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Fereldans are a puzzle. As a people, they are one bad day away from reverting to barbarism... if you insult their dogs, they are likely to declare war.” ―Empress Celene I [1]

Mabari war hounds are a breed of intelligent dogs said to have been bred by mages.[2] Other tales state they were specifically created by magisters in the Tevinter Imperium. The magisters are alleged to have used the mabari to help subdue the barbarian tribes of Ferelden centuries ago, but the dogs defected to the barbarians.[3] Fereldan legend holds the mabari were bred from the wolves who served the legendary hero Dane.[4] Whatever their origins, the Alamarri and their Fereldan descendants popularized the mabari as war hounds, status symbols, and lifelong companions.


Mabari are a large, well muscled, breed of dog typically seen with a short coat in colors ranging from tan, brown, and black, with some having white spots on their body, muzzle, or chest. They are highly intelligent, able to understand what they are told as well as remember and carry out complex orders.[2] Despite being fierce combatants, mabari are highly sociable animals. They can clearly respond to speech via growls, whines, barks, or physical gestures that demonstrate intelligent comprehension.

Each mabari chooses their master for life in a process called imprinting. A mabari may be able to re-imprint after losing their master but it is typically a very difficult process.[2] Thus to be the master of a mabari anywhere in Ferelden is to be recognized instantly as a person of worth.[4]

The mabari are an essential part of Fereldan military strategy. Trained hounds can easily pull knights from horseback or break lines of pikemen, and the sight and sound of a wave of war dogs, howling and snarling, has been known to cause panic among even the most hardened infantry soldiers.[4] Mabari use scent to distinguish allies from enemies, but in the frenzy of battle they can become confused. Thus hound masters will paint themselves and their mabari with a special paint called kaddis to allow them to distinguish friend from foe.[5]

Mabari hounds are descended from pack hunters, and like their ancestors, they are highly influenced by a defined order of dominance. The primary method of determining that order is by claiming territory through scent-marking major landmarks. Once established, the dominant mabari gains a substantial increase in confidence and stature within his territory, a trait that indirectly benefits master as well as hound.

BioWare canon
The following information is only mentioned in Dragon Age Tabletop. Certain portions of this media may no longer reflect currently established lore.

Mabari are large mastiff-like dogs with some wolf blood mixed in, said to stand as tall (and wide) as a dwarf. Their masters -or as is preferred by those paired with Mabari: partners- will often use distinct styles of warpaint to help better pick out their Mabari from a distance during combat. Many Fereldans who fight alongside Mabari will use a pungent body paint called “kaddis” so the dogs can easily mark them as allies.[6]

Most Mabari bond with only a single person in their lifetime, whom they will follow and fight until death takes them. There are numerous tales of Mabari who avenge their master's deaths before lying down to join their master in death. [7][8]


Dragon Age: Origins[]

The Warden may have a mabari dog join their party, either by virtue of being high-born, or by helping to care for a sick dog at Ostagar. After the battle, the dog will find the party on the road, slightly ahead of a horde of pursuing darkspawn.

The Warden can also learn about mabari war hounds from the Ash Warrior Leader at Ostagar and also learn how the Ash Warriors utilizes them.

Even if the dog is not accepted after Ostagar, if the Wardens decides to Return to Ostagar the Warden has another opportunity; the mabari will be revealed to have survived the darkspawn infestation and will be alive and willing to accompany the party.

Dragon Age II[]

Players who have The Black Emporium DLC will obtain a mabari war hound, named Dog in the default tradition of Dragon Age: Origins. This mabari can be summoned as a small fifth party member akin to a Ranger summoning animals.

Dragon Age: Inquisition[]

Hostile mabaris can be found throughout the Storm Coast. The Blades of Hessarian also use Hessarian Hounds in combat, and other groups use similar Armored Mabari.

A lone mabari named Betyar can be found in the Canyon of the Hissing Wastes, guarding the shop of its owner.


Cullen Rutherford finds a mabari in Halamshiral during the Exalted Council, keeping it as a pet.

Notable mabari[]

Barkspawn, a companion in Dragon Age Legends
Dog, a companion in Dragon Age: Origins
The Fifth Companion, a summoned temporary companion in Dragon Age II
General Toxon[12]


Dragon Age: Origins[]

Tower of Ishal Tower of Ishal
Redcliffe Castle Redcliffe Castle
Castle Cousland Castle Cousland

Dragon Age: Inquisition[]

Hinterlands Hinterlands
Storm Coast Storm Coast

Abilities & Skills[]

Charge Charge
Dread Howl Dread Howl
Growl Growl
Overwhelm Overwhelm
Shred Shred
Perceptive - can detect party members in Stealth

Notable loot[]

Canine Leather Canine Leather
Mabari Teeth Mabari Teeth
Fade-Touched Canine Leather (Damage) Fade-Touched Canine Leather (Damage)
Fade-Touched Cotton (Heal) Fade-Touched Cotton (Heal)
Fade-Touched Cotton (Walking Bomb) Fade-Touched Cotton (Walking Bomb)


Armored Mabari
Hessarian hound

Codex entries[]

Codex entry: Andraste's Mabari Codex entry: Andraste's Mabari
Codex entry: Dog Codex entry: Dog
Codex entry: Dogs in Ferelden Codex entry: Dogs in Ferelden
Codex entry: The Dogs of War Codex entry: The Dogs of War
Codex entry: Mabari Dominance Codex entry: Mabari Dominance
Codex entry: Mabari War Hound Codex entry: Mabari War Hound
Codex entry: Werewolf Codex entry: Werewolf


  • Mabari are not bred in Orlais, making them a rare imported breed there.[15]
  • Mabari are noted to love bacon and cheese, much the same as other inhabitants of Ferelden.[16]
  • In Act 3 of Dragon Age II, Hawke's mabari catches a burglar and scares him into an armoire during the quest Beware of Dog.
  • The Dalish tell their dogs to "take the Dread Wolf by the ear if he comes."[17] As in human culture, dogs are seen as protectors against unwanted wild beasts.
  • Mabari are available in The Sims 3: Pets Limited Edition for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
  • In December, 2016, a "Reindeer Mabari" was given free to players in Heroes of Dragon Age in celebration of Christmas.

See also[]

Fauna and flora