How to Train Your Dragon Wiki
How to Train Your Dragon Wiki

... but you now face four tough years on the Pirate Training Program before you can truly call yourselves VIKINGS.
  Gobber in Book 2  
He who hits hardest, lives longest.
  — Pirate Training Program Motto  

The Pirate Training Program is an educational system for the Hairy Hooligan Tribe to teach their young boys skills to be a full-fledged Viking. It is currently lead by Gobber the Belch.


After successfully completing the Dragon Initiation Program to be acknowledged as tribe members, the children of the Hairy Hooligan Tribe must next complete four years of training to be considered full Viking warriors. Currently their education is overseen by Gobber the Belch. The program is very hands on and utilizes exercises and learning in the field, though there are mentions of workbooks and other texts. Report cards are sent to the parents of the students.


Advanced Rudery


Rudery is the art of hurling insults at someone. Gobber teaches Advanced Rudery in the Great Hall. Lessons include Rudery Battles in which two students insult each other. Class also require the Viking Novice to have an Insults Book.

Examples include:

Snotlout's granny is a yellow-bellied decrepit old oyster, Snotlout's granny is a barking mad old walrus-head ...
  Gobber in Book 2  
You ... are a cowardly cowering cuttlefish ... with the heart of a jellyfish, the brains of a plankton, and the stink of a barrelful of mackerel heads.
  — Snotlout to Tuffnut Junior in Book 2  

Badd Sppeling

Basic Burglary


Beginner Burping

Burping was one of Stoick the Vast's favorite studies when he was growing up.


The Novices learn about boarding an enemy ship in How to Speak Dragonese. For hands-on practice, the novices sail on the Sea-Known-As-Woden's-Bathtub in small boats of their own making. Peaceable fishing boats also sail here. Practice entails boarding a Peaceable fishing boat, utter the Hooligan War Cry, and menacingly take a Peaceable helmet as proof.

Dragon Training

Frightening Foreigners

This class teaches Vikings how to interact with foreigners, namely, yelling and scaring them.

When a Hooligan meets a foreigner he shouts at it loudly and slowly. That's the only language a foreigner understands.
  — Stoick in Book 3  
  — Gobber the Belch when Hiccup speaks French  

Frightening Foreigner classes are sometimes taught in the Great Hall.

A specific lesson within the Frightening Foreigners class is 'Taking Money with Menaces'. Students roll play to learn concepts.

Hiccup I want you to be the Hooligan Invader and Wartihog to be the simple Gaulish farmer. What Terrifying Techniques can you use to get Wartihog's belongings?
  — Gobber  

Hiccup incorrectly starts speaking French and Wartihog responds by bashing him.

Hammerthrowing Studies

These lessons are taught by Rugged Rita. Hammerthrowing was one of Stoick the Vast's favorite studies when he was in training.


Herding reindeer is a lot like herding sheep, but reindeer are bigger. ... You will use your hunting dragon to round up any stray reindeer that try to break away from the group we are herding
  — Gobber  

During the summer, students are paired with young Riding Dragons, who are able to carry a rider's weight, but not yet fly with that weight. During Herding-Reindeer-on-Dragonback lessons, the students are to learn how to ride a dragon on the ground while also directing their Hunting Dragons. Further, they must direct both creatures to herd - not chase - a large group of reindeer. This typically takes place in the Huge Hill area of Berk.

So ON our riding dragons, we will approach the reindeer QUIETLY - no farting, Dogsbreath - and we will carefully surround the herd and see whether we can guide it back toward Hooligan Village.
  — Gobber  

Herding Sheep

Herding Sheep lessons use skills from Dragon Training. The student must direct their Hunting Dragon to round up sheep and direct them to a predetermined location. This lesson occurs before the student can learn Herding-Reindeer-on-Dragonback. One difficulty faced by the students is overcoming any prey drive exhibited by their Hunting Dragon. Toothless has a strong instinct to chase, and ended up sending the sheep into the toilets, as mentioned in How to Twist a Dragon's Tale.



During Winters, the Pirate Training Program Head takes the students to Mount Villainy to shoot Semi-Spotted Snowpeckers while skiing down the mountain. It is described as being"really quite a complicated skill."

The boys had to ski down Mount Villainy, the largest mountain in the Inner Isles, shooting with their arrows as many Semi-Spotted Snowpeckers as they could.
  — Book 4  

The more birds killed the higher esteem a student receives.

Pointless Graffiti


Senseless Violence


The novices are required to construct their own small ship. Students are paired off and must design and build the ship using woodworking skills. The boat will be used in future lessons such as Board-an-Enemy-Ship lessons.



Sword-fighting Lessons


Sword-fighting is essential for a Viking Warrior, and there are many makes and models of swords for the novice and adult Viking alike. There are even textbooks on sword fighting techniques. Lessons are taught using the right hand, whereas those who are naturally left-handed must find this out on their own.


Some specialized moves include: 'The Piercing Lunge', 'The Destroyer's Defense', the 'Fighting-Against-Superior-Numbers' maneuver, 'Confusing-the-Enemy-Bottoms-Up-Routine', 'Grimbeard's Grapple', 'Flashcut Lunge', and 'Deathwatch Parry'. Some techniques are more difficult than others.

Swordfighting at Sea


These lessons are divided by ability. The 'Beginners Only' level is introduced at the beginning of How to Be a Pirate. The novices are to practice sword-fighting with wooden covers over their sword blades, while on a ship at sea.

The Rules are:

The rules of Pirate Swordfighting are ... THERE ARE NO RULES. In this lesson, biting, gouging, scratching and anything else particularly nasty all get you extra points. The first boy to call out 'I submit' shall be the loser.
  — Gobber in Book 2  



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