What are alpacas like
Some alpacas will let you walk up to them in the paddock and pat
them and do a general check up but for most things like toenail
trimming and drenching or if veterinary attention is required,
it is a good idea to have the alpaca in a small area.
You can train your alpacas to stand quietly while
you're working with them but this takes time if you want to gain
their complete trust.
Every time you do something your alpaca is
not used to, his instinct will tell him to run away. This is a
natural response and so having the alpaca in a small space means
he can move away if he needs to but he can't go too far away, allowing
you to finish what you were doing with him.
should never need to use extreme force to restrain an alpaca. Even an un-handled
alpaca can stand quietly with minimal restraint.
Some basic training
is a good idea and will enhance the relationship with your alpacas
(for both you and them). We like TTEAM and also the John Mallon
method as they both work with the alpacas natural instincts rather
than simply forcing the animal to comply.
There are books available
on training alpacas. We like Llama
Handling and Training: The TTEAM Approach by Marty McGee Bennett.
If your alpacas know that you are inexperienced,
they WILL play up on you. This generally stops once you gain your
confidence and they realise that you mean business, BUT are not
out to get them.
We had an adolescent male who was an absolute
horror to work with. We persevered and he settled down as he matured.
He's now a good natured wether.
Much depends on the temperament of the individual
alpaca, how patient you are with them and most importantly, whether
their previous experience with you (or other humans) was scary
Just try to see things from their point of view and if what you're doing doesn't work, try something else.