Basic training Trust
Basic Training: Trust
All of nature has its unique way to avoid danger. Some animals bite, some kick, some just eat what bugs
them. Llamas and Alpacas are flight animals. Their means of defense is to run away. They are very
protective of their space...this is my space and that is your space and you are not allowed in my space. If
you move into my space I will leave! Thus your first job in training is to gain the lama's trust so he will
allow you in his space.
Start with the animal in a small catch pen..20 x 20 or so. The first day or so just go into the pen and feed
and water them and clean the poop. Let the animal move freely and don't ever corner them. Let them
get us to you being around. Do this until they don't seem to mind you in the pen. Once they are ok with
you take a buggy whip or piece of PVC into the pen with you and use it to touch the animal on the back.
Let him move while you keep in contact with him with the pole. He will soon think that is ok. Gradually
get closer until you are touching the animal on the back. At no time corner the animal and if he moves
just move with him. Just continue to touch more places starting with back and moving up the neck and
around the face. Over a period of several days he will likely let you touch him over most of his body.
Always wait until he is comfortable with what you are doing to quit working with him. If he becomes
uncomfortable move back until he is comfortable with what you are doing.
Once the animal is use to you being around and touch his face you can introduce the halter. Slip it on
and off a couple of times and then quit the session. Don't try to lead the animal until he is comfortable
to let you approached and easily halter him. Going slowly will pay dividends in the long run.
Once you can easily halter the animal find a secure place to tie him up and do some gentle grooming.
This will teach him respect for the halter and he will understand that it has the control. It also allows
you to continue to desensitize the animal.