[RPG] Can the Animal Companion use Skills that it can’t put ranks into


I'm trying to make a druid, with an animal companion. I'm at the part where I'm deciding what skills he'll be trained in (2 at first level).

From the SRD:

Animal Skills

Animal companions can have ranks in any of the following skills:

Acrobatics* (Dex), Climb* (Str), Escape Artist (Dex), Fly* (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Perception* (Wis), Stealth* (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim* (Str).

All of the skills marked with an (*) are class skills for animal companions. Animal companions with an Intelligence of 3 or higher can put ranks into any skill.

Since he has an Int of 2, he can only be trained in skills from that list.

Does this restrict him from being able to use other non-listed skills (Ex: Sense Motive)?
If yes, does this restriction get lifted if his Int gets higher than 2 (allowing him access to train in those other skills)?

I feel like it's no and he can use them, since skills are specifically listed as being usable (or not usable) if the being is Untrained in the skill. On the other hand, the text for "Push" an Animal (subset of Handle Animal) to do a trick/task it isn't trained for avoids using the word skill (ie, does a skill fall under "task"?), though I'm not sure if that applies to my question very well.

Best Answer

Your animal companion, like any other creature, can attempt to use any skill that does not specifically forbid its use without training, and does so just as any other creature does. However, its ability to do so may be restricted by its lack of training (such as in the case of Knowledge skills), and/or its lack of ability to communicate (such as in the case of Diplomacy). As well, there may be circumstance bonuses or penalties (there's a section on those in the core books) that apply, and I'd consider it highly likely that your DM may choose to make house rules about skills such as Craft, Spellcraft, etc.

For all future reference, the above considerations apply to anything with hit dice - they can try to use any skill that they're not specifically forbidden from using by either training or a creature trait (such as Mindless).

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