In the BooksIn the books, Dragon Training is part of a normal Hairy Hooligan's Viking training.
The first test of Viking training is to catch a dragon. If any Viking fails any of the tests they will be exiled (kicked out of the tribe left to wander and fend for themselves). Vikings in training climb a cliff-like area in order to reach the entrance of a cave. Inside the cave is the dragon nursery where Vikings in training have to catch their dragon. After that the final test is to train the dragon they caught to catch fish and to understand the basic commands (stop and go). They show off how well they trained their dragon at the Thor's Day Thursday event. Hiccup had a hard time finding ways to train Toothless so he made a list:
- Yelling (Hiccup wasn't a good yeller so it didn't work.)
- Gratitude (Most dragons aren't grateful so didn't work too well.)
- Greed (for Hiccup didn't work too well.)
- Vanity (didn't work too well)
- Revenge (almost worked but didn't)
- Jokes and riddling talk- only if desperate (worked)
In The Film
Dragon Training is where children learn how to slay dragons. During their training, they will learn how to use a shield and know each type of dragon's weaknesses. At the end of their training, the Viking Elder will pick the most promising fighter and make him/her fight against a Monstrous Nightmare. If the child wins, he/she will become a full Viking.
In the story, Hiccup is eventually chosen to fight against a Monstrous Nightmare using tactics not taught by Gobber the Belch, yet learned from spending time with Toothless.
- Spears (with or without spear heads)
- Battle axes (single and double edged)
- Trebuchets (ignited or non-ignited projectiles)
- Bow/Longbow (component of Hiccup's bola sling)
- Spears (without spear heads)
- Viking longship
Lessons taught by Gobber
- Every dragon has a limited number of shots.
- Every dragon has a blind spot (proved not true).
- A dragon can't light its fire if their head is wet.
- The most important weapon is the shield.
- The shield can be used to throw off a dragon's aim by making noise.
- A downed dragon is a dead dragon.
- A dragon will always, always go for the kill (proved not true).
- If you can stay in its blind spot, you will be safe.
- When in its blind spot, sudden movements can be determined by looking at its wing movement.
- Pay attention:It's tail looks like it's head.
- It can hover just out of reach and shoot.
- If you clamp its mouth shut, it cannot open its jaws.
- The rest of the dragon, however, is free to do whatever it wants.
- Certain noises can cause it to tangle its heads.
- Other noises, however, just make it angry.
- Be sure to douse the spark head instead of the gas head.
- A Night Fury's shot limit is, hypothetically, 6.
- You know when it's about to breathe fire when you hear a little hissing sound.
Strategies used in Training a Dragon (or defending yourself without harming it) and Dragon Quirks/Weaknesses
- Render yourself defenseless in order to earn their trust (best way to train Night Furies).
- Give powerful dragons (such as Monstrous Nightmares and Thunderdrums) the respect that is their due. Place a gentle hand on their snout.
- Get their attention (usually with food).
- All dragons will collapse when scratched in a point by the neck (mainly the chin). Though Gronckles don't like being scratched on the chin.
- All dragons (with the exception of Whispering Deaths) love the scent of dragon nip.
- Terrible Terrors can get distracted by a concentrated point of light (so too, can Night Furies).
- All dragons (except the Typhoomerang) have an aversion to eel.
- We don't have to fight them.
- When attempting to train a Gronckle, be aware that there are two ways of befriending them. The first way is since Gronckles love to eat sandstone, feeding it sandstone, or some other kind of rock, they will accept you. The second way is to give them lots and lots of love and affection which due to their sweet nature, they love.
- Whispering Deaths love having their teeth brushed.
- Approach a Deadly Nadder from behind, make sure that it can see you. If you prove you're not a threat, it will let you smooth it's tail spikes down.
- A Timberjack will be your faithful companion if you scratch an itch on it's back (which due to it's enormous wings, it cannot reach on it's own).
- Scauldrons are sentimental dragons. Dump a bucket of water on yourself, and they will playfull lick it off, as it reminds them of home. Or you could either put fish oil in your hair or on your clothes. Or you could roll in a pile of fresh fish.
- When feeding a multi-headed dragon, such as a Hideous Zippleback or Snaptrapper, feed all the heads at once.
- Feeding all the heads at once, then playing with all the heads at once, is the best way to train a Hideous Zippleback.
- Snaptrappers love rain, because they enjoy playing in the resulting mud.
- Give a Boneknapper the bone it's looking for, and it will become very affectionate towards you.
- Changewings display mimicking behavior; whatever they see, they love to imitate. Night Furies may also mimic you.
- Fireworms are (quite ironically) afraid of fire.
- Dragons do not have fireproof innards (as seen with the Red Death and Terrible Terrors).
- Night Furies may regurgitate part of a fish that you feed them, which they expect you to eat, it is wise to obey it's request.
- Monstrous Nightmares like having their head or more accurately, their horns, pinned on the ground.
- Terrible Terrors can be befriended by giving them a fish to eat.
- Screaming Death are attracted to sun light when young.
- Deadly Nadders love to eat chicken, so it is a good idea to bring some chicken with you when you are trying to train it.
- You know you have formed a bond, when the dragon touches its snout to your hand.