How to recruit Shale in Dragon Age: Origins
A party can never be too large, especially when the new recruit is a walking mound of rocks.
Few video game players would argue against the merits of bringing a golem on their team, even if said golem were shorter than usual. Consequently, getting Shale on your side in Dragon Age: Origins will never prove a poor choice, so long as you're willing to either buy a new copy of the game or shell out some extra cash for some DLC.
Why? Because Shale isn't normally included in the game. She's downloadable, and though the full game comes with her DLC for free buying a used copy forces you to buy the DLC yourself. In either case you'll never get the option to recruit the golem without that extra content, so get it first.
Next, head to the small cart that's sitting on the main map. Here you'll find a struggling merchant who's stopped his cart for a while. After chatting for a bit he'll offer to give you a golem control rod which is used for activating Shale, though the golem isn't around. It's in a village south of here, the small burg of Honnleath. He gives you the control word and directions to the village.
Head there and you'll find it under Darkspawn attack. Kill them off then head to the center of town, where you'll find Shale frozen in place. The control rod won't work on it, however, as you apparently have the wrong command words. Check the village bodies for a key, then enter the nearby Wilhelm's Cellar.
Travel through the cellar and kill all the Darkspawn along the way. In the basement you'll find several survivors behind a shimmering force field. One of them, Matthias, will lower the field and acknowledge that his father owned Shale, and that he knows the activation words. Before he gives them up, however, he asks that you proceed deeper into the cellar and retrieve his daughter, who's gone missing.
Killing Shades along the way, proceed into the basement. You'll find the girl, Amalia, with a talking cat that turns out to be a demon trapped by a seal. Complete the puzzle and release the demon, then either let it possess the girl or drive it off (or just kill the demon after it possesses Amalia, killing the girl as well) to resolve the problem, then head back up. Regardless of the results, Matthias will tell you the control words and leave.
Head to the surface and use them on Shale with the control rod. The golem will awaken, speak sarcastically for a while, discover it can move about freely without instruction from yourself and decide to join your party since it doesn't know what else to do. Congrats, you now have your own (albeit sardonic) golem to command.