How do I find a good dragon trainer?

Dragon trainer

People who train fire-breathing dragons, know fear.

Bret Indrelee of Edina asks:

“Tyler, can you recommend a good dragon breeder and trainer? I’ve been thinking it would be nice to be able to ride a dragon so I’m looking for recommendations. Does it require a license?

I’m going to assume you mean a dragon of the flying, fire-breathing variety. There are many other kinds that are perfectly nice to ride, but with all those movies recently, everybody’s got to have a flamer instead of, say, a nice safe water dragon you can play in the river with. Or a magic dragon, like Puff, who would actually miss you when you’re away rather than spending the time plotting ways to eat you.

So be it. I regard it as a form of natural selection.

You do want to get your dragon from a reputable breeder. Like dogs, there are differences in temperament between different bloodlines (though none of them are what you’d call “friendly”). I’ve never gone looking for a good dragon farm myself, but I think the same rule of thumb applies for both them and for trainers: if they’ve been in business for a while and are still whole and only lightly singed, they probably know what they’re doing.

The trainer is the most important part of the equation. Don’t do the training yourself, because most beginning trainers don’t get a second try. You’ll want a trainer who knows their stuff. If they seem bright and confident and their equipment is clean — wrong guy. You want the slightly roasted one with the constant look of fear — that’s the one with experience. The one who looks like a steaming pile of ash, though — don’t hire that one. Too much experience.

You ask whether you need a license to keep a creature whose breath is pure arson, who smells like sulfur, who’s been known to swoop down and snatch poodles and small children, who bites off limbs and reduces strong men to quivering wrecks… no, why would you need a license for that?

Read your insurance policy carefully before you bring baby Smoky home!