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Friday, May 8, 2020

The "PET" Alpaca (LaCroix Alpacas)

Who can resist those faces?

Who can resist those faces?

ALPACAS ARE WONDERFUL!

Alpacas are very gentle animals, and interactions with alpacas are truly beneficial for both alpacas and their owners. In fact, when gentle handling and alpaca treats are a routine part of alpaca care, a very trusting bond between you and your alpacas can be created, as long as your behavior is gentle yet firm. However, treating an alpaca as if it were a pet can create an spoiled alpaca that is difficult to handle.

THE REASON WHY:

When alpacas reach maturity, they are not only very strong, there is a natural degree of benign aggression amongst them: i.e., males challenging males or testy pregnant females spitting at each other. However, a mature, “spoiled” alpaca, stimulated by hormones, is a strong animal that can potentially cause you harm by pushing you around. It all depends upon what sort of a “pet” your alpaca has become: an alpaca that understands that you are in charge or an alpaca that thinks that it is in charge of you.

TEACHING ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR:

Teaching an alpaca to learn acceptable behavior is relatively easy. If, for instance, there is excessive nibbling or nudging or a tendency to spit at humans, a gentle but firm bop on the nose or a low-pressure squirt of clean water directed at the alpaca’s head is usually quite effective.

HUMAN BEHAVIOR. There is also human behavior to consider when disciplining an alpaca. For instance, never discipline an alpaca when you feel agitated. Instead, step away from the alpaca for a moment before calmly and firmly addressing the behavior issue. Agitated emotions will simply void any lesson that you are trying to teach your alpaca.

HERD MANAGEMENT. Always consider the possibility that your herd management style might be creating stress in the herd. If you suspect that this is the case, seek advice.

THE EXPERTS. Never forget the experts in the field of alpaca training. They provide very instructive training courses, videos, and articles that answer any questions that you may have.

I AM NOT AN EXPERT:

I am simply trying to help the new alpaca owner to understand that an alpaca isn’t a pet on the level of a dog or a cat and that a “pet” alpaca can become a spoiled alpaca. In addition, my advice does not address the berserk behavior that might be seen in an abused or neglected alpaca. However, I do believe that an alpaca with a behavior problem, and there are few alpacas with behavior problems, can be helped and that you are the key…so don’t give up!