Puppies are a type of non-hostile creature in Dwarf Hammer, found only on level 10, represented by a lower-case "p" (not to be confused with a wolf, "P", or, worst-yet, a vampire disguised as a wolf). A companion animal that will pick up loot, sniff out traps, and attack enemies, it is necessary to coax the Sasquatch out of hiding in the game's sixtieth level and claim the Sasquatch Hide Armor.
The creatures in the Caverns of Creation are, according to the game's fiction, rejected by God. Puppies were also rejected by God, and are included in the game as a sort of joke by one of its creators, a cat person. The dogs on the surface, according to the game, escaped with the colony of dwarfs.
Puppies level up as they kill enemies, but begin with a very low hp and soak. Puppies cannot cast magic (unless they are charcoal puppies, in which case they can cast Horrible Burning). Each puppy is typically strong in two traits and weak in two others; for example, a puppy can start with a +4% soak bonus and +2 speed but might have -4 intelligence (which effects trap detection) and -2 hp at base.
It is highly unlikely that any of the puppies you find on level 10 will survive all the way to the Sasquatch's lair; but by leveling up a puppy and then breeding them with another, sometimes over the course of several generations, you can eventually create a starting puppy who is strong enough in your desired traits to survive all fifty dungeon levels.
Using the lower-case "p", you can issue a command to your puppy:
- "F", for follow; this is how you "adopt" your puppy. You can only adopt one puppy at a time, and cannot adopt another until the first puppy has died.
- "S", for stay; this will cause the puppy to stay put. It will not move again until you issue a follow command.
- "A", for attack, which causes them to attack a monster of your choosing;
- "D", for dingbat, which verbally abuses the puppy and lowers its self-esteem.
Note that the breeding command, "M", is not issued as one of the puppy commands but as a general command. Be careful to use "M" to mate two dogs together, and not "m", the command that causes your character to mate with the nearest creature. Mating with a puppy will always cause God to use the smite attack.