[Skill] Animal Training

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[Skill] Animal Training


{{#pagetitle: Animal Training}}

=Skill Scale Down 2021=

This skill has been impacted by the Skill Scale Down. The impact of this for this skill is as follows:
* This skill remains.
* Knowledge from Falconry may be counted as Animal Training knowledge - or as [[:Category:Animal Husbandry | Animal Husbandry]].
* For how to deal with XP, please see the page [[:Category:Skills Scale Down 2021 |Skill Scale Down 2021]] for links, information, and a player guide.
* The scope of this skill now includes appropriate aspects of what was previously covered by Falconry. Please ensure that you take this into account going forward.

=Overview=

To become an animal trainer means to train the various creatures of Idalos for riding, harnessing, security, performance, obedience or even assisting those with disabilities. These men and women accustom animals to the proximity of people and their voice and contact; preparing them to perform a multitude of commands, either utilitarian or for show. In some cases, they may even train animals to carry a pack or work as part of a team.

=Identifying Suitable Animals=

As a player on Standing Trials, it is emphasized one should follow the rules of skill level when crafting a believable story. Within the confines of animal training, this involves selecting a creature within your capability to train. Often, in ST-specific creations, the possibility of training the animal in question is listed within the write-up, such as the Dinili, a docile creature that makes great family pets. At lower levels, common domesticated animals are the safest choice. Dogs, cats, some small birds, etc. Canines are considered a standard entry-level animal due to their variety and how common they are in Idalos. Special creatures who are aggressive by nature or possess magical ability or appearance are likely to require higher levels of animal training and a mod should be contacted if ever there is doubt. Please note, that not all creatures are trainable and may never respond to human command, even at higher levels of this skill. Depending on different factors, this may be overlooked with a specialized capstone ability but should be approved first by a local storyteller.


=Training Practices=
In order to select the most effective and appropriate training techniques and intended behaviors for the species, it is absolutely necessary to consider the following:

#The animal's natural history.[/b] A character must consider the animal's predispositions in order to successfully understand it. For example, it may make more sense to ask an arboreal animal to station off the ground/on a perch. Does the animal maintain a pack or herd mentality? Is it a predator? What was the creature bred to do and what environment is it best suited for?[/list]

#The animal's individual history.[/b] Consider the early rearing and life experiences of the animal being trained. For example, an animal that is imprinted on humans may be trained substantially different than a wild-caught animal brought in as an adult. Consider mental health (was it abused?), as well as physical restrictions or difficulties acquired during their life.

#The animal's function or role in your collection.[/b] The animal may be in the collection as part of a breeding or education program. The type of training and your level of interactions with that animal may differ, depending on the function that this animal serves for a character.

=Common Terminology=

==Baiting== Baiting is when a trainer uses food to lure an animal.

==Positive Reinforcement== This occurs when an animal's behavior is followed by a pleasant stimulus that increases occurrences of the behavior in the future. This often includes treats or praise, either verbal or physical.

==Negative Reinforcement== Negative reinforcement means taking something away that increases or maintains the frequency of a behavior. An example of negative reinforcement is when the dog’s bottom is pushed to force the dog into a sit and then released once the dog is in a sit. If the behavior of sitting goes up in frequency, the behavior was negatively reinforced by the removal of the pressure on the dog’s rear end.

==Positive Punishment== Positive punishment means adding something after the animal performed a behavior that makes the frequency of that behavior go down. Example: A dog jumps up and the trainer knees them in the chest. The next time you see the dog, it does not jump up. The trainer has positively punished the dog jumping. Please note that positive punishment is a controversial technique to some.

==Negative Punishment== Negative punishment is done by removing something the animal values, thus decreasing the possibility of the animal’s behavior repeating in the future. A good example is neglecting to give the dog attention when he jumps on you, where “attention” is what you're taking away from the dog.

==Clicker== Usually a small handheld device with dogs used in 'clicker training', a method which uses a unique sound, or clicks, to tell a dog that he has done something right.

=Animal Psychology=

Trainers must understand the psychology of the animals they train the limits of each animal type. Creatures who are naturally prey in the wild may struggle to ever overcome these natural instincts, such as rabbits who may or may not ever enjoy being held, believing it to be a larger predator carrying them away. Once animals are trained, trainers may also need to teach the animals' owners. They may train a horse and its rider, or a dog and its human handler.


