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Date: August 28, 2012
Males & Behavior

Alpaca Training

Thank you very much for your common sense work with alpacas. We are hoping you will be able to help us solve our problem. We have two males and two female alpacas. The males came from the same farm so they have been together their entire life. Zeus, the older, was dominant until about a year ago. At that time Mo took over as the dominant. We experienced the usual fighting and assertions. Now Mo, the younger dominant male, will not allow Zeus in the barn at all. Fortunately, we have water in the field but Zeus is not "allowed" to come in on his own for pellets or hay. With the winter quickly approaching we are concerned for Zeus' wellbeing and survival. We would appreciate any help you will offer. Thank you again. Carol and Steve Seavolt, Adventure Alpacas.



Alpaca Training

Thanks for your question and your kind words about my work with llamas and alpacas. When it comes to males and behavior it may be interesting to try and figure out where the behavior comes from or whether dominance has anything to do with it, however the bottom line is that changing the environment is the only real way to make things work. You are already on the right track here when you mention that the water is available to both animals but to make it possible for these two to share space you will have to make some changes that provide all the "services" to both animals. This may mean rearranging things so that both animals have equal access to shade, water, and food. One thing to consider if you haven't already, is whether or not there is a part of the pasture that affords better access for viewing females. If your males have not previously been fighting and have recently started, it may be that girls are suddenly much more important to one or both of them and that there is a part of the pasture that provides better access to viewing females. If this can be changed you might see an improvement in the behavior. Bottom line unless you are willing to move out to the pasture to keep the peace you have three alternatives:


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  Marty McGee Bennett
  Marty McGee Bennett has devoted her professional life to the well being of llamas and alpacas and the education of camelid enthusiasts. Over the years Marty has been a llama breeder, conference organizer, board member, fiber artist, and most importantly trainer and teacher. 

Marty brings a variety of experience and qualifications to her work with camelids, including a B.S. degree in Animal Behavior. Marty’s combination of TTEAM, with the principals of balance and leverage and a second sense with both camelids and people make “Camelidynamics” the world’s most popular, and enduring training/handling system for camelids. 

Marty has taught the principles of animal handling to veterinarians and veterinary students at veterinary schools around the county and was the only non-DVM invited to contribute to the Veterinary Clinics of North America series on Camelids.

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Alpaca Training

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Alpaca Training
If you have a question concerning the handling and training of alpacas, please send your question via email to Ask Marty McGee Bennett

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2012 Articles
8/28 Males and Behavior
8/26 Cria Training

2007 Articles
9/01 Lead Training - It's Many Issues
5/15 Controlling a Kicking Alpaca
3/16 Males Not Interested In Breeding
2/5 Retire, Donate or Euthanasia?
2006 Articles
11/20 Suggestions for Cria Handling
9/09 Any Hope for this Aggressive Male?
8/21 Alpaca and Their Tasty Treats
7/2 Handling a New Cria
5/1 Aggressive Male Behavior
4/1 I Bought Alpacas, Now What?
2005 Articles
11/10 Can Alpacas Be Trained To Do...
10/14 Quarreling Male Alpacas
9/20 Choice of Guard Animal
8/10 Overprotective Mother When...
7/01 Fear of Suffocation When Haltered
6/03 Using TTeam on Shearing Day
5/11 My Alpacas Are Not Getting Along
4/18 Overcoming Shyness in Your Alpaca
TTouch Methods to Help Sick Cria
2/22  Should I Geld? 
2004 Articles
12/24  Sudden Aggressive Behavior 
12/1 Training for Beginners
11/5 Frustration with Cushing
10/14  Training Vs. Handling
10/7  Scattered Dung Piles
8/18  Establish Boundaries w/ Frisbee
7/5  Affection Influence Performance?
4/9   Managing Male Dominance
3/18  Novice Handler Syndrome
1/13  Alpaca Sensitive to the Touch
2/3   Separate A Cria From Its Mother?
3/1   Undoing the Damage of Poor...

2003 Articles
8/3    Why Won't My Alpacas Come...
 8/11  Fighting Gelding
 8/25  Herdsire Jealousy
9/4    Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks
 9/8    Personality Changes in Alpacas
 9/22  Stubborn With The Lead
 10/8  Cushing In Protest
 10/18  Discouraging Kicking
 11/13  Genetic Component to Behavior?
 11/29  Removing Fighting Teeth


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