A major movie producer contracted a trainer I visited named Sid, who I knew from his trainer Bob. Sid had a preserve in Colorado, and Florida, I was at the Colorado one.
Your relationship with the tiger is critical. Best if you know it from birth, as the owner's wife did. The tiger can gradually build a relationship with you also. Females tend to do better with the two male Siberian Tigers, since they are not a threat, and are naturally attracted by their scent. It was quite anther matter for me, to go into the two tiger's cage, as a hastily introduced male protruding into their limited territory.
No one could get in the cage with the Black Bears but Brad, who had busted baseball bats over their heads, only to get them mad.
I got in the cage with two 250 pound half grown 6 foot (9 foot with tail) Siberian Tigers, with metal nunchakus, Bob with his Shock Rod. Bob was known to them, I was not. Had to watch out for their natural tendency to sneak up behind and pounce, but found them respectful and testing-yet playful. At that time, those electric charged sticks were not a cure-all, at maximum adjustment they would only temporarily stun, and then the tiger or lion is pissed at you, and if you’re still in the cage, that can be a problem. If you leave, then they know you are afraid of them, and you can't come back. I went in twice with the tigers, but only once with the lion, and Bob did not have to use the wand.
Charges on rods were tailor adjusted by each trainer, most from 1/4-2/3 strength. Even at full strength, the tigers and lion would freeze, but not go limp, and get up shortly. Darting was the only sure way to knock them out, and then that took a minimum of 2 minutes. A lot can happen to you with a tiger or lion, in 2 minutes.
Not sure I was up to horsing around too much, since my fur was no where as thick as theirs. My head could not withstand their jaw pressure, how they would slightly nip each other. There are some physics principles relating to leveraging a skull inside a tiger’s jaws, which enables more pressure as the jaw is closed more. Tigers have larger heads than us, so there bite is not as strong, and when they spar with you, they do not realize this.
One time the owner's wife, got in the cage, and they saw the ball at the end of her cap and went after her, automatic. Kitty like to play with ball and yarn. Had to dart the tiger.
Did not get along as well with the lion, or stay as long.
The professionals will tell you, you can train a tiger, but not tame them.
For those professionals that are considering it: my Tiger Cage Metal Nunchaku Encounter was indirectly bonded as a trainer (insurance liabilities), with death waivers benefits and life insurance all calculated. As I got older, I would not have qualified if I had a lot of earning potential from work experience, since that would have increased the death benefit to my survivors. I was the only one at the time doing this.