Pet Taming, Training & Care by Alanonymous

Beginner Guide to Pet Taming, Training & Care |
The Alanonymous Guide to Pet Care and Training

OK, for those who commented on my guide on how to choose a pet (found here)http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=102650324&sid=1&pageNo=1 that it needed info on training your pet, taming, etc. I present this guide.


Probably the best part of being a hunter is that you get to have a pet of your choosing, named whatever you want, and available to serve you faithfully as a tank, CC machine, portable DoT, etc. However, to get this remarkable creature you must first do a few things. Part I of this guide is therefore designed to answer the commonly asked question,

1. “How do I get a pet?”

1. You must be level 10 before you can get a pet.
2. You must visit a quest giver and complete a quest in order to learn how to tame pets
3. You must visit the hunter trainer to learn how to feed your pet
4. You must do these things in this order

Actually, getting a pet is pretty easy. Once you reach level 10 you must find the person who gives you the quest “Taming the Beast.” It is a 3 part quest that requires you to use a “taming rod” to tame 3 different creatures. You do not get to keep the creatures you tame though, instead you go to the quest giver after you tame one and show him you tamed it and then you have to let it go in order to tame the next creature in the list. When you tame the last creature and turn in, you’ll find you only have 10 minutes before that pet will go away too.

The quest giver is usually in the 2nd “town” you come to as a beginner (Dolanar for Night Elves, for example). Note you have to use the pet traininer in your "native land." A NElf can't go to Khranos for example. Draenie and Blood Elves actually need to visit the hunter trainer first and he will give you a quest to go see the quest giver and learn how to tame a pet. Once you have completed the 3 part quest from that person, you will have the ability to tame a pet. However, you are not done yet!. You must visit the hunter trainer and learn the ability “feed pet” ((s)he will also teach you the skill “revive pet” so you can rez. your pet when it dies) in order to feed the pet you train. If you don’t feed a pet after you train it, it will not gain loyalty levels (more on that later) and it will run away. At level 12 the hunter trainer will also teach you the ability “mend pet” so you can heal your pet. It is not uncommon for new hunters to come to the forum and complain that they cannot feed their pet only to discover that they did not do the 2nd part of the quest by going to the hunter trainer and learning how to do so. Don’t look like a n00b by forgetting this. Note also, pets have restrictive diets as a rule. Cats, for example, eat fish and meat but won’t eat fruit. Bats on the other hand eat fruit and fungus but won’t eat meat; so make sure to get the right food for the pet you have chosen. A couple of tips on pet taming and feeding:

A) You cannot tame a pet that is higher in level than you.
B) “Elite” or “Rare” pets, once tamed, become just like any other pet in their family (i.e. once tamed, except for looks, Snarler is just like any other level 42 wolf. Same for Humar and level 23 cats, etc.)
C) You can create a “feed pet” macro if you want so a key push feeds your pet
D) You can drag and drop food out of your bag onto a pet to feed it.
E) If your pet is “happy” because of feeding he does 125% normal damage on all his attacks.

That’s all there is to getting your pet to begin with. It is after you have your chosen pet that the fun starts as you learn about pet skills, Talent Points, etc.

[ Post edited by Alanonymous ]


1. What is this pet loyalty stuff?

Once you have tamed a pet, if you will right click on his portrait under yours and look at the pet info sheet you will see information about the pet. At the top it will list his “loyalty level.” When you first tame a pet his loyalty level will be “1” or “unruly.” As you keep and use the pet it will eventually increase to the max. level of “6” or “Best Friend.” The exact mechanics of how loyalty levels increase is not known, however it is known that in order to advance your pet’s loyalty you must:

A) Keep it out;
B) Keep it well fed & happy (note the pet’s portrait has an icon next to it that shows unhappy (frown), content (neutral look) and happy (big smile).
C) Use it in PvE encounters (There is a general consensus that using your pet will help it gain loyalty faster, however, pets will occasionally gain a loyalty level while just standing around in town. However, it also appears that pets do not gain loyalty when they are used strictly in a Battleground setting and no where else hence the note to use it in PvE encounters).

It should be noted at this point too that it appears that the higher level you and/or the pet is, the longer it will take to gain loyalty. Also note the only way to make your pet happy is to feed it. If it goes too long with out feeding in an unhappy state, it will run away and you’ll have to go get another pet.

