Prison Architect Wiki

Guard Dogs are highly useful animal entities with unique skills which aid overall prison security. As previously implied, they are the only animal entity in Prison Architect besides the dogs used in Animal Therapy. They co-exist with, and are managed by Dog Handlers.

These entities cannot be hired independently and will only spawn when a dog handler is hired. The Chief is the administrator responsible for researching and unlocking the guard dogs.

Detection Skills[]

Guard Dogs are naturally gifted with a powerful nose, which is useful in the detection of scented, or smelly, contraband. These include: Poison, drugs, medicine and cigs.

Guard dogs will automatically and instantly sniff any prisoners that walk past them in close proximity. This is highlighted by a small brown dog icon that will pop up on the prisoner entity.

If a dog smells one of the above contraband on a prisoner, it will initiate a search of that prisoner to occur. This search will either be conducted by the dog handler or a nearby guard.

Escape Tunnels are also something that guard dogs are extremely useful in detecting. If a guard dog walks over ground where, underneath, an escape tunnel has been dug, the dog itself will start digging. In this case, a small yellow flag will mark where an escape tunnel may be.

Furthermore, if a guard dog walks over an escape tunnel, where a prisoner is underneath and actively digging, the guard dog will burrow and fork out the escaping prisoner from beneath.

Other Attributes[]

Guard Dogs are extremely fast creatures. Prisoners attempting to escape on foot will almost definitely be caught and mauled by a guard dog before they are able to reach freedom.

However, guard dogs tire quickly and will need to reside in a kennel and, more specifically, a dog crate in order to recover their energy. As well as this, in the event that a guard dog is injured, they will need to rest in a dog crate to recover as doctors/paramedics cannot heal guard dogs like they can with other entities.

Dog Breeds[]

As of "The Glasshouse" update there are now a total of 8 different breeds of dogs that you can choose from. They are listed below.

Picture Name Ingame-description
PA Classic Dog-0.png
CLASSIC "The original Guard Dog, old but experienced."
PA Companion.png
COMPANION "A guard's best friend."
PA Husky.png
HUSKY "A deadly trap for an escapee moving through the snow."
PA Dalmatian.png
DALMATIAN "Originally lived on a farm, but now works in escape prevention."
Guard Dog Cat.png
CAT "Not everyone is a dog person."
PA Direwoof.png
DIREWOOF "Who would even try to escape?"
Guard Dog Bowtie Bandit.png
BOWTIE BANDIT "A very dapper chap."
Guard Dog Shepherd.png
  • Please note that the Dalmatian, Cat and the Direwoof are only available to select if you have purchased the Psych Ward DLC.
  • Shepherd and Bowtie Bandit were added in the free "The Glasshouse" update.

Tips and Tricks[]

  • Assign dog patrol around cell blocks to find tunnel digger.
  • Smelly contraband are usually detected near visitation, reception, cleaning cupboard and delivery zone.
  • Consider assigning a dog patrol near entrances of crowded areas, such as the Canteen.
  • Guard dogs that are let off their leads/leashes to deal with misbehaving prisoners will bark violently, an auditory signal indicating that there is trouble nearby.
  • Guard dogs are separate entities to their handlers. If a handler is fired, the guard dog will simply leave the prison facility via the main road.
  • If a guard dog's handler is killed, the dog will vengefully seek out and kill the perpetrator.
  • Hiring J.W. Periwinkle as your prison's warden will give guard dogs an advanced 50% chance of fully detecting escape tunnels.
  • If a dog killed, it will be considered murder. The offending prisoner will have a murder charge added to their sentence and punished accordingly based off of your Prison Policy, just like if they killed a human.
  • Dogs bark when they detect something.


  • Guard dogs are escorted around the prison with a lead/leash.
  • The guard dog sprite and graphics were changed multiple times before being published. As shown in the image below, it was unclear whether the dog should have visible legs or not.
  • As commonly known, guard dogs are used in the maintenance of prison security in the real world. They are widely used for the detection of contraband, e.g. drugs, as opposed to the subduing of prisoners. However, only certain breeds of dog can be used in this way.
  • The companion dog breed bares a likeness to Gromit from the famous animated film series: "Wallace & Gromit".
  • Guard dogs are the first staff member to have energy.
  • The Direwoof dog is based of an extinct breed of dog (Direwolf)
  • While the husky may seem like an effective choice for a guard dog, huskies in the real world were bred as pack animals, and are much too friendly with humans to be effective prison dogs.