Rene was born in Starling City, and raised in the dangerous district known as The Glades. He implies that his father was abusive to him. As a kid, he was caught tagging a building by an at the time beat cop, Quentin Lance who, instead of taking him into the police station, got on one knee and told him that he could be more than a regular thug. This set him on a much better path for life.
Prior to becoming a vigilante, Rene was a Navy SEALs officer. He was part of a group transporting a prisoner with valuable information, intelligence couldn't get the information out of him so Rene took matters into his own hands and tried to beat the information out of him, leading to Rene being dishonorably discharged.
Rene married a woman named Laura and had a daughter with her, Zoe. Later on, Rene began to suspect that his wife was a junkie, and was proven correct when he found drugs in their bedroom. That night, he took Zoe to a ball game, when they returned to the house, it was ransacked, and Laura was held at gunpoint by her dealer, who demanded the $500 that Laura owed him for her last fix. Rene told him that the money was in the safe (where he actually keep his gun), and began to reach for it. Zoe then appears and unknowingly spooks the drug dealer, causing him to throw Laura on the ground. Rene grabbed his gun and killed the man, but not before discharging a stray bullet that would kill Laura. Following this incident, Zoe was removed from Rene's custody and placed in a foster family.
Becoming Wild Dog
On the night that Damien Darhk was killed, Rene called child services and asked to see his daughter, only to be rejected multiple times, rudely. After hearing about Darhk's death at the hands of the Green Arrow, he was inspired to take justice into his own hands. Rene began acting as a vigilante. However, his antics were disapproved by Green Arrow who warned him to stay off the streets, though he didn't listen.
In late 2016, the anarchist Lonnie Machin attempted to blow up a significant portion of the city using multiple bombs. Ramirez somehow found out about this and attempted to stop the bombs from blowing up. However he arrived after Green Arrow and he pushed him away, putting an arrow in his leg.
New Team Arrow
One night while chasing down a thug, Wild Dog tried to jump from one rooftop to another and hit his foot causing him to fall off the roof. Before he hit the ground Green Arrow shot a grapple arrow at his foot saving him. Oliver gave him the address of a building to meet him at the next day. Rene showed up and began training for the new team. The next day Oliver sent Rene, Curtis, and Evelyn to an AmerTek event disguised as volunteers to serve as security looking out for "Ragman". When Ragman broke in, Wild Dog disobeyed Oliver's instructions and attacked Ragman, ripping a piece of his rag off. Rene and the other recruits quit their training, not wanting to work with Green Arrow due to his aggressive personality. However, Rene and the others later rejoined the team after Oliver revealed his identity to them all. He asked Oliver if he could rethink his code name, but Oliver amusingly replied "no chance".
When Oliver was looking for details about the new drug Stardust he found out that it was being sold by Derek Sampson. After he returned to the base Oliver gave instructions not to go looking for any more intel. Rene, knowing where the warehouse that the Stardust drug was being made, ignored Oliver and went to the location, bringing along Evelyn Sharp. He claimed that he was there strictly for intel, but once he knew for sure the drugs were there he jumped down and started attacking the men working for Sampson. After shooting many thugs, Wild Dog fought Sampson one on one. Sampson had the upper hand on Wild Dog and brutally punched him numerous times nearly knocking him out until Evelyn shot Sampson in the shoulder. This distracted him and Wild Dog threw him into a vat of stardust and presumably killed him. The next day Oliver was furious at Rene for not listening to him and killing Sampson, as Adrian Chase, the district attorney, was close to taking down Sampson and all of his men. Oliver later forgave Rene and apologized for never trusting him and giving him a chance in the field. Later once Team Arrow found out Sampson was still alive and couldn't feel pain, they figured out his plan which was to create an army of men like himself. Oliver decided to bring the new team to stop Sampson in which they succeeded. This was the first time Oliver trusted Rene.
When Oliver left Star City for a couple of days to break Diggle out of prison, the rest of Team Arrow went after Tobias Church. Wild Dog and Church ended up fighting with Church dominating. Church then captured Rene and tortured him at an undisclosed location. While tortured by Church, Rene told him that Oliver Queen was the Green Arrow although he doesn't remember telling Church. He was brought to the woods by Church and his men to dig his own grave, and while there Church told him his plan and why he came to Star City. Church told him his plan because he planned to kill Rene once he finished digging. Oliver showed up moments after killing Church's men and saving Rene, but Church got away. The next day Rene met with Diggle to try and remember anything from his time being tortured, to see if he heard anything about Church's plan. Rene and Diggle bonded due to there similarities and Diggle served as somewhat of a mentor to Rene. He remembered Church's plan and told the rest of the team. This ultimately led to Church being arrested and then murdered.