2. So why is pet loyalty important?

As pets gain loyalty levels two things happen. First, they gain training points (more on training points later) and secondly, they will remain happy from a feeding for a longer period of time. I have not tested the exact time frame, but it is reported that a loyalty level 6 pet that hits “happy” from a feeding will remain “happy” for 40 minutes before another feeding is required as long as the pet does not die. Dismissing your pet and/or having you pet die will act to reduce the amount of time he will remain happy from a feeding. Also, note, once you feed your pet, a little icon will appear under his portrait to indicate he is gaining happiness. Do not feed him again until that icon goes away or you will be wasting food. Also, if you send him into combat while that icon is present he will stop gaining happiness from the feeding once combat starts and will therefore not gain the max in happiness from the food he could/should have.

3. Why is pet happiness important?

As noted above, keeping your pet happy seems to encourage a faster gain in loyalty levels. But as important, if not more so, is the fact that a happy pet will do 125% normal damage on all his attacks. So keeping your pet happy is to your advantage in a combat setting as well since your pet does more damage when he is happy.

[ Post edited by Alanonymous ]


1. What are “Training Points?

Pets can learn different skills and abilities (some more than others) and different ranks of skills and abilities. For example, all wolves can learn the special skill “Furious Howl” and there are 4 ranks of furious howl available in the game for your pet to learn. What skill(s) your pet can learn and what rank of those skills he can learn depend upon:

1) The skill and its rank (for example, your pet must be level 30 to learn the pet skill “Dash, Rank 1” but be level 50 to learn “Dash, rank 3”);
2) The type of pet (for example, Owls cannot learn “Dash” but cats & wolves can); and most importantly for this section
3) The number of Training Points (TP) your pet has available (for example “Dash, Rank 1” might cost 15 TP whereas “Dash, Rank 3” might cost 25 TP).
Note: The pet skill "Growl" is trainable to all pets and is free of any TP cost, though pet level vs. skill rank is still an issue.

Once you have determined, therefore, that your pet can learn a certain skill (more on skills later) and what rank of that skill it can learn, you must determine if your pet has enough TP available to learn it. You need to note at this point that after about level 35 or so you will not have enough TP available to you to train your pet in the max rank of all the skills he can know, you will have to pick and choose which skills you want your pet to know and/or what ranks of skills. This results in your having to engage in a trade off; do you want more armor or a higher rank of “Bite” etc. Luckily, the cost to untrain and retrain a pet is small, 10 silver, the first time you do it in any 24 hour period. If you always wait at least 24 hours between the time you untrain and retrain a pet it will only cost you 10s each time. This makes it possible and practical to “reconfigure” your pet on a regular basis to match your needs in the game.

2. So how do you calculate TP?

The basic formula for calculating training points is: TP = (Loyalty Level – 1) * Exp. Level. So, for example, if I have a level 30 pet at loyalty level 5 he will have a total of 120 TP (120 = (5-1) * 30). When that same pet hits loyalty level 6, I’ll get an instant 30 TP boost and jump to 150 TP available for use (150 = (6-1) * 30). However, when the pet then levels up to level 31, I’ll only get a 5 TP boost for a total of 155 TP (155 = (6 -1) * 31). People often get confused when they see a pet gain TP at a rate of 50 or 60 a pop and then suddenly it slows to only 5 a pop. This is why this happens. They are seeing huge gains from the initial loyalty level going up, but only small gains from the pet’s experience level increasing.

3. Well why did my pet come with negative training points?

As noted above, pets learn skills and those skills cost TP. Some pets that you tame, however, come with skills already known. You might, for example, tame a mountain lion that already knows the skill “Prowl, Rank 1.” Well, “Prowl, rank 1” is a pet skill that costs TP to learn and teach to a pet. When you tame a pet that already has a skill, the TP cost of that skill shows up as part of his TP when he is tamed. For example, if you tame a pet that has no skills at all, when he is first tamed you’ll have -0- TP (0 = (1-1) * 30 [or whatever level the pet is]). On the other hand, if you tame a pet that knows a skill that costs, say 15 TP, upon first taming the pet it will have -15 TP. He starts with -0- TP and then loses 15 due to the cost of the skill he already knows. A pet with several skills or a high rank of a skill might have a large number of negative points. As the pet gains loyalty though, it will gain TP in accordance with the formula, but will reflect the TP cost of the known skill in the number of available TP that show up in your pet’s character sheet window. So, for example, if I tame a level 30 pet that has a skill already that costs 15 TP when I first get him, he’ll have a -15 TP. When he hits loyalty level 2 though he’ll have 15 TP available (15 = ((2 – 1) * 30) – 15). At loyalty level 3 he’ll have 45 TP available (45 = ((3 – 1) * 30) – 15) and so on.

