Mabari war hounds are a breed of dogs magically bred by the Formari. Each mabari chooses their master for life in a process called imprinting. Although fierce combatants, a mabari companion is shown to be a highly sociable animal, and though not capable of speech, they can clearly respond to speech with growls, whines, barks and several other actions that demonstrate intelligent comprehension.
Usually, mabari war hounds are used either in war or to defend noblemen's property. To help differentiate their dogs when in battle, kaddis is used by mabari handlers.
In Dragon Age: Origins, the Warden may be fortunate enough to 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.
Even if the dog is not accepted after Ostagar, the Return to Ostagar DLC affords the Warden another opportunity; the mabari will be revealed to have survived the darkspawn infestation and will be alive and willing to accompany the party.
Players who have The Black Emporium for Dragon Age II 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.
- Ostagar's Kennel Master states that mabari were bred by a mage to be intelligent enough to understand and perform complex commands.
- Fenris claims that mabari were originally bred in Tevinter and when the magisters came to Ferelden during an invasion some of the dogs defected and joined local tribes.
- 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." As in human culture, dogs are seen as protectors against unwanted wild beasts.