The Dog House Dog or Alive

The Dog House Dog or Alive Slot Review

Slot Provider: Pragmatic Play

RTP: 96.08% | Variance: High | Maximum Win: 10,000x

Our Score: 8.4

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About The Dog House Dog or Alive

Reviewed by:

Published Date: 1st March 2024

How We Review Slot Games

We test and rate all slot games across 5 criteria, assigning a score out of 10 for each and an overall score that is an average of the 5. To build an accurate assessment of each game we gather information from the supplier and play in real play or demo mode. Find out more.

The Dog House Dog or Alive is an online slot with a wild west theme. It is another game in the Dog House series from Pragmatic Play featuring adorable cartoon dogs. The game plays on 5 reels with 20 paylines to win on. The gameplay is simple with multiplier wilds the only extra in the base game. In the free spins round those multiplier wilds are sticky and every third to land extends the round by 3 spins and doubles existing multiplier values. This is a high variance games with a 10,000x max win. Spins start at 20p.

The Dog House Dog or Alive Game Information

  • RTP: 96.08%
  • Variance: High
  • Maximum Win: 10,000x
  • Progressive Jackpot: No
  • Reels: 5
  • Rows: 3
  • Paylines: 20
  • Minimum Stake: £0.20
  • Theme: Animals
  • Features: Multiplier Wilds, Free Spins, Sticky Multiplier Wilds

Testing Notes: Here’s What Happened When We Played The Dog House Dog or Alive

IMPORTANT: To give you an accurate assessment of the games we review our writers play 200 spins. Whilst this is a useful tool to help us review games and to give an example of what might happen when you play, keep in mind that 200 spins is only a very small sample and cannot be used to accurately predict what might happen over another 200 spins. The outcome of all slots play is always random.

Boom Or Bust? Our Session By The Numbers

I played 500 spins on The Dog House Dog or Alive on Pragmatic Play’s test server prior to release to test the game. This is what happened.

  • Stake Size: $1
  • Start balance: $100,000
  • End balance: $99,760.75
  • Hit Rate: 12.6% (63 winning spins in 250)
  • Biggest Win: 76.25x
  • Free Spins Round: 0

It can happen from time to time and Pragmatic certainly don’t hold back with the volatility settings on their games … in 500 spins the free spins round didn’t trigger at all. And the hit rate was particularly low at just 12.6%. There were a few OK wins – a 76.25x, a 31x and a 25x, each driven by multiplier wilds, but overall my balance took a battering. It’s a warning that Dog or Alive will be brutal at times, though I expect the extreme numbers from this session to be outliers rather than the norm.

The Dog House Dog or Alive - a 76.25x win
A 76.25x win with 2x and 3x wild multipliers

What We Liked

  • Amusing alternative setting for your favourite suburban pooches
  • Chance for progressive wild multipliers to drive huge wins in the free spins round
  • Simple gameplay makes it an easy one to follow
  • High volatility will make for some exciting moments

What We Didn't like

  • Very low hit rate in testing and tough bonus round to crack
  • Low RTP at some slot sites

The Dog House Dog or Alive Review Scores

  • Theme and Design 9
  • RTP and Variance 8
  • Maximum Win 8
  • Symbols and Paytable 9
  • Features and Gameplay 8

What Our Reviewer Says ...

"Fans of the Dog House series will enjoy this alternative setting where the pooches retain their charm in cowboy dress-up. Just beware of that mighty high variance!"

Overall Score: 8.4

Theme & Design

Our Score 9

Those Cute Pooches Have Swapped Suburbia For The Wild West

Dopey pooches hanging out in a wild west town might not sound like the recipe for a great slot, but it works here. Maybe because we’ve met this lot before in the previous Dog House games so we’re familiar with their sight and sounds, and dressing a dog up in a cowboy outfit is always going to be funny, right?! Tombstone RIP this most definitely is not. Nor is it the same suburban setting of the original Dog House games in fact. But we do get the same kids cartoon styling in the visuals and a typically whacky soundtrack to accompany the gameplay. It’s jaunty, upbeat and fun. So if you like your slots that way, welcome to Dog or Alive!

The Dog House Dog or Alive by Pragmatic Play
The Dog House Dog or Alive – the pooches have re-located to the wild west

RTP and Variance

Our Score 8

What is RTP?

RTP (Return to Player) refers to the amount a game will pay out in cash prizes expressed as a percentage of all the money wagered on that game. For example, a 96% RTP means a game will pay out £96 for every £100 wagered. This is an average number and will vary from one session to the next.  Read more here.

What is Variance?

Variance refers to how far a game will deviate from its RTP over time. High variance games deviate a lot and produce uneven win distributions and unexpected windfalls. Low variance games provide a more stable and even distribution of wins. Read more here.

There are three different RTP settings for Pragmatic’s Dog House-Western mash up – 96.08%, 95.08% and 94.08%.