To see how many TP your pet has available for use just right click on his portrait under yours and then open his character sheet. You can also open your spell book and click on the general tab and then click on the “pet training” icon (it looks like a sling shot) and see how many TP your pet has available for use (more on the rest of the window that opens when you do this later).

People commonly ask if they should “save” their training points or if taming a low level pet and raising it up to a higher level will give them more training points that taming a high level pet. The answer is “no.” The formula is the same no matter when you tame your pet. A pet leveled from 8 to 70 and a pet trained at 70 will both (at max loyalty level) have a total of 350 TP available. That’s all there is to TP. Next comes the big issue, how do you use them to train a pet in the various skills he can learn.
[ Post edited by Alanonymous ]


This is the fun part and also the part that Blizzard doesn't explain at all and leaves up to you, as a hunter, to discover: training your pet with skills, higher ranks of skills and new skills. First things first though;

A. in order for your pet to learn a skill of any type, you must learn and know it first, then you teach it to your pet. Pet trainers do not actually train your pet, they teach you a skill that you can teach to your pet; and

B. With the exception of growl, all pet skills have a training point cost.. As noted above, around level 35 or so you'll find you don't have enough TP to train your pet in the max rank of everything and you'll have to pick and choose.

1. What are the skills I can train my pet in?

Pet skills come in two varieties, those available from the pet trainer at a small cost and can be taught to any pet and those you learn from other creatures that are limited in the pets that can learn them (i.e. some pets learn claw, some don't, etc.). Note also that with a few exceptions, all skills have various "ranks" the higher level you and your pet are, the higher rank of a skill your pet can learn. Typically (as you would expect) higher ranks are better and do more damage/provide more stealth/provide a faster speed/give a greater resistance etc. than lower ranks. Also, as you should expect, higher ranks of a skill cost more TP to teach your pet than lower ranks do.

A. Pet Trainer skills

Pet trainers know and can teach you the following skills:
i. Growl (various ranks - based on level)
ii. Avoidance (as of patch 2.1, two ranks, trainable to your pet when he is level 30 (Rank1) and 60 (Rank 2).
iii. Cobra Reflexes (as of patch 2.1, one Rank – trainable to your pet when he is level 30)
iv. Natural Armor (various ranks - based on level)
v. Great Stamina (various ranks - based on level
vi. Nature, Fire, Arcane, Frost & Shadow resistance (various ranks - based on level)

B. Skills Learned from Creatures in the Wild

Various creatures in the wild also have skills and various ranks of those skills you can learn and then teach to your pet. Not all creatures have all skills nor can all pets learn all skills (you can't teach a boar "Claw" or a owl "Dash" for example). You will have to search out the ones that have the skill and/or rank of a skill you want to learn (this is a major purpose of the "Beast Lore" spell). A handy reference to use for finding a beast in the wild that has a skill you want and what skills your pet can learn is found at http://www.goodintentionsguild.info/hunters.html .

The skills available to be learned from creatures in the wild are:
i. Claw
ii. Bite
iii. Cower (all pets can learn this all but useless skill)
iv. Dash
v. Dive
vi. Charge
vii. Furious Howl
viii. Lightning Breath
ix. Prowl
x. Scorpid Poison
xi. Screech
xii. Shell Shield
xiii. Thunderstomp
xiv. Fire Breath
xv. Poison Spit
xvi. Gore
xvii. Warp

2. How do I learn a skill?

As noted above, you have to learn a skill first and then teach that skill to your pet. There are 2 ways to learn a skill based on where the skill is coming from; the pet trainer or a creature you have tamed.

A. The Pet Trainer

Go to the pet trainer and right click him/her and then click on the line that says "train me in the ways of the beast" or something similar and a window will open. All the skills you are high enough level to learn that the trainer teaches should be there in green (make sure the drop down box in the upper right corner of the window has "all available" checked if you don't see anything). Click on a skill or rank of skill you want and click the button to learn the skill (note you have to pay to learn stuff, its not free).

B. Learning from other Beasts

To learn a skill from another creature you must first find a creature that has the skill or rank of skill you want (again, head over to http://www.goodintentionsguild.info/hunters.html for information on what creatures have what skills or use your "Beast Lore" spell on creatures you encounter). Once you have identified the skill you want and the creature that has it, put your current pet in the stables (or be prepared to abandon it if you no longer want it) and head on to where the creature you've identified is.