=Creature Care=

Training animals is only part of a trainer's tasks. They must also care for animals under the supervision. Trainers who keep animals while they are being trained must also feed the animals, exercise them, maintain health, and clean their kennels, stables, or other living areas. They should record diet, health, treatment and behavior, as well as any changes in these categories. Trainers who have larger facilities may employ animal caretakers who do animal maintenance tasks for them or vice versa. Trainers may hire, train, and supervise these workers so it is imperative that the successful animal trainer have skill in animal husbandry.

=Skill Ranks=

==Novice (0-25)==

At the novice level, a trainer is capable of taming and training animals that are already bred to be domestic. They can teach basic obedience to these mild-mannered animals so long as they treat them with proper care and regular feeding, the building of trust, and gentle training techniques. They will occasionally have issues reinforcing the training, and sometimes commands will fail to influence their tamed animal.

Of course, not all domesticated animals are of the same sort of temperament. More difficult breeds may prove challenging. Animals that have come from difficult circumstances may resist training or prove ill-disposed toward any attempts to tame them. Animals can be as much of a mixed batch as any group of people, and there are bound to be specimen that resist training.

At this stage, trainers will have a much easier time employing positive reinforcement techniques. Harsher methods are less likely to give positive results.

==Competent (26-75)==

At this stage, a trainer can begin to branch out into new methodologies, and not just the gentle taming of domesticated animals. They may begin to tame weaker wild animals with some success, although they will almost certainly never be suitable as pets, they can coexist with these animals well enough without conflict with a focus on conservation and cohabitation more than training or commanding these animals.

Training of domestic animals begins to gain more flexibility with regards to the method. Simple tricks and commands can be imparted to a more intelligent domestic animal and even some of the less intelligent animals can be taught simple commands and calls.

This trainer can take an animal that was tamed by a more skilled trainer, and guide them through advanced routines and training regiments without being able to reproduce the behavior that was reinforced by the greater trainer.

==Expert (76-150)==

At this point, the trainer has learned all they need to train a domestic animal to fulfill all the functions that it's capable of, and even some that may come less naturally to it. All forms of reinforcement and training are at the expert's disposal at this point, and they can accomplish some impressive feats in training simple domestic animals.

Wild animals can cohabitate with and even be trained to an extent, with greater results arriving from spending more time with the specific animal. Wild animals may even be trained to cohabitate with animals they'd clash with under any other circumstances. Difficult and violent animals can be tamed at this stage, with greater skill and reliability as the trainer grows in their experience.

It's at around this stage that a tamer and animal trainer can keep a larger and more varied stable or menagerie, and still be able to maintain an orderly environment for their animals.

These are the herdsmen, the circus ringmasters, and the experienced wildlife conservationists.

==Master (151-250)==

There's little beyond the skill of a master to tame. Even then, a master trainer still emanates an aura of authority around animals and beasts of all kinds, that delineates them as a person not to be trifled with. An alpha creature of sorts, who demands obedience from the animals they've spent time with, and knows well enough how to handle even those that resist training.

Their knowledge of animal behavior is unparalleled, perhaps only rivaled by master hunters. Yet, even in the case of master hunters, a master trainer will have special insight into the workings of most beasts' minds. They are beyond specializing in one or two types of animal, and can command obedience from even the most difficult specimen, so long as it isn't monstrous in nature or too intelligent or violent to be trained.

=Progressing Animal Training=
* [[:Category: Animal Training Capstones |Capstones]]
* [[:Category: Animal Training Grandmaster |Grandmasters]]
* [[:Category: Animal Training Tier 2 | Tier 2 PCs]]

= Animal Training Knowledge =
The collapsible below has examples of [[Skill Knowledge]] for this skill. If you are unsure of what Knowledge is, please check the [[:Category: Knowledge | Knowledge Primer]] for details. Please remember that our Peer Reviewers will be checking to make sure that your Knowledge claim is appropriate to what you have learned in the thread and ensuring that you are not duplicating knowledge.
<br><br>
A guide to knowledge can be found [viewtopic.php?f=242&t=7463 here] (this link takes you to the site) and the person reviewing your thread will do so following the steps laid out in the [[Peer Reviewer Guide]]. If you wish to use one of these knowledge in your request, please ensure that it is appropriate to your thread.
<br>
<div class="toccolours mw-collapsible mw-collapsed" style="max-width:90%; overflow:auto;">
'''Animal Training'''
<div class="mw-collapsible-content">
* Animal Training: Using treats as rewards for desired behavior
* Animal Training: Establishing dominance early to prevent problematic behaviors
* Animal Training: Using audio cues and devices to condition a puppy
* Animal Training: Less spirited animals are easier to train
* Animal Training: Critical for preventing bad behaviors before they become ingrained
</div></div>

[[Category:Skills]]
Write-Up by Yeva, with edits by Rakvald

Yeva's Original Article
Skill Write-up


Animal Training

Overview

To become an animal trainer means to train the various creatures of Idalos for riding, harnessing, security, performance, obedience or even assisting those with disabilities. These men and women accustom animals to the proximity of people and their voice and contact; preparing them to perform a multitude of commands, either utilitarian or for show. In some cases, they may even train animals to carry a pack or work as part of a team.


