspiration for this dog goes back to the unnamed dog in Mad Max, the 1981 post-apocalyptic film. All the credits for the introduction of Dogmeat in the game go to Tim Cain, the lead programmer and designer of the game. Well, of course, there was support from the entire team for making the idea come alive. In the game, the dog doesn’t talk, fights battles with you and sticks with you throughout. Could there be a better combination?

We know that by now you’re wondering if this dog was actually real or just an imaginary one created by the designers. 

Is Dogmeat in Fallout 4 a Real Dog?

The answer here is yes and no. Dogmeat was not completely fictional. It was inspired by a German Shepherd named ‘River’. The story behind this is that it was actually not planned this way. Joel Burgess, the developer of the game, wanted the dog to be not just a weapon but a companion in the game. He saw a team member using pictures of a German Shepherd as a reference for snarling, growling, and biting. He then started getting River, his own pet, to office. The team fell in love with the dog and the bond turned into the character ‘Dogmeat’ resembling ‘River’. They used River for the motion capture. 

There were many real life characteristics of River captures in Dogmeat. For example, the way Dogmeat will run ahead of the player, stop, look back and wait for him was just the way River used to behave with Burgees. The character of Dogmeat was so well received by the gaming community that River won the award for the best video game dog in 2015. (1) Sadly, on June 27, 2021, Joel announced that River had passed. 

What Breed is the Dog in Fallout?

Belgian Malinois being pet

As mentioned above, Dogmeat was inspired by Joel, the game’s developer’s pet, River, a German Shepherd. Just like the character in the game, River was a female dog. In the game, Dogmeat is the epitome of loyalty and bravery. She is always eager to follow the player, providing a constant source of companionship. Despite the dangers of the wasteland, she remains fearless, ready to attack enemies and protect her owner. She is friendly and affectionate, often seeking attention and interaction. She’s great at sniffing out valuable items and fighting battles with the owner. she is a blend of courage and unwavering devotion. 

German Shepherds can be described in the same way. They are intelligent, loyal, and versatile dogs known for their strong work ethic and protective nature. They have a great sense of smell and hence can often be seen as police and military dogs helping in search and rescue missions. They are extremely intelligent. Their natural guarding instincts provide a sense of security to the family. They are admired across the globe for their courage, confidence, and unwavering devotion to their owners. 

Is the Dog in Fallout a Malinois?

Belgian Malinois sitting on the pavement

In its latest appearance, Dogmeat appeared in the 2024 American post-apocalyptic drama television series ‘Fallout’. This time it came as a female Belgian Malinois born from a breeding program headed by the Enclave. 

Dogmeat has appeared in various forms in the game series. From being a semi-feral terror whose owner has just died and who's strong enough to fight several enemies to a cute German Shepherd who loves her owner unconditionally and decides to tag along everywhere. The ‘Fallout’ series reimagined the pup into CX404, played by Belgian Malinois, Lana5. 

Best Belgian Malinois Names

Looks like you’re a Fallout fan and have got a Belgian Malinois home. You won’t be disappointed. They may look like German Shepherds but they have their own set of unique features. Originating from Malines, Belgium, these dogs are great household companions. They are intelligent, energetic and quite strong with a touch of softness in their hearts. They are quite popular in Hollywood due to their appearances in films like Ace of Hearts, The Breed, Case 39, Dogboys, The Dog Who Saved Summer, Night of the Wild, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Olympus Has Fallen and Step Brothers. 

Here are some great names for your Belgian Malinois – 

  • Max – owing to another 2015 movie where they made an appearance

  • Ranger – For their contribution to the police and military

  • Scout – For the same reason as above.

  • Shadow – it won’t leave your side just like one.

  • Athena – A Greek goddess of wisdom and war that can signify the breed’s intelligence, strength, and strategic thinking.

  • Astra – Latin for star. Won’t it be of your life?

  • Bullet – For its quick reflexes.

Or you could simply go with ‘Dogmeat’. Who doesn’t love the character, right?

More on Spot Pet Insurance

While Dogmeat from Fallout cannot be killed, unfortunately, our canine buddies can fall sick and run into accidents. Whether it’s a German Shepherd or a Belgian Malinois, dogs are prone to several illnesses during their lifetime. GSDs, (don’t Google. It‘s short for German Shepherd) for example are prone to degenerative myelopathy, hip/elbow dysplasia, bloat and gastric dilation volvulus, etc. among others. Dogs can also get infected by several allergies and infections. While some can be treated with a vet-visit, others may take medications, alternate therapies and even surgeries at times. These can be severe for your dog and can even put a big dent in your savings. With pet health insurance, you can save up to 90% of the costs.  

Spot accident and illness plans can be used with any licensed vet in Canada or the U.S. Whether you are home, or traveling to the U.S., veterinary services your pet receives for the diagnosis, treatment, or management of covered conditions can be eligible for reimbursement. Spot’s accident and illness plans can help cover a variety of conditions including; broken bones, lacerations, aggression, kidney disease, diabetes, and more. With the addition of Wellness Riders for an extra cost, you can also receive reimbursements for wellness exams, certain vaccinations, dental cleanings, and more. 

Learn more about dog insurance or get a free quote!


  1. Wikipedia contributors. (2024, May 22). Dogmeat (Fallout). Wikipedia.

  2. Gueco, P. (n.d.). Belgian malinois dog names. WagWalking.

  3. Zwiezen, Z. (2021, June 27). River, the Real-Life dog behind Fallout 4’s Dogmeat, has passed. Kotaku.

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