A player emailed me today as follows:
First I just wanted to say thank you for all your guides, I have used many of them over the years as I am an avid Harvest Moon (and Rune Factory) fan! I've recently been playing Hero of Leaf Valley and just had a question that I'm wondering if you know anything about. For some reason, I can't get my dog's affection to go up! And actually, I've lost the heart I had when I first was able to adopt him. I feed and pick him up once a day, and have started feeding milk or fish but still haven't gotten my heart back (on Summer day 2). Could this be because I don't have a dog house for him yet? I got him just before rainy season so unfortunately he was outside all day in the rain for quite a few days in a row.
END OF EMAIL
Actually, the answer as well as all details required for care of your Dog and other Animals is included in my HoLV Walkthrough/General Guide now, but for those players who have not read recent versions of the guide, a post on the topic may be helpful.
The player who wrote to me is correct in surmising that the loss of the heart is due to her failure to protect her dog from the elements. You do not need to purchase the Dog House in order to keep your Dog healthy, however. You can carry him into the house when the weather is inclement.
Bear in mind the fact that you can lose affection with him if you do not carry him outside again when the weather improves!
The point values of every action that can be undertaken towards your Dog are as follows:
Animal Friendship Levels
As with the Characters you meet in Leaf Valley, Animals have Friendship Levels of their own, and raising these Levels can be critical to your success in life.
The system that awards Friendship Points to Animals is a little different from that which applies to other Characters. In fact, you can lose Hearts with Animals as well as gain them.
Animal Friendship Levels are as follows:
0-29 FP = 0 Hearts
30-79 FP = 1 Heart
80-129 FP = 2 Hearts
130-179 FP = 3 Hearts
180 - 219 FP = 4 Hearts
220 - 255 FP = 5 Hearts
These values apply to all Animals, whether they are Pets, Poultry or Livestock. The difference between each Animal type in terms of Friendship is that you interact with each differently and earn FP through different actions.
Friendship with your Dog
Even when you do not own a Dog, your actions with respect to the two stray dogs in the Valley will determine your future ability to adopt one.
You will find a food dish next to your Farmhouse even at the start of the game. Although you do not own a pet Dog, you should leave food in the dish daily in order to be able to court the stray dogs of the Valley. When your Friendship Level with the Dogs reaches 31 FP, you will have the option to pick up either Dog. The first time you pick up either one of the two Dogs, you will be given the option to adopt.
At that point, you will be able to choose which of the two dogs you wish to adopt, irrespective of the Dog with whom you currently are interacting. To adopt the Dog you are NOT holding, choose 'No' when you are asked if you wish to adopt it.*
After adoption, your duties and responsibilities with respect to the Dog you have chosen will increase.
If you wish to delay the adoption of a Dog by ignoring the invitation to pick him up when his FP reaches the required level, you can do so and his FP will not decrease. You will be able to continue to raise his Friendship Level slowly by filling the Food Dish daily but until you have adopted him, you will be unable to gain any FP from other actions.
Various actions will raise his Friendship on a daily basis, but other actions will cause his FP to decrease.
To increase FP each day:
+2 FP: Pick up your Dog
+2 FP: Whistle for your Dog (use the L Button, then Choose the 'Dog')
+2 FP: Play the Ocarina to train the Dog
+1 FP: Place any food item other than Milk or Fish in the Food Dish
+2 FP: Place any ordinary Milk or Fish in the Food Dish
+6 FP: Place Gold Milk in the Food Dish
To decrease FP:
-20 FP: Forget to feed your Dog
-20 FP: Hit the Dog with a sharp Farm Tool
-20 FP: If your Dog is Sick for an entire Day without Treatment
-5 FP: Awaken your Dog when it is sleeping
Other actions result in an FP decrease by the hour:
-2 FP per hour: Taking or keeping the Dog outside in bad Weather if you do not have a Dog House
-1 FP: Leaving your Dog in any area other than the Homestead
-1 FP: Keeping your Dog inside the House when the Weather is good
As you can see, the act of adopting a Dog in Hero of Leaf Valley forces you to assume a fairly serious amount of responsibility each day. The rewards, however, can be very great. It is your Dog who will find the Power Berries that are hidden in the Valley and these can increase your total Energy capacity.
The Dog can find other useful items as well.
The items your Dog can find, with the probability of finding them is as follows:
80% chance of finding a Power Berry until he has found all four of them.
There is a 5% chance of finding Pontata Root, Black Truffle, White Truffle, Star Truffle or Baby Truffle while the Power Berries remain undiscovered.
Until your Dog has found all 4 Power Berries for you, the chance of finding any other item remains at 5%. Once you have obtained all the Power Berries, the chances of finding the other items changes to:
50% chance of finding Pontata Root.
20% chance of finding a Star Truffle.
10% chance of finding Black Truffle, White Truffle or Baby Truffle.
Note that you will not be able to direct your Dog to search for items until you have gained 2 Hearts with him. The 'Search' Command is one of seven commands you can teach him by playing your Ocarina.
To play the Ocarina, you first must equip it. Even when you own one, you will not be able to play it until you have adopted one of the two stray dogs in the Valley.
Playing a Melody on the Ocarina is effected by the use of the Square Button in conjunction with the Directional Buttons.
The commands with the FP Levels and melodies that are linked to each are:
Sit Command: Requires +31 FP
Press Up, Left, Down
Stay Command: Requires +31 FP
Press Up, Down, Down
Come Command: Requires +51 FP
Press Left, Right, Right
Search Command: Requires +71 FP
Press Down, Left, Up
Pursue Command: Requires +71 FP
Press Right, Left, Right
Jump Command: Requires +96 FP
Press Left, Up, Right
Beg Command: Requires +126 FP
Press Down, Up, Up
Note that you must hold down the Square Button while you input the Directional Commands, rather like 'charging' a tool in other Harvest Moon games. If you fail to do this, your Character simply will take the Ocarina from his Rucksack and return it quickly to his Rucksack. Once in awhile, you may persuade him to play a single note, but that will be the extent of it. If, however, you press the Square button firmly and hold it down, you will be able to play all the melodies that constitute valid commands.
Whether or not your Dog chooses to obey is another matter entirely, but simply playing a Command for him will increase his FP by +2 Points.
A Dog's Special Abilities
Unlike the Poultry and Livestock you can own in HoLV, your Dog has special abilities that will increase when you perform specific actions on a daily basis. These special abilities or traits are Intelligence, Speed, Perseverance and Wildness. Your Horse has his own Special Abilities, but these will be discussed in another section.
To increase these abilities, perform the following actions:
When you call your Dog by whistling to him, it will increase his Intelligence. His Intelligence Level will determine his success in obeying your Commands.
When you train your Dog using the Ocarina, his Speed will increase.
When you Feed your Dog each day, it increases his Perseverance, the trait that will strengthen his immunity to Sickness.
Barking is the sign of Wildness and picking up your Dog on a daily basis will decrease his tendency to bark.
*It appears from a player's comment that if you do not wish to adopt the Dog who first gives you the option, you either need to hunt down the one you like better or wait until he appears, then pick HIM up and choose the option to adopt...