Identifying Suitable Animals

As a player on Standing Trials, it is emphasized one should follow the rules of skill level when crafting a believable story. Within the confines of animal training, this involves selecting a creature within your capability to train. Often, in ST-specific creations the possibility of training the animal in question is listed within the write-up, such as the Dinili, a docile creature that make great family pets. At lower levels, common domesticated animals are the safest choice. Dogs, cats, some small birds, etc. Canines are considered a standard entry level animal due to its variety and how common they are in Idalos. Special creatures who are aggressive by nature or possess magical ability or appearance are likely to be require higher levels of animal training and a mod should be contacted if ever there is doubt. Please note, that not all creatures are trainable and may never respond to human command, even at higher levels of this skill. Depending on different factors, this may be overlooked with a specialized capstone ability but should be approved first by a local storyteller.

Training Practices
In order to select the most effective and appropriate training techniques and intended behaviors for the species, it is absolutely necessary to consider the following:

1. The animal's natural history. A character must consider the animal's predispositions in order to successfully understand it. For example, it may make more sense to ask an arboreal animal to station off the ground/on a perch. Does the animal maintain a pack or herd mentality? Is it a predator? What was the creature bred to do and what environment is is best suited for?[/list]

2. The animal's individual history. Consider the early rearing and life experiences of the animal being trained. For example, an animal that is imprinted on humans may be trained substantially differently than a wild-caught animal brought in as an adult. Consider mental health (was it abused?), as well as physical restrictions or difficulties acquired during their life.

3. The animal's function or role in your collection. The animal may be in the collection as part of a breeding or education program. The type of training and your level of interactions with that animal may differ, depending on the function that this animal serves for a character.

Common Terminology

Baiting - Baiting is when a trainer uses food to lure an animal.

Positive Reinforcement - Occurs when an animal's behavior is followed by a pleasant stimulus that increases occurrences of the behavior in the future. This often includes treats or praise, either verbal or physical.

Negative Reinforcement - Negative reinforcement means taking something away that increases or maintains the frequency of a behavior. Example of negative reinforcement is when the dog’s bottom is pushed to force the dog into a sit, and then released once the dog is in a sit. If the behavior of sitting goes up in frequency, the behavior was negatively reinforced by the removal of the pressure on the dog’s rear end.

Positive Punishment - Positive punishment means adding something after the animal performed a behavior that makes the frequency of that behavior go down. Example: A dog jumps up and the trainer knees them in the chest. The next time you see the dog, it does not jump up. The trainer has positively punished the dog jumping. Please note that positive punishment is a controversial technique to some.

Negative Punishment - Negative punishment is done by removing something the animal values, thus decreasing the possibility of the animal’s behavior repeating in the future. A good example is neglecting to give the dog attention when he jumps on you, where “attention” is what you're taking away from the dog.

Clicker - Usually a small handheld device with dogs used in 'clicker training', a method which uses a unique sound, or click, to tell a dog that he has done something right.

Animal Psychology

Trainers must understand the psychology of the animals they train the limits of each animal type. Creatures who are naturally prey in the wild may struggle to ever overcome these natural instincts, such as rabbits who may or may not ever enjoy being held, believing it to be a larger predator carrying them away. Once animals are trained, trainers may also need to teach the animals' owners. They may train a horse and its rider, or a dog and its human handler.


Creature Care

Training animals is only part of a trainer's tasks. They must also care for animals under the supervision. Trainers who keep animals while they are being trained must also feed the animals, exercise them, maintain health, and clean their kennels, stables, or other living areas. They should record diet, health, treatment and behavior, as well as any changes in these categories. Trainers who have larger facilities may employ animal caretakers who do animal maintenance tasks for them or vice versa. Trainers may hire, train, and supervise these workers so it is imperative that the successful animal trainer have skill in animal husbandry.

Skill Levels

Novice

Competent

Expert

Master
word count: 2813

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Re: [Skill] Animal Training

Hi hi!

I like it - I think it's clear and well-written. Gets the seal of approval from me :D
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