Pet families are a system of classification for hunter pets. A pet's family, which is generally based on its species, dictates what food it can eat; what abilities it will have; and what requirements, if any, a hunter needs to meet in order to tame it.

As of Shadowlands, there are 59 pet families.

Restricted families

Exotic families

Certain pet families, known as [Exotic Beasts], can only be tamed and used by Beast Mastery hunters. These families are often composed of unusual species like core hounds, devilsaurs, and spirit beasts.

Skill families

A small number of families can be used by any hunter specialization, but the hunter must first know how to tame them. Generally this involves reading a tome to learn the required skill.

Mechanicals are a special case among skill families; gnomes, goblins, and mechagnomes, being engineering-oriented races, can tame them by default. Other playable races have the usual requirement of using an item to learn about the family.

Although they are not standalone pet families, some specific species of pets belonging to otherwise normal families have similar requirements:


Main article: Pet abilities

All pets have access to the common abilities [Growl] and [Dash]; beyond that, a pet's abilities are decided by what family it belongs to.

Every pet family has two specialization-specific abilities and two family abilities. Some families are allowed additional abilities as well; see other abilities below for a general explanation on these extra abilities, or list of families for all families and what abilities they have.


Each pet family has a specific specialization, which grants a passive ability and an active ability:

Prior to Battle for Azeroth, pet specialization could be changed after taming, and it had a more profound effect on a pet's role in combat. Cunning pets, for example, did less damage than Ferocity pets but offered a variety of PvP-oriented abilities. Now, each specialization deals the same amount of damage, and the two spec-specific abilities are the only difference.

Family abilities

Each family has a damaging ability and a utility ability. The three damaging abilities— [Bite], [Claw], and [Smack]—are all functionally identical. The utility ability can fall into one of six types:

  • Defense: Reduce damage taken by 50% for 12 sec.
  • Dodge: Increase dodge change by 30% fo 20 sec.
  • Mortal Wounds: Grievously wound the target, reducing the effectiveness of any healing received for 10 sec.
  • Slow: Reduce movement speed by 50% for 6 sec.
  • Tranquilize and Dispel: Remove 1 Enrage and 1 Magic effect from an enemy.
  • Triggered Defense: When health falls below 40%, reduce damage taken by 60% for 15 sec. Can only occur once every 120 sec.
    • Note: The stone hound ability [Stone Armor] is slightly different in that it offers 40% damage reduction but regenerates 3% max health every second.

Other abilities

Certain pet families have additional abilities beyond the "default" ability types listed above. These include:

  • Exotic abilities: All exotic families have a unique ability. Some of these abilities grant combat bonuses such as additional damage or defense, while others grant utility such as water walking.
  • Bonus abilities: A very small number of families are given an extra ability—usually a form of [Stealth]. This ability is not dependent on whether the family is exotic.
  • Tricks: A few families have an ability that causes them to do a small, non-utility behavior, such as doing a flip or going to sleep.


Each pet family has its own dietary preferences that dictate what it will eat when using [Feed Pet]. Food items are divided into six types for this purpose: bread, cheese, fish, fruit, fungus, and meat. Certain families, such as gruffhorns and boars, are able to eat a wide variety of food; others, such as rodents, will only eat a single type. Several pet families are exclusive meat-eaters.

Mechanical pets are an exception, as they eat "mechanical bits" instead of food. Mechanical bits are items like bolts, wiring, and other gizmo parts; many of them are created by engineering or sold by engineering vendors.

Raw food types were briefly introduced as sub-types of meat and fish that only a few families would eat, but they were phased out with Wrath of the Lich King.