There is little between those but whilst you wouldn’t feel the difference between 94.08% and 96.08% over a few hundred spins it’s still worth finding those casinos that run the game at its optimum level for the best chance of a positive return. My recommendation would be MrQ from Lindar Media, or Casumo, a popular independent brand. Both these sites normally run games at the top RTP rates.

To check the RTP for yourself, hit the ‘I’ button under the reels and scroll through the game info screen until you see Return to Player displayed.

This is also, in keeping with the tone of the series and most westerns, a high variance game. Pragmatic Play know how to crank up the volatility so don’t expect an easy ride. It will produce big moments from time to time but you can also burn your balance fast. So choose a sensible stake.

Maximum Win

Our Score 8

What Is Maximum Win?

Maximum win refers to the maximum amount a player can win from one spin. It is expressed as a multiple of the stake. For example, where the maximum win is 100,000x, from a £1 stake, the maximum win would be £100,000.  

The max win comes in at 10,000x. That is higher than most Dog House games but lower than the Megaways release that came in at 12,305x. If you want bigger potential from Pragmatic then check out our list of their highest max win slots.

Symbols and Paytable

Our Score 9

Onto the paytable and this is a 5 reel game with 3 rows and 20 paylines to win across. Wins are triggered in the normal way by landing 3 or more identical symbols on a line from left to right, starting at the left most reel.

The Dog House Dog or Alive Paytable
The paytable with 37.5x for 5 of the sheriff dogs

There is good value to be had from straight forward payline wins before we even get to the features. There are 11 pay symbols in all. The low payers are the cards, 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace. These are valued at from 0.1x for 3 10s up to 2.5x for 5 Aces. The premiums are the bone, dog collar, and the four pooches. These are valued at from 0.4x for 3 bonues up to 37.5x for 5 of the smiling sheriff dogs.

There is a wild too, represented by the sheriff’s badge. It can only land on reels 2, 3 and 4. And when it does it ALWAYS carries a multiplier of 2x or 3x to be applied to any win that it forms a part of. If more than one is included on a wining line, their values are ADDED together to create the total multiplier to be applied to the win.

Features and Gameplay

Our Score 8

Other than the Wild there are no extra features in the base game. Instead, it’s all about triggering the free spins round by landing THREE BONUS symbols on reels 1, 3 and 5 on one spin.

That gets you into the feature AND awards you a 5x win.

The total number of spins you get is decided at random by the spin of a new mini reel set of 3×3. After the spin each position will display a number between 1 and 3. All numbers are added together to reveal how many spins you get.

This is a progressive feature where wild multipliers grow in value. It works like this …

During the round, ALL wilds are sticky. So, if you land a 3x multiplier wild anywhere, then it stays in place for the remainder of the feature. As before, wilds only land on reels 2, 3 or 4. But now, once 3 have landed, an extra 3 spins are awarded, and ALL multiplier values on the reels double. And the same again once 6 have landed, and then when 9 have landed.

After that, there are no more extensions, and there is NO re-trigger because in free spins no BONUS symbols appear on the reels.

The Final Verdict

It’s always fun to see a well-known slot series mixed up with another theme, and this mash-up is very entertaining. The dogs look great, particularly that sheriff who keeps growling whilst spinning his pistol and firing it off. As for gameplay, there is not much that needs to be said. This is a true high variance game with just those wild multipliers and free spins to look out for and it will be a waiting game for those looking to unlock the big moments. They are out there if you have the patience, but don’t be surprised if you get burned along the way!

Useful Tips When Playing The Dog House Dog or Alive

Remember, online slots are games of chance, there is NO strategy that can improve your odds of winning. However, reading our review and following these tips will help you get the most out of your time playing this slot game.

1. Aim To Land Wild Multipliers As Often As Possible

It’s simple really – whether you are in the base game or free spins round the name of the game here is landing as many wild multipliers as you can across the reels at all times to boost your wins.

2. Be Cautious With Your Bankroll

Good bankroll management is essential when playing high variance slots. These games can burn your balance in no time so choose a stake level that is low to make the funds stretch further whilst chasing the bonus round.

3. Find a Pragmatic Play Bonus To Play With

You can use most match bonuses at UK casinos to play Pragmatic Play slots like this one. To be sure your choice will be eligible, check the terms of the deal before you deposit.

4. Play At Our Recommended Slot Sites

We choose the sites on this page because we enjoy them and because they are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. That means they operate under strict rules to ensure they are safe, fair and secure.

Who Made The Dog House Dog or Alive?

  • Name: Pragmatic Play
  • Established: 2015
  • UK License: Remote 046683-R-325951-014
  • Total Games: 500 +
  • Known For: Wide range of themes and styles, live casino including gameshow formats, and bingo
  • Popular Slots: Fruit Party, Dog House Megaways, Big Bass Bonanza, Release the Kraken
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