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DEERWOOD’S EDUCATION STATION

image1898HALTER TRAINING YOUR ALPACAS

As you grow to love these animals you will find that proper training can lead to many years of trust and fun between you and your Alpacas. The big question….when to start? Answer… as soon as they are able to be fit for a halter, usually at about 3 months of age. The halter fit is the main ingredient to eliminating the fear of being haltered. The top of the halter must cross over the hard bone on the bridge of the nose just below the eyes and should not be allowed to slide down to the soft portion of the nose above the nostrils. If the top of the halter slides down, this will restrict breathing and frighten your Alpaca, so a proper snug fit is critical at this early stage of his training. After you have properly fit the halter allow your Alpaca to wear it for a couple of hours at a time but do not hook him to a lead yet. It’s critical to let him get accustomed to the feel of the halter without any additional undue stress. Repeat this procedure several days in a row for one week before moving on to the lead! More to come on our next post……

THRU PROPER TRAINING HANDLING YOUR ALPACA IS VERY SAFE FOR BOTH THE ALPACA AND THE HANDLER.

THRU PROPER TRAINING, HANDLING YOUR ALPACA IS VERY SAFE FOR BOTH THE ALPACA AND THE HANDLER.

Notice how easily the alpaca follows the handler in the left photo. Proper position of the handler, with the lead gathered in the left hand, while the right hand is approximately 12″ to 16″ below the catch of the halter. The handler is slightly ahead of the alpaca, showing that she is leading the alpaca in a confident lead posture.

The first time that you attach the lead be ready for a bit of reluctance on the part of your alpaca. Be sure to have a firm grip on the lead but don’t pull or force your alpaca in any particular direction. Let him get used to the idea of being attached to you. We have had much training success with young alpacas by haltering and leading the dame, then walking the cria along side of mom those first few outings. Be sure that you are working with another person so that your team mate leads the mom while you lead the cria. You’ll be surprised how well this tactic  works. Try it for 5 minutes the first day then proceed to 10 then 15 minute training sessions. After the first few outings your cria will be well on his way to being confident and secure on his lead.