won't alpacas let me pat them?
Alpacas are naturally wary of humans and of any other creature
or item they are unfamiliar with.
(Ours are scared of the wheelbarrow
- unless it has hay in it!)
Here's an analogy for you. Imagine having a grizzly
bear or a crocodile come up and reach out to touch you. You'd back
off fast wouldn't you? As far as an alpaca is concerned you are
a predator who might just want to eat him.
When you put your hand
out to an alpaca he doesn't know what your intentions are and will
be very cautious of you.
However, being curious animals, an alpaca
will want to check you out so he probably won't run away, but you
will find that he will stay just out of your reach until he trusts
This can take a long time with some alpacas.
We have had some alpacas that will allow us to do just
about anything with them and and some that just hate being touched.
Often an alpaca will be placid and trusting out in the paddock
(where they can move away if they need to) but get nervous and
flighty when confined in a pen.
None of our alpacas like strangers
touching them, although they'll tolerate a pat on the neck by someone
feeding them a nice treat.
Alpacas are not naturally a touchy, feely animal
and they do like their personal space. If you you want a pet that
will do somersaults when you come home, lay in your lap and boost
your ego - you need a dog, not an alpaca.