List of families

Family name Exotic Spec. Family ability Additional abilities Skill requirement Diet
Bread Cheese Fish Fruit Fungus Meat
Wrath of the Lich King IconSmall Silithid.gif Aqiri Cunning Slow Exotic: Dune Strider
Mists of Pandaria IconSmall Basilisk.gif Basilisk Cunning Slow
WoW Icon update.png IconSmall Bat.gif Bat Ferocity Tranquilize/dispel
WoW Icon update.png IconSmall Bear.gif Bear Tenacity Triggered defense Trick: [Rest]
Cataclysm IconSmall Beetle.gif Beetle Tenacity Defense
WoW Icon update.png IconSmall Eagle.gif Bird of prey Cunning Slow Trick: [Trick]
Battle for Azeroth IconSmall Crawg.gif Blood beast Tenacity Slow Blood-Soaked Tome of Dark Whispers
WoW Icon update.png IconSmall Boar.gif Boar Cunning Defense
Shadowlands IconSmall Camel.gif Camel Cunning Triggered defense
Battle for Azeroth IconSmall Krolusk.gif Carapid Tenacity Defense Exotic: Calcified Carapace
WoW Icon update.png IconSmall CarrionBird.gif Carrion bird Ferocity Mortal wounds
WoW Icon update.png IconSmall Cat.gif Cat Ferocity Dodge Bonus: [Prowl]
Wrath of the Lich King IconSmall Chimaera.gif Chimaera Ferocity Slow Exotic: [Froststorm Breath]
Wrath of the Lich King IconSmall Clefthoof.gif Clefthoof Ferocity Triggered defense Exotic: [Blood of the Rhino]
Wrath of the Lich King IconSmall CoreHound.gif Core hound Ferocity Defense Exotic: [Molten Hide]
Shadowlands IconSmall Horse.gif Courser Ferocity Dodge
WoW Icon update.png IconSmall Crab.gif Crab Tenacity Slow
Mists of Pandaria IconSmall Crane.gif Crane Tenacity Tranquilize/dispel Trick: [Trick]
WoW Icon update.png IconSmall Crocolisk.gif Crocolisk Ferocity Slow
Wrath of the Lich King IconSmall Devilsaur.gif Devilsaur Ferocity Mortal wounds Exotic: [Feast]
Mists of Pandaria IconSmall Direhorn.gif Direhorn Tenacity Mortal wounds Ancient Tome of Dinomancy
(not required for Zandalari trolls)
Bc icon.gif IconSmall Dragonhawk.gif Dragonhawk Tenacity Dodge
Legion IconSmall Hippogryph2.gif Feathermane Tenacity Dodge Bonus: [Updraft] Tome of the Hybrid Beast
Cataclysm IconSmall Fox.gif Fox Cunning Dodge Trick: [Play]
WoW Icon update.png IconSmall Gorilla.gif Gorilla Ferocity Triggered defense
Mists of Pandaria IconSmall Goat.gif Gruffhorn Cunning Triggered defense
Cataclysm IconSmall Mastiff.gif Hound Cunning Slow
Warlords of Draenor IconSmall Hydra.gif Hydra Tenacity Mortal wounds
WoW Icon update.png IconSmall Hyena.gif Hyena Cunning Mortal wounds
Battle for Azeroth IconSmall Saurolisk.gif Lizard Tenacity Mortal wounds
Shadowlands IconSmall Mammoth.gif Mammoth Tenacity Slow
Legion IconSmall Mechanostrider.gif Mechanical Cunning Defense Mecha-Bond Imprint Matrix
(not required for gnomes, goblins, or mechagnomes)
Non-standard food type; see diet above.
Cataclysm IconSmall Monkey.gif Monkey Cunning Dodge
Wrath of the Lich King IconSmall Moth.gif Moth Cunning Tranquilize/dispel
Legion IconSmall Yak.gif Oxen Tenacity Triggered defense
Battle for Azeroth IconSmall Pterrordax2.gif Pterrordax Cunning Triggered defense Exotic: [Updraft]
WoW Icon update.png IconSmall Raptor.gif Raptor Cunning Mortal wounds
Bc icon.gif IconSmall Ravager.gif Ravager Ferocity Mortal wounds
Bc icon.gif IconSmall Netherray.gif Ray Ferocity Tranquilize/dispel
Warlords of Draenor IconSmall Riverbeast.gif Riverbeast Tenacity Mortal wounds
Mists of Pandaria IconSmall Porcupine.gif Rodent Cunning Mortal wounds Trick: [Rest]
Legion IconSmall Mushan.gif Scalehide Ferocity Defense
WoW Icon update.png IconSmall Scorpid.gif Scorpid Ferocity Mortal wounds
WoW Icon update.png IconSmall Serpent.gif Serpent Cunning Dodge
Cataclysm IconSmall ShaleSpider.gif Shale beast Cunning Defense Exotic: Shimmering Shale
WoW Icon update.png IconSmall Spider.gif Spider Ferocity Slow
Wrath of the Lich King IconSmall SpiritBeast.gif Spirit beast Tenacity Tranquilize/dispel Bonus: [Spirit Walk]
Exotic: [Spirit Mend]
Bc icon.gif IconSmall Sporebat.gif Sporebat Cunning Tranquilize/dispel
Warlords of Draenor IconSmall Elk.gif Stag Tenacity Tranquilize/dispel
Mists of Pandaria IconSmall Quilen.gif Stone hound Tenacity Triggered defense Exotic: [Eternal Guardian]
WoW Icon update.png IconSmall Tallstrider.gif Tallstrider Ferocity Slow
Battle for Azeroth IconSmall Toad.gif Toad Tenacity Dodge
WoW Icon update.png IconSmall Turtle.gif Turtle Tenacity Defense
Bc icon.gif IconSmall WarpStalker.gif Warp stalker Cunning Slow
Wrath of the Lich King IconSmall Firefly.gif Wasp Ferocity Mortal wounds
Mists of Pandaria IconSmall WaterStrider.gif Water strider Cunning Tranquilize/dispel Exotic: [Surface Trot]
WoW Icon update.png IconSmall WindSerpent.gif Wind serpent Ferocity Dodge
WoW Icon update.png IconSmall Wolf.gif Wolf Ferocity Slow
Wrath of the Lich King IconSmall Worm.gif Worm Tenacity Slow Exotic: [Burrow Attack]

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