• Best Tips for Halter Training

    I had a helper today - someone who had never trained an animal before. Of course, I had to train my helper first, before we could train the babies. While explaining the process I realized that the best advice I ever got for training alpacas came from a Special Ed teacher. She said that working with special ed kids requires you to think really hard about all the steps in the process of whatever skill you are trying to teach. "Chunk it down" is how she phrased it. It is a perfect motto for training animals. more »
  • Halter Training Your Alpaca

    We all know that if an animal has been trained, life is easier all round. I knew about training dogs – we have all seen sheep dogs in action or watched obedience training on the television – but I was surprised to find that cats can also be trained. Mind you, they do tend to 'take a message and get back to you' when you call them but ours would come when we whistled and get down or stop scratching the furniture when told. Alpacas are not likely to come when you call unless you rattle a feed bucket. In fact, they often appear not to have heard you and show no reaction. However, you can train them to trust you and feel safe when you are near them or handling them. It is down to you to help them overcome their innate alarm and feeling of being threatened. more »
  • Training to Halter and Lead Your Alpaca

    There are different methods to use when training alpacas. This is one way to approach training which I have found successful after training over 70 alpacas. Fear of the unknown is paramount in the mind of the alpaca. Their normal line of defence is either flight (running away from) fright (standing rigid) or kushing (sitting down). These are normal ways for alpacas to cope with the stress of training. Using a non-confrontational and non-threatening approach to training allows your animal to trust you and makes it much more pleasant and rewarding. By not wrestling every time you put a halter on an alpaca, you avoid the possibility of hurting yourself or the animal. It is time-consuming and patience is needed, but the benefits of having an alpaca that happily accepts the halter and leads easily far outweigh the disadvantage of the time involved. Your alpaca will have self control when being handled or attending shows etc. and be more marketable for the pet market. more »
  • Alpaca Body

    Anatomical structure. more »
  • About Suri Alpacas

    The Suri alpaca is a member of the camelid family, which includes the llama, Huacaya alpaca, the wild vicuna and guanaco, and yes, the camel. The Suri dates back between 5 to 20 thousand years and is known from archaeological records to have been domesticated for 6,000 years. Among the people of the Andes, the woven fabric from the fleece of the alpaca was so soft and alluring that it was used as currency. The Suri alpaca has unique fiber characteristics that distinguish the Suri from the rest of the camelid family. Unlike the soft fuzzy look of the Huacaya alpaca, the Suri's long, separate, distinctive locks are comprised of twisted or flat fibers that drape down the sides of the Suri's body. The Suri's fiber has a cool, slick hand; soft as cashmere, warmer than wool, with the luster of silk. more »

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