In this game, there is a little bit of a difference when it comes to animals then in the other games.
To quickly name a few, you do not start out with a dog. You have to find a dog, get it to like you and then train it and let it love you. To get a horse, you also have to get it to love you, then train it to make it love you more so it'll run faster. As for the other animals, you may have cows and chickens. There aren't any sheep in this game, but the way cows and chickens are held up is like most of the other games. Below is a detailed list of the few animals in this game.
The dog in most Harvest Moon games is usually given to you right off the bat, but not in this game. Here, you must win your dog's affection. To do this, start out by putting some food in the dog dish outside of your house. Each morning you will notice that the food is gone. You'll also notice that there are many dogs running around (there are two types; Traditional Dog with Red Collar, Wolf-Like Dog with Blue Collar). They can be found on your farm, Walnut Forest, and the Harvest Goddess Lake areas. If you walk up to them, they will quickly run away and you won't be able to catch them. The only way to get a dog is to get one of the dogs to like you enough so that you can catch him. To catch the dog chase after it. If it likes you enough, you will be able to catch up to it and pick it up using the X button. To get the dogs to like you, just make sure to have food in the dog food dish every day–this could be anything, even a weed. Whatever you put into the dish will become food.
Once your dog likes you enough, you can actually train him to do tricks. To do this you will need a flute made by Louis. The flute cannot be bought, so you'll have to get it from him personally. Make sure to befriend Louis giving him many walnuts and eggs. Then one day when you visit Maple Lake, you will see him playing his Flute. He will give you one and then teach you how to play it.
To play the flute simply equip the flute. Then press the Square button, after that holding down the X button while you use the other notes to play (see below). The flute is used to give you a better connection between you and your dog. The more you train your dog, the more hearts he will gain. It may take some time before your dog reacts to some of the commands that you will play, but eventually he should react instantly when he loves you enough.
In this game, can be used much differently in this game then in any HM game before it. Here, you have the ability to ride your horse all around the town where you please. The horse also plays a key role in some of the endings.
You also get to choose the color and type of your horse. To do this, go to Brownie Farm and enter the Farmer's Shop. On the list select Part-Time Work (see Part-Time Work) and you will start working for Bob. When down at the track, go ahead talk to, brush, and milk the cow. Once that is out of your way, pick the horse in which you like the most. Then talk to and brush that horse and that horse only for that first day. Bob won't agree with how well you did the job, but who cares? From then on go ahead and finish your job right with all the horses, the first horse you chose will like you just a little bit more meaning this will be the horse given to you. One day, Bob will stop by your farm and give you a horse; it should be the horse in which you liked the most. Once it is at home you can train it by calling it, brushing it, and talking to it. Once it reaches Heart Level 2, you will be able to ride it wherever you want around the homeland.
The chicken is usually the first animal you add to your farm family. It is an easy way to make a profit, and it is the easiest animal group to expand. You will also need some chickens to complete some endings. Most people think that you just have to go up to the Farmer's Shop and buy one. Don't do this; it's a waste of gold. Rather, on the very first day, go to the supermarket and buy an egg for 50G. Then go back to your farm and put it in the incubator. It'll take a few days, but soon you will have a baby chick, and then a full grown hen!
On nice days, leave your chickens outside and they'll feed themselves in the pasture. Otherwise, make sure you give them chicken feed (10G/bag at the Farmer's Shop) every day. (Note: Unless you have the max amount of chickens, make sure you put chicken feed only in the bins with the chickens' names in them!) Remember to talk to your chickens, as well. They'll lay golden eggs if you take really good care of them.
Similar to other Harvest Moon games, the cow is one of the biggest profit makers in this game. It is also a key role in completing a couple of endings. To buy a cow, head on over to the Farmer's Shop. The cow is expensive, but it's definitely worth it. You'll also need to buy the brush for 300G and the milker for 1800G also at Louis's Tool Shop.
On sunny and clear days, leave your cows outside. They will be able to feed on the grass instead of the fodder. The longer they spend their time outside and the better you take care of them, the higher the chance of them producing Golden Milk, which can be used in a couple endings. Talk to, brush, feed, and milk your cow every day to show it that you care. If your cow gets sick, give it some Animal Medicine. If you do not give it Animal Medicine, then it will continue to be sick and eventually die. While your cow is sick it will produce the milk size one down from what it usually produces.