Once you find the creature, tame it and then use it some and make sure during the use that it uses the skill you want to learn. For example, let's say you want to learn "Prowl, Rank 1" Using http://www.goodintentionsguild.info/hunters.html you determine that this skill is found on level 32 mountain lions north of South Shore in Hillsbrad. You make sure you are level 32 or above and then stable your current pet and head on to the area. Once you find a mountain lion, use the "Tame Pet" skill and tame the mountain lion as your new pet. On the mountain lion's action bar there will be an icon for "prowl." Click that icon several times to turn Prowl "on" and "off" as you use your new lion to kill a few things. Keep watching your chat log and eventually a message (default yellow text) will pop up that says "You have learned a new spell: Prowl, Rank 1)." As a general rule you should learn most skills with 10 or fewer uses (I've learned them the very first time the pet used it and I've had to have the pet use the new skill as many as 15 times before I learned it). Once the text shows up saying you've learned "Prowl, Rank 1" you can abandon the mountain lion (or keep it if you wish) and you are ready to train the newly learned skill, "Prowl, Rank 1" to your favorite cat (only cats can learn prowl).

The process described for "Prowl, Rank 1" in the foregoing is the same process used to learn all the pet skills that come from creatures in the wild - find the animal that has the skill/rank of skill you want, tame it, use it and the skill some and bingo, you'll learn the skill yourself and be ready to move to the next bit on teaching the skill to your favorite pet.

[ Post edited by Alanonymous ]

3. How do I teach a skill to my pet?

Ok, you’ve learned a skill from either the trainer or another creature and you now want your favorite pet to have that skill. It is actually pretty easy to teach the skill to your pet if you follow these steps:
1. open your spell book.
2. click on the “general” tab.
3. find the icon that looks like a slingshot (it will say “train pet” or something like that)
4. click the icon and a new window will open
5. in the new window all the skills you know will be listed. The ones your pet already knows will be in grey at the bottom. The ones you know that are available to teach to a pet are in green at the top.
6. Find the skill or rank of skill you want to teach to your current pet and click it.
7. Note the cost in TP for the skill and look towards the bottom of the window and ensure you have enough TP to cover the cost.
8. Note the pet level required for the skill at the bottom where it describes the skill.
9. If you have the TP available and your pet is of the appropriate level, click the button “train” and presto, your pet will now know the new skill or rank of skill.
10. Follow these steps for everything you want to teach your pet.

There are a few caveats to the above:
A. If the skill does not show a TP cost to the side, it is a skill your current pet cannot learn. The only exception to this is Growl which has no TP cost at all.
B. If your pet is not high enough level to learn a skill you will have to level him up.
C. If you do not have enough TP to teach the pet the desired skill you can go to the pet trainer and ask him/her to “untrain” your pet. This will refund all your TP and then you can follow the above steps to teach your pet anything you wish that it can learn.

The cost to untrain your pet is 10 silver initially and it will reset to 10s in 24 hours. If you try to retrain again within 24 hours of an initial training the cost progressively increases to 50s, 1g, 5g, 10g. However, again, it will reset to 10s if you go 24 hours without retraining.

4. Pet Skills and Training F.A.Q.S.

A couple of commonly raised questions and issues dealing with pet training need to be addressed as well at this point.

A. I trained my pet with a higher skill rank and the TP didn’t subtract properly: Actually it probably did. When you tame a pet with a higher rank of a known skill the TP cost noted by the skill in your spell book is the cumulative cost of that skill and all lower ranks. If you know a lower rank already, then the actual TP cost of the new rank will be the difference between the old rank’s cost and the new rank’s cost. For example, If rank 1 has a cost of 10 TP and rank 2 has a cost of 25 TP, if you tame rank 2 alone it will cost 25 TP. However, if your pet already knows rank 1 and you just tame it in the new rank 2 the actual cost to you will be 15 TP since you have already spent 10 learning rank 1.

B. Can I skip training a rank? Absolutely. You do not have to progress in order through rank 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. You can jump straight to what ever rank you want. For example, I neglected to tame pets and learn Bite ranks 4 and 5 as I leveled up. I know ranks 1-3 and 6-9 and can teach any one of those ranks I want to my pets, but I can’t teach ranks 4 or 5. If I tame a pet in rank 1 and then decide I want it to know rank 9, I can open my spell book and just click on Bite, Rank 9 and train it (assuming I have enough TP and my pet is the right level to learn it).

C. Do I have to train a new creature for each rank of a skill? Yes. Just because you know rank 1 of a skill doesn’t mean you’ll automatically learn rank 2 upon gaining the right level. You’ll still have to go find a creature with rank 2 and train it and use it to learn the new rank.

