So with the newest patch, raptors got the ability to learn dash. I do indeed have a raptor sitting in my stable. I got him in Wetlands at level 22 or so, leveled him to 36, and then realized that he was falling too far behind and I was having too tough of a time keeping two pets leveled with me. So sadly, poor Wash the raptor has found himself in the stable ever since.
But "raptors getting dash" inspired me to go out and pull him out of confinement and see if maybe, just maybe, I could start leveling him again.
Here's the catch: I'm a (currently) beast mastery spec'd hunter at level 53, and he's... level 36.
I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I was curious to see if I could do it, so I packed up and headed over to Blasted Lands where I would run into a bunch of mobs that were green to me-- hence they would still get us experience, while hopefully being not too difficult for me to handle now that I was, for all practical intents and purposes, pet-less.
My test run was, not surprisingly, very difficult. My pet rarely hit, and when he did he did very little damage. He couldn't hold aggro. My polearm skill wasn't particularly hot. But, after some trial and error, I managed to carve out a step-by-step strategy on how to do this:
Pike's Personal Strategy on How to Level a Pet That is 20 Levels Lower Than You:
1.) Get as far away from the mob as you can, and still be able to shoot it.
2.) Lay down an immolation trap.
3.) Send the pet in. Once the pet has the mob's attention, shoot at the mob with Scorpid Sting and Arcane Shot. At this point you've probably pulled aggro, so go ahead and shoot it as many times as you can before it gets to you.
4.) As soon as it runs over the immolation trap, feign death. The mob should jump back to the pet. This is when you get up and run far enough away to regain distance.
5.) At this point, the DoT laid by Serpent Sting is probably really close to running out. So fire off another Serpent Sting and Arcane Shot, and if all goes well the mob should be dead or close to it by the time it gets back to you, thanks to your sting/trap DoTs, and you should be able to finish it off pretty quickly. If something goes wrong or you need to buy some extra time, throw in some tricks like Wing Clip to get back to distance.
And that's what I've been doing. It seems to work pretty well for me. I actually got my dino to gain a level, but at that point I had to leave so I stabled him to continue progress another time.
I have to admit, running around with a low-level pet that can't hold aggro, and throwing down immolation traps of all things, has sort of made me feel like an uber-huntard-newbie. There were a couple of other hunters around while I was doing this, I can only hope they guessed at what I was trying to accomplish and didn't just think I had completely lost my mind. But if I can level my dear pink raptor up to level 70 I think it will all be worth it to have a unique pet-- it will be worth it to have a pet that can't be tamed "in the wild" past level 40. My current goal is for this to be the pet that I use in cases where, say, the group isn't fond of a big owl with flappy wings.
But yeah, I'm curious to know other methods regarding how hunters have trained up low level pets. Maybe I can find one that's a bit more effective than my current one.
In other, real-world news, I have a new job-- at a pet store. I find this delightfully ironic considering my class in WoW. *grin* ^_^