Hmmm I’m veterinarian and dog owner but I don’t think about myself as an “dog-expert”, I learn something new about this great animals every day :) I think that my suggestions could help to improve this great game, because as Marsh wrote, now dogs are usefull only to chasing bandit marksman.
I use them the same way as you, but imagine unleashing big bad dog by your billhook guy to help your battle brother who has bad time with orc warrior… Dog attack him with full speed, jump on orc and bite him in arm. Now physic works ;) Orc warrior is too big to fall, and have way too heavy armor to be butchered by the dog teeth, but now he must struggle with furious dog, because he cannot fight with your battle brother with 80 kg on his arm trying to pull him down. So dog buy time for your brother to catch a breath and billhook guy can get closer. Orc quicly try to hit dog to break free, but the same moment gets impaled by billhook and taste the steel of your other brother axe hitting him between eyes.
Or night attack on goblin camp, five of your frontliners have a wardogs, you close and see how first line of gobos change their weapons to this spiked bola and nets. Just before they want to trow and shoot everything at you, your frontliners lower they shields and set dogs free… Your dogs simply crush first line of gobos. One of your dog tear one goblin apart, another hold one on the groud, other dog gets killed by goblin with pike, but it is too late, your battle brothers are close now and when goblin line is broken your guys have easier life killing them (I personally hate goblins :P )
Or when your crossbowmen gets in fight with vampires, one simply teleports on his back, but your brother one one hand has crossbow and on the other, leash with wardog on the other end, every attack of vampire meet with counterattack of dog, who act in defence of his master :)
I think that dogs could do somthing more than only chasing fleeing enemies. Zone of control does not mean immobilized, I have few situation that they just too easy get out of this zone. Dogs should stay in this role, buying time to our brothers.
Feeding dogs is good idea, but I think that you shouldnt feed your dog on corpses (when dev’s adds changes to provision systems I thing they will add something to our dogs, maybe treat them as diffrent party, that could use only meat)
There is houndmaster, so there is no need to K9 officer perk, they are wardogs, they only help in battle. I think that there is no need in this fantasy world for dog searching for drugs and bombs so we better stay with concept of houndmaster and wardogs ;) Yea its fantasy world, but I think that some realism could help. After all use of weapons here is pretty realistic. Result of hit by hatchet and big axe will be different, in real and in this fantasy game ;)