With the advent of the new expansion come many players who are new to the game or leveling new toons. I thought maybe the following guide would be helpful to hunters. We always get a series of these threads asking “How do I change my pet,” or “How do I tame a new one?” Hopefully the following guide will answer the various questions.
Please note that the guide comes in two sections due to length. If you want to skip right ahead to the part on taming, go to the second post below.
As hunters we can have a pet with us and at our side helping out. This is referred to as the "Active Pet." You may have ONE pet active at a time. If your pet dies, it is STILL your "Active Pet." You just need to revive it with the "Revive Pet" skill, and presto! There he is, back again, waiting to help you out!
Call Pet Slots
Eventually you will gain the ability to have several pets available to be summoned, though only one can be "Active" at a time. You gain Call Pet 1 at level 1 (this is your "Active Pet") You Gain Call Pet 2 at level 18. At this point you can have a second pet available to be summoned easily. You can dismiss your active pet and summon this one instead. You access these pets through a drop-down (or pop-up) that appears when you click on the "Call Pet" skill button. But before you can call a different pet, you need to tame a new pet. More on this in a second.
Finally, there is the stable. Stable Masters appear in most towns that are large enough to have an inn, and sometimes just randomly out there in "the wilds." (They are getting popular now due to their involvement in Pet Battles.) They usually stand next to the entrance to the inn, and can be tracked on your mini-map. Toggle on "Stable Master" in the "townsfolk" menu. The location appears as a little horseshoe.
You can stable up to 20 pets with a Stable Master. These pets are still yours, but cannot be accessed by you when you are in the field, and cannot be summoned. You can switch your pets in and out of the stable by choosing the option "I'd like to manage my pets" (or “I’d like to stable my pet here.”) with the Stable Master. A frame comes up that will allow you to move pets from your Call Pet slots to the stable, and vice versa.
So, to recap, you have three types of status for your pet: the "Active Pet" that is actively with you (even if currently dead), the pets you can summon (if you are level 18 or higher and have tamed another pet), and stabled pets (if you have put any there) that are stored and can't be accessed without a Stable Master.
In terms of managing your pets, there are also two terms, "Dismiss" and "Abandon". To dismiss your Active Pet, use the "Dismiss Pet" spell that you learn at level 10. Before level 10 you cannot dismiss your pet. “Dismiss Pet” sends your active pet away. The pet is still yours, and is still available to be summoned. You can call it right back using "Call Pet." This is the way you switch between the pets available to you with your Call Pet skill. Dismiss your current Active Pet, then summon the one you want using "Call Pet." But again, first you need to TAME a new pet if you want to summon a different pet to you.
“Abandon” is more permanent. Use this when you want to get rid of a pet (usually to free up space, especially if your stable is full). It is not a spell. You need to right-click on the pet’s portrait and select “Abandon” in the menu. You will get a dialogue box to confirm that you REALLY want to send the pet away permanently. Click to confirm, but if you do, you won’t be able to get the pet back. However, you can always tame another of the same model if you miss him or her!! (Note that you can’t “Abandon” a pet before you reach level 10 and gain the “Tame Pet” spell. Don’t try.)
Why would you want to switch pets? Maybe you just like the looks. Maybe you like a different pet for different circumstances … or outfits. Who knows why we do what we do! I like to have multiple pets, all white with black markings, and I name them all “Abby.” That way I can pretend that my pet is a shape-changer. Woot for RP!! However, fun aside, there is a practical aspect to this as well. Pets can learn talents just as your character does. The system in MoP now is very simple. Your pet can learn one of three sets of talents: Ferocity, Tenacity, or Cunning. The talents are chosen in your talent pane by clicking the tab that says “Pet” at the bottom of the window. Just select which of the three specs you wish to have for your pet. Ferocity and Cunning are good specs for dealing damage. Tenacity is the tanking spec. It is helpful in pulling aggro, though not as effective as a character at tanking.