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A handler is a specialized D-type that participates in pet play, often acting as a human caretaker to a pet animal. Often times the handler will also serve other duties such as groomer, trainer, protector and other duties, but all while in the context of the pet play, meaning, that they recognize the human animal as the animal that is presented, not a human posing as an animal, which may present special opportunities to demonstrate those skills... for example a typical trainer might train a slave to deliver tea, while a handler would train a human pony to count with it's hooves and jump over barriers.

Handlers will thus often have specific duties regarding the animal they care for, and thus have a very different type of D/s than might be imagined by human partners.