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Several feats in Pathfinder can grant companions to Player Characters :

  • Familiar Bond : a familiar with less special abilities than a standard familiar
  • Improved Familiar Bond : improves Familiar Bond to grant all special abilities to your familiar
  • Animal Ally : you get an animal companion chosen in a short list
  • Signature Mount : you get a mount (any animal that can be trained to be a mount and carry you) as an animal companion, it gives you a bonus on Ride checks

That's great for anyone who wants one of these and is ready to use feat slots for that purpose. But is it possible to apply archetypes to familiars and animal companions you obtain using feats ? This question is especially important in the case of Familiar Bond that gives you an "incomplete" familiar.

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Yes

RAW, appropriate archetypes can be added to any animal companion/familiar, just like they can be added to any PC (just because you multi-class into fighter does not mean you can't be a swordlord fighter). If you are getting the pet brand new, its essentially coming from the ether (mechanics-wise) and you are presumably the one making all the decisions about it, including what type of animal it is, what its feats are if it gets additional ones, etc... so saying its an archetype should be easy enough to sell to your GM since its RAW.

In regards to the original familiar bond feat, its more of a gray area, since it technically doesn't have all the abilities, but I would say, from my GM shoes, that you could apply the archetype, but any abilities that the archetype grants that replace abilities the familiar would not have, the familiar would not have the new abilities either, and if you later took the improved bond, then you would get the full suite as normal.

The specifics will be up to your GM though, I've encountered GMs that have not allowed me to pick an archetype for a companion I started with, and some that have allowed me to retrain a companion into an archetype further in the campaign. Its just a matter of talking to your GM.

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