During an alien invasion, Rene felt a distrust with Barry Allen, the Flash, as well as Kara Danvers, Supergirl. He was mad at them, feeling that those with superpowers were corrupted and could never do their part as heroes. It is unknown as to why he felt that way, but it was possibly because the Dominators were attacking Earth. However, after being saved by the Flash and Supergirl, his thoughts change, withdrawing his grudge against all super-powered beings.
In a reality created by Eobard Thawne using the Spear of Destiny, Wild Dog was killed by Damien Darhk along with Spartan, Black Canary, The Flash, Ragman, Vigilante and later Felicity. All of their masks were kept as trophies in Darhk's office.
In his former life as a family man, Rene was vehemently against his wife Laura continuing her drug habit long after getting out of the Glades and being in a more stable financial situation. He was blunt, fierce, and dealt in absolutes, threatening to kick Laura out over continuing her addiction. Rene was also a caring and affectionate father to Zoe, and began to lose himself after she had been taken out of his custody following Laura's death. He considers himself unworthy to be Zoe's father as he couldn't protect his family from a drug dealer.
Rene and Oliver often butt heads having different ideas of justice. Rene is also a lot more inexperienced than Oliver Queen, causing him to make more mistakes. He also doesn't like to take orders from anyone, resulting in him often ignoring Oliver's commands. Rene doesn't like to fight battles without trusting the leader and without the leader trusting him, saying this to Oliver once he revealed himself as Green Arrow. In his work as a vigilante, Rene prefers to hunt and kill anyone who he thinks is bad instead of leaving them to be arrested by police. He does this as he believes that the world would be better without people like them, although his headstrong and impulsive traits causes him to kill and attack criminals without strategy or precision as Oliver does.
This was shown he arranged for a "recon mission" to spy on Derek Sampson's operation with Evelyn Sharp so he would be able to attack them with backup. Not only did he instigate a fight, but he also put himself in a position where he would be able to kill Derek himself and justify it as self-defense, while he would not admit to it. His lack of seeing a big picture when it comes to fighting crime surgically led him to kill Sampson without knowing that the police wanted to build a case against Sampson to get him to reveal other dealers, only seeing it a victory in there being one less dealer on the streets. Felicity Smoak even called Rene out on his stubbornness, thinking he was worse than Oliver in that regard. Rene also initially had a strong hatred for meta-humans and any super-powered individuals. He believed that although they were trying to help the world, they were only making it worse, and he didn't want anything to do with them. However, once the Flash saved his life, he realized that are some meta-humans and super-powered individuals that are actually good and he now respects Barry along with Supergirl for what there doing to protect the world.
Rene had long since resigned himself from continuing to try to get Zoe back in his custody after being placed in the foster care system. This was until Curtis dug into his past and got in touch with a lawyer, who had enough evidence regarding Rene's competency as a father to start a case to get Zoe back into his life. This showed a marked improvement between Curtis and Rene's friendship.
Rene has a habit of calling Quentin and sometimes Curtis, "Hoss". Despite the fact that his wife was killed by criminal who was using a gun, Rene does not have a dislike for guns, as he still firmly believes that the latters' do more good than bad can save innocent lives.
- Peak of human physical conditioning: Having been a former Navy SEAL, Rene is trained to superb physical form.
- Expert hand-to-hand combatant/Brawler: Rene is highly skilled in unarmed combat being able to fight Sampson for a while before he ended up on the losing end. Oliver complimented him on his form as he was training on the bag. After being personally trained by Oliver, his skills have gradually improved, being able to go toe-to-toe with Tobias Church, holding him off long enough for his team-mates to escape, to which Church complimented Rene for the effective blows he landed.
- Expert marksman: Rene is able to wield his handguns with great skill. Being able to take out numerous criminals in a firefight. He is able to shoot while moving and avoid being a stationary target.
- Skilled stick fighter: Due to training with John Diggle, Rene has become a skilled stick fighter, able to keep up with John in a sparring session.
- Indomitable will/High tolerance for pain: When captured and tortured by Tobias Church, Rene was able to endure it for a week.
- Wild Dog suit: Rene wears a protective suit when he goes out fighting as Wild Dog. It's a largely black tactical suit, with a red chest plate and flares of yellow around it, with a metallic hockey mask.
- Dual handguns: Rene uses two pistols as weapons to fight criminals on the streets. He is shown as a skilled gunman, shooting two pistols with ease.
- In an altered reality, he was killed by Damien Darhk or one of his two hitmen. His mask was on display in a trophy case, along with the masks of several other vigilantes.
Behind the scenes
- In DC comics, Wild Dog is a Quad Cities vigilante named Jack Wheeler who targets domestic terrorism. While the costume and the nickname used in the show suggest that Rene Ramirez is an adaptation of the comic character, his name and ethnicity were changed. The Jack Wheeler version first appeared in a 'whodunnit' four-part mini-series, designed to highlight a non-powered, more realistic vigilante, one limited by human needs, and motivated by frequently out-of-control drives.