Use this skill to drive a team of horses pulling a wagon over rough terrain, to teach a dog to guard, to raise a wolf as a devoted pet, or to teach an elephant to “trumpet” on your command.
Check: The time required to get an effect and the DC depend on what you are trying to do.
Handle an Animal: This means to command an animal to perform a task or trick that it knows. For instance, to command a trained attack dog to attack a foe requires a Handle Animal check against DC 10. If the animal is wounded or has taken any ability score damage, the DC increases by +5. If the check is successful, the animal performs the task or trick on its next action. “Push” an Animal: To push an animal means to get it to perform a task or trick that it doesn't know, but is physically capable of performing. If the check is successful, the ani-mal performs the task or trick on its next action.
Teach an Animal a Trick: You can teach an animal a specific trick, such as “attack” or “stay,” with one week of work and a successful Handle Animal check. An animal with an Intelligence of 1 (such as a snake or a shark) can learn a maximum of three tricks, while an animal with an Intelligence of 2 (such as a dog or a horse) can learn a maxi-mum of six tricks.
You can teach an animal to obey only you. Any other person attempting to make the animal perform a trick takes a -10 penalty on his Handle Animal check. Teaching an animal to obey only you counts as a trick (in terms of how many tricks the animal can learn). It does not require a check; however, it increases the DC of all tricks you teach the animal by +5. If the animal already knows any tricks, you cannot teach it to obey only you. Possible tricks include, but are not limited to, the following.
*Attack (DC 20): The animal attacks apparent enemies. The character may point to a particular enemy to direct the animal to at-tack that enemy. Normally, an animal only attacks humans and other animals. Teaching an animal to attack all creatures (including unnatural creatures such as undead and aberrations if they exist in your campaign) counts as two tricks.
*Come (DC 15): The animal comes to the character, even if the animal normally would not do so (such as following the cha-acter onto a boat).
*Defend (DC 20): The animal defends the character (or is ready to defend the character if no threat is present). Alternatively, the character can command the animal to defend a specific other character.
*Down (DC 15): The animal breaks off from combat or otherwise backs down.
*Fetch (DC 15): The animal goes and gets something. The character must point out a specific object, or else 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 the character closely, even to places where it normally wouldn't go.
*Perform (DC 15): The animal does a variety of simple tricks such as sitting up, rolling over, and so on.
*Seek (DC 15): The animal moves into an area and searches for something of inter-est. It stops and indicates the first thing of interest it finds. What constitutes an item of in-terest to an animal can vary. Animals almost always find other creatures or characters of interest. To understand that it's looking for a specific object, the animal must make an Intelligence check (DC 10).
*Stay (DC 15): The animal stays in place waiting for the character 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.
*Work (DC 15): The animal pulls or pushes a medium or heavy load.
Train an Animal for a Purpose: Rather than teaching an animal individual tricks, you can train an animal 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. An animal can be trained for one gen-eral purpose only, though if the animal is ca-pable of learning additional tricks (above and beyond those included in its general pur-pose) it may do so. Training an animal for a purpose requires fewer checks than teaching individual tricks.
*Combat Riding (DC 20, 6 weeks): An animal trained to bear a rider into combat (such as a warhorse) knows Attack, Come, Defend, Down, Guard, and Heel. An animal trained in riding may be “upgraded” to an ani-mal trained in combat riding by spending three weeks and making a Handle Animal check (DC 20). If the animal was trained in other tricks (in addition to those provided by training the animal for riding), those tricks are completely replaced by the combat riding tricks.
*Fighting (DC 20, 3 weeks): An animal trained for combat knows the following tricks: Attack, Down, and Stay.
*Guarding (DC 20, 4 weeks): An animal trained to guard knows the following tricks: Attack, Defend, Down, and Guard.
*Laboring (DC 15, 2 weeks): An animal trained for heavy labor knows Come and Work.
*Hunting (DC 20, 6 weeks): An animal trained for hunting knows Attack, Down, Fetch, Heel, Seek, and Track.
*Performing (DC 15, 4 weeks): An animal trained for performing knows Come, Fetch, Heel, Perform, and Stay.
*Riding (DC 15; 3 weeks): An animal trained to bear a rider knows Come, Heel, and Stay.
Try Again?: Yes.
Special: You can take 10 or take 20 when handling animals. An untrained character uses Charisma checks to handle and push animals, but he or she can't teach or train animals.
A character with the Animal Affinity feat and at least 1 rank in this skill gets a +2 bonus on all Handle Animal checks.
Time: See above. Teaching or training an animal takes, a number of days. You do not have to spend the entire time training the animal; 3 hours per day is enough. (Spending more than 3 hours per day does not reduce the number of days required.) You cannot spread the days out; if you do not complete the training during a period of consecutive days, the effort is wasted. Thus, if training an animal takes 4 weeks, you must spend at least 3 hours per day with the animal, for 28 straight days, to make the Handle Animal check.
Task Time DC Handle an animal Move action 10 “Push” an animal Full-round action 25 Teach animal a trick 1 week * Train animal for a purpose * * * See skill description.