How to save the dog - Resident Evil 4

Leon's packing a veritable armory, but knowing how to save the dog in Resident Evil 4 makes one of the game's early boss fights less of a giant pain.


One of the most beloved characters in 2005’s Resident Evil 4 was a dog caught in a bear trap, and who would help you against a boss later in the game if you freed him. Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 remake brings back Leon’s four-legged friend, but the dog is easy to miss unless you know where to find him.

Is the dog alive?

Early in the original Resident Evil 4, you guided Leon along dirt paths deep in a forest. If you had sharp ears, you heard a whine as you made your way further along the path. Further exploration brought you to a dog with one leg caught in a bear trap. You could move along without freeing the dog, but only cold, heartless monsters would do something like that. Freeing the dog counted as your good deed for the day, and better yet, the dog reappeared during your fight against the first El Gigante, distracting the lumbering giant and buying you time to reload weapons and deal damage.

Early previews of Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 remake had players worried that the dog would not return for an encore. Footage of an unfinished version of the remake showed a dead dog caught in a bear trap. Understandably, players took this to mean Leon’s old pal was dead in the reimagining. Luckily for dog lovers everywhere—and unluckily for the dead dog in that early version of RE4—Leon’s friend is still alive! You simply have to find him somewhere else.

How to save the dog

The dog can no longer be found stuck in a bear trap along that early path in Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 remake. Instead, you’ll find your friend waiting for you in chapter 3. As you leave the Chief’s Manor and head toward the wrought-iron gate, you’ll hear a telltale whine. It’s coming from around the manor to the right. Follow the path to the side of the house, where you’ll find your white-haired buddy caught in a bear trap.

Move close to the dog and press the button that appears on-screen when prompted. Leon will open the bear trap and the dog will limp free before disappearing in the surrounding wilderness. Parting is such sweet sorrow, but not for long.

Leon and the dog versus El Gigante

A few hours later, as Leon makes his way back through the quarry, a cutscene introduces you to the El Gigante, a literal giant of a monster that can swat you like a fly if you don’t dodge his attacks fast enough. After inflicting enough damage on the beast, the dog makes a dramatic entrance into the arena.

You don't have to save the dog, but it'll help during a boss fight. (Besides, are you really the sort of monster who wouldn't save a dog in need?)
You don't have to save the dog, but it'll help during a boss fight. (Besides, are you really the sort of monster who wouldn't save a dog in need?)

The dog’s reappearance gives you an opening to gain the advantage in the fight. While El Gigante sets his sights on the dog—don’t worry, your friend is nimble enough to stay out of harm’s way—unload on the monster with the beast weapons in your arsenal. Keep putting the hurt on him until the Las Plagas erupts from his back, then target the Plagas. Rinse and repeat until the giant falls.

Once the dust settles, the dog disappears into the night, and Leon bids him a fond farewell. Congratulations! You’ve just defeated one of the toughest early fights in Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 remake, but there are lots of battles to come. Prepare by reading the Shacknews Resident Evil 4 strategy guide, where you’ll find pointers on how to repair the knife and how to solve the crystal marble puzzle.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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