D. Help! My pet’s action bar doesn’t show that I taught him a skill. Ok, first, only “active” skills like bite, claw, dive, screech, etc. are shown on the action bar. Passive skills like fire resistance, Natural Armor, etc. do not show on the action bar. Secondly, on occasion a pet skill you have trained your pet to know will fail to automatically appear on the action bar. This is easy to fix. Open your spell book. At the bottom is a tab that says “pet” click that tab and it will list the things your pet is trained in. Find the icon for the skill that is missing from the action bar and drag and drop onto the bar.

E. How do I turn off autocast for a pet skill? When a pet skill is on the action bar, by default it will autocast. This can be an issue, particularly with growl and prowl. To turn off the autocasting of a pet skill, right click its icon on the action bar. A small yellow triangle will appear in each corner of the icon to indicate autocast is off. Until you right click it again to turn autocast back on, you’ll have to left click the icon to activate the skill manually.

F. What is this focus dump stuff? Pets have “focus” that works sort of like mana. As a pet uses an active skill he expends focus points. Some skills, like claw and gore, are limited in trigger time only by the 1 sec. global cooldown. However, they use a lot of focus and your pet will eventually run out of focus if the skill triggers enough in a fight. The talents “Go for the Throat” in the Marksman tree and “Bestial Discipline” in the Beast Mastery tree can help ensure that a pet with a focus eating (or “dumping”) skill has enough focus to continually use the skill.

[ Post edited by Alanonymous ]


What skills you should train your pet or what ranks of skills is entirely situational and up to you. For example, if I'm going to Molten Core, I'll be training up my pet's fire resistance, but not training it in nature, shadow, frost or arcane resistances. On the other hand, for Stratholme, I'll be training in Nature and Shadow resistances, but not in Fire, Frost or Arcane. Think about your pet's weaknesses and strong points and what you'll be doing to decide how to train it. Pets like ravagers with low health and high armor naturally probably need trained in great stamina more than they need trained in Natural Armor, etc.

Note also, your pet can only know 4 active skills, for most pets that is not a problem, but for some you'll have to choose which 4. For example, a cat can learn Dash, Prowl, Claw, Bite, Cower, Growl. When I train my cat, I have to take into account what I'll be doing to decide which 4 skills I want it to know.

Read the guide to choosing your pet linked at the top of this guide and visit http://petopia.brashendeavors.net


1. As of Patch 2.2 it appears that Raptors will finally be gaining the "Dash" pet skill. Assuming it goes live (as by all indications it will) this will put raptors on par with cats as dps pets. Raptors have a -5% to base health stat, whereas Cats only have a -2%. However, Raptors also get a +3% armor and cats have no plus to the base armor. Both have the +10% modifier to base dps.

2. Scorpids have become a Raid pet of choice for many BM hunters as their poison scales with attack power so a hunter can pop Bestial Wrath and all his trinkets and bump up the damage caused by a scorps poison and since the poison stacks 5 times and all the stacks do is continue to refresh the first application, the hunter gets a large 5-700 damage per tick application going that stays up as long as he can keep the poison stacked. Very good for long boss fights. For normal 5 mans and trash mobs though, this is of negligible value since most mobs will be dead by the time you get up to 5 applications. Some claim this is unintended, no word from Bliz though so who knows if it will be nerfed or not. If you go for this, use scorp poison rank 4 instead of rank 5 since the duration is 10 vs. 8 seconds and the ability to ensure it stacks and stays stacked and give the most number of high ticks of damage is enhanced.

3. WARNING As of patch 2.1 Hunters can "dismiss" rather than "abandon" a pet and tame another pet. It appears Bliz is working on the complaint of many hunters that 2 stable slots isn't enough since, at least until 70, you are limited to 2 pets and have to keep a slot open so you can train a pet and learn new skills. Now you don't have to do that. However, the system appears to be bugged with people dismissing pets and training new ones and ending up with pets stuck in the stable, pets disapearring, etc. If you want to dismiss a pet and train one to learn a new skill, make sure that as soon as you learn the skill you abandon the temp pet and go get your original pet out of the stable right away or you risk the bug messing up all your pets. Hopefully Bliz will refine this and get the bugs worked out soon, until then, proceed with extreme caution if you dismiss a pet instead of abandon it before you tame a new one.

Please feel free to note errors, ask questions or make suggestions about the above. If you feel it worthy to do so, please also report this thread for a sticky by using the bio-hazard icon in the upper right corner. Thanks and I hope you find this useful.


Tzia chirps in: This guide is hosted here with full permission of Alanonymous. I did not write it, but am hosting it because I feel it is one of the better guides out there.

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