I'm asking this because I think it's ridiculous to be able to handle someone else's loyal animal (e.g. a guard dog, animal companion) without training the animal to accept such handling.

Exclusive (DC 20): The animal takes directions only from the handler who taught it this trick. If an animal has both the exclusive and serve tricks, it takes directions only from the handler that taught it the exclusive trick and those creatures indicated by the trainer’s serve command. An animal with the exclusive trick does not take trick commands from others even if it is friendly or helpful toward them (such as through the result of a charm animal spell), though this does not prevent it from being controlled by other enchantment spells (such as dominate animal), and the animal still otherwise acts as a friendly or helpful creature when applicable. (Animal Archive, p. 9)

I really hope there is another way, besides the seeming need for a trick like Exclusive. Otherwise it seems you could always use Handle Animal on someone's else's animal, even an opponent's in combat! Wouldn't all the domesticated animals in a campaign world need this trick?

By "official" I mean any officially licensed material from WotC for D&D 3rd edition & 3.5 or any Paizo published Pathfinder products.

Le Sigh.

One of the best things about the Pathfinder RPG is that it really necessitates no “conversion” of your existing books and magazines. That shelf you have full of great adventures and sourcebooks (many of them very likely from Paizo)? You can still use everything on it with the Pathfinder RPG. In fact, that was what convinced me to come on board the Pathfinder RPG ship. I didn’t want to see all the great stuff that had been produced thus far swept under the rug.(Pathfinder Core Rulebook, p. 4)

So while the Pathfinder RPG is compatible with the 3.5 rules, it can be used without any other books. (Pathfinder Core Rulebook, p. 5)

But also rest assured that this is an upgrade of the d20 System, not a new edition of the game. This revision is compatible with all existing products, and those products can be used with the revision with only minor adjustments. (D&D 3.5 Players Handbook, p. 4)

This answer is correct, in that "Some 3.0 content is still 'current' for 3.5.". This is the official rule. So it stands to reason it's fully compatible in Pathfinder.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Since 3.5e rules do not apply to Pathfinder (and vice-versa), having the two tags on a negative question is really confusing. Which system are you playing and want us to answer for? 3.5 or Pathfinder? I think this needs a bit of clarification or two questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nyakouai
    Jul 5, 2019 at 9:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've met various dogs, both of friends & family, and strangers in the park, that are quite willing to "sit", "roll over", etc, assuming they've been trained for it. I also expect a police dog to not do what I tell it, no matter how well it knows those commands. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kyyshak
    Jul 5, 2019 at 9:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Nyakouai "Exclusive" exists, it's on Animal Archive pg 9, D20PFSRD lists it as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – willuwontu
    Jul 5, 2019 at 16:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm confused why this is closed as unclear being that 3.5 and Pathfinder are ostensibly (that is to say- officially but debatably) compatible. While numbers don't always line up neatly between the systems, something as simple as a boolean "can/cannot Handle Animal" should be cross-compatible. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Jul 5, 2019 at 17:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ "some is still current" and "this particular bit is fully compatible" are not the same. First, you'd have to demonstrate that the particular bit you're looking at is included in that still current "some". \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Jul 5, 2019 at 20:36

1 Answer 1


Technically yes, but in practice, it's not worth the effort.

It looks like your main concern is an opponent using handle animal to command your companion in combat to cause issues for you.

Most animals aren't going to take commands from creatures they are unfriendly or hostile towards, and will also prioritize commands of their master over the commands of some guy who's been trying to hit them with a stick for the past 4 rounds. This would more likely be a significant waste of an opponents turn, as they could at best spend a move action to command the animal if they know what tricks it knows, or at worst, spend their entire turn attempting to push it. And even if they pick a trick the animal does know, and succeed on the check, animal companions have the Link (Ex) ability, allowing its master to command it as a free action on their turn, or push it as a move action, overruling any other command that was given to it. And since the animal companion will generally take its turn right after its master, the enemy commanding it will be irrelevant.


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