A dog's life

Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a dog? In A dog’s life you can. You can choose one of the six dogs to play with and do dog stuff.

This is a game from Christopher Boelinger and published by ADC Blackfire Entertainment, Beton Games.

The setup is very easy. You place all tokens next to the board (bone, newspaper and trash can) and you put the dog catcher’s car on the board, on the square with the black paw print. This is in front of the shelter.


Each player chooses one of the six dogs and takes it’s player board, deck of cards, piddle tokens and hunger counter. You place one piddle token on your board on the bladder spot and the hunger counter starts at four. You also take a den card, this is were you start the game and bury your bones.


Player’s turn:

You start by moving the hunger counter one space to the left. If this is not possible, your dog is starving and you are moved to the shelter. You drop your bones and newspapers.

If you start your turn in the shelter you don’t move the hunger counter, you take one action card or two if it’s the second turn you start here. The card(s) will show if you escape or not. If you don’t escape you go down one level, if you do you move to the square with the black paw print. After three turns you automatically leave the shelter. When you leave, you put your hunger counter on 2 and you have 1 piddle token. Your turn goes as normal. But you start moving to the right.

Actions were you turn over an action card to see if you found something: You can search the trash cans, beg for food in a restaurant, deliver newspaper or fight.

The symbols on the action cards:

Sad dog, you get nothing

1,2 or3 pieces of meat, you get to move your hunger counter to the right that many spaces. You can never get more then 4 on the hunger track.

Bone, you can take a bone and put it in an empty mouth space on your board.

Dog catcher’s car, here you drop your bones and newspapers on the square you are on and move to the top of the shelter.

Dog escaping dog catcher’s car, you escape and remain in place.

Dog behind bars, you stay in the shelter and move one space down.

Dog escaping, you escape the shelter and move to the spot with the black paw print. You have to start your movement to the right and continue your turn as normal.

1,2 or 3 black paw prints, these are for fighting. The player with the most paw prints wins the fight.

Actions without turning an action card: move, get newspaper, have a drink, mark a lamp post, pick up a bone, pick up a newspaper, drop a bone, bury a bone in your den or drop a newspaper.

On your player board is shown how many actions you have. Every movement is an action per square you want to move.

If you move into a square with a lamp post you may put a piddle token there. If there is another piddle token, you put your token there and give the other to the player it belongs to. If there was a piddle token from another player you must stop there to sniff it.

When you are adjacent to another dog you may attack that dog. You both turn over an action card and the dog with the most paw prints wins the fight. If it’s the attacker who won, the other dog drops all bones and news papers on the square it is on. Then it moves squares away equal to the difference between the numbers of paw prints on both cards. If it’s a tie, nothing happens. If the attacker loses, its turn ends immediately.

On the square with the fountain you can have a drink and put a piddle token on the bladder space. If there is a trash can and you search it you have to mark the space with a trash token to show it has already been searched. If you have placed the last trash token you take al other tokens from the board and you can search the other trash cans again. You leave the last placed token on the board.

Buildings are a save place for dogs, the dog catcher cannot get you and other dogs cannot attack. A restaurant and the newsstand you can always enter. The homes you can only enter if you deliver a newspaper there. How to get the newspaper? Well if you go to the newsstand you can take a newspaper token and put it in the mouth of your dog face down. This is so that other players don’t know where you have to deliver the newspaper.

Restaurants have red paw prints, newsstand has blue paw prints and the homes have green paw prints. The dens have yellow paw prints.



The game ends when one player has buried 3 bones in his/her den. How do you get bones? You can get them from searching the trash cans, begging at the restaurants, delivering news papers or picking it up after another dog has dropped it.


This is a great family game. We had a lot of fun playing this. It is a lightweight game that relies heavily on luck. It looks amazing. Nice components and great art work. I really like the dog miniatures, they look nice. The theme really stands out. You really feel like being a dog in this game.

In the rule book there is even a story about every dog which highlights the strenghts and weaknesses of the dogs. The rule book is well written and easy to follow on how the game works. There are also a few game variants in the rulebook.


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