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July 5th, 2004 . Does Affection Influence Herdsire Performance?


Alpaca Training
I have been told that too much handling is not good for herdsires, that you should keep them aloof and show them no affection, or it could affect their performance as a herdsire.  But then I see herdsires advertised as being sweet and affectionate.  Is there any truth to this?  If so, how much is too much and just how should they be handled?

Alpaca Training

I don't think that the issue is too much or too little handling, it is the kind of handling you do. In my opinion, creating cuddly alpacas of either sex is problematic. Alpacas that are in your face, chew on your clothes, and rub on you, are being disrespectful-they are touching you rather than the other way around. If they are not corrected, these alpacas may become aggressive or spoiled.

Handling young males in a way that engenders respect and confidence is appropriate and useful. It is really important to handle males, in particular, in a way that does NOT rely on physical superiority. Grab your males around the neck, wrestle them to halter them, or to trim their toenails, and they will eventually figure out that they have a "fighting" chance of breaking away from you. This is a bad thing to teach any alpaca, particularly a male.

Create confidence and obedience by using progressively more difficult obstacles. This will get your male alpacas comfortable with handling and preserve their respect for humans.





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