Teach an Animal a Trick

As a part of Handel Animal you can Teach an Animal a Trick. You can teach an animal a specific trick with one week of work and a successful Handle Animal check against the indicated DC. An animal with an Intelligence score of 1 (such as a snake or a shark) can learn a maximum of three tricks, while an animal with an Intelligence score of 2 (such as a dog or a horse) can learn a maximum of six tricks. Possible tricks (and their associated DCs) include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following.

Attack (DC 20): The animal attacks apparent enemies. You may point to a particular creature that you wish the animal to attack, and it will comply if able. Normally, an animal will attack only humanoids, monstrous humanoids, giants, or other animals. Teaching an animal to attack all creatures (including such unnatural creatures as undead and aberrations) counts as two tricks.

Come (DC 15): The animal comes to you, even if it normally would not do so (following you onto a boat, for example).

Defend (DC 20): The animal defends you (or is ready to defend you if no threat is present), even without any command being given. Alternatively, you can command the animal to defend a specific other character.

Down (DC 15): The animal breaks off from combat or otherwise backs down. An animal that doesn’t know this trick continues to fight until it must flee (due to injury, a fear effect, or the like) or its opponent is defeated.

Fetch (DC 15): The animal goes and gets something. If you do not point out a specific item, the animal fetches some random object.

Guard (DC 20): The animal stays in place and prevents others from approaching.

Heel (DC 15): The animal follows you closely, even to places where it normally wouldn’t go.

Perform (DC 15): The animal performs a variety of simple tricks, such as sitting up, rolling over, roaring or barking, and so on.

Seek (DC 15): The animal moves into an area and looks around for anything that is obviously alive or animate.

Stay (DC 15): The animal stays in place, waiting for you to return. It does not challenge other creatures that come by, though it still defends itself if it needs to.

Track (DC 20): The animal tracks the scent presented to it. (This requires the animal to have the scent ability; see the Monster Manual for details.)

Work (DC 15): The animal pulls or pushes a medium or heavy load.

You may also train an animal for a purpose. Rather than teaching an animal individual tricks, you can simply train it for a general purpose. Essentially, an animal’s purpose represents a preselected set of known tricks that fit into a common scheme, such as guarding or heavy labor. The animal must meet all the normal prerequisites for all tricks included in the training package. If the package includes more than three tricks, the animal must have an Intelligence score of 2. An animal can be trained for only one general purpose, though if the creature is capable of learning additional tricks (above and beyond those included in its general purpose), it may do so. Training an animal for a purpose requires fewer checks than teaching individual tricks does, but no less time. At your DM’s option, you may be able to train an animal for a purpose that isn’t mentioned here.

Combat Riding (DC 20): An animal trained to bear a rider into combat knows the tricks attack, come, defend, down, guard, and heel. Training an animal for combat riding takes six weeks. You may also “upgrade” an animal trained for riding to one trained for combat riding by spending three weeks and making a successful DC 20 Handle Animal check. The new general purpose and tricks completely replace the animal’s previous purpose and any tricks it once knew. Warhorses and riding dogs are already trained to bear riders into combat, and they don’t require any additional training for this purpose.

Fighting (DC 20): An animal trained to engage in combat knows the tricks attack, down, and stay. Training an animal for fighting takes three weeks.

Guarding (DC 20): An animal trained to guard knows the tricks attack, defend, down, and guard. Training an animal for guarding takes four weeks.

Heavy Labor (DC 15): An animal trained for heavy labor knows the tricks come and work. Training an animal for heavy labor takes two weeks.

Hunting (DC 20): An animal trained for hunting knows the tricks attack, down, fetch, heel, seek, and track. Training an animal for hunting takes six weeks.

Performance (DC 15): An animal trained for performance knows the tricks come, fetch, heel, perform, and stay. Training an animal for performance takes five weeks.

Riding (DC 15): An animal trained to bear a rider knows the tricks come, heel, and stay. Training an animal for riding takes three weeks.