kajarrel Posted August 8, 2005 Report Share Posted August 8, 2005 Yesterday a friend of mine asked us to help out with some teenage alpacas she's boarding. She got them about 1 month ago and hasn't been able to catch them to take off their halters or walk them (which is part of the deal she has with the owner). Wasn't really quite sure what to expect, but I took two of my dogs to help out. Alpacas don't flock like sheep. When they were pushed, they'd split and run around/at the dogs (or us - the weak links) rather than away from the dogs. My friend's set-up is a little difficult because the back of the barn, where she wanted them to go, abuts at the middle of the fenceline so there wasn't really a barrier that we could hold/move them against. Her guard dog has also been keeping the alpacas away from the barn, where the dog food is located, since they arrived. Anyways, we did get them in the barn - but it took alot of small moves, with the dogs patiently holding the alpacas from moving in the wrong direction and then moving forward when they'd turn in the direction we wanted. I don't usually use a crook, but found it really helpful in this case to turn their heads when we finally got to the gate. I don't do a lot of training with the dogs now - just don't have the time - but I thought this was a great experience for them and me (as a handler). It was very different from herding sheep (they really got a workout covering the animals and had to be be extremely patient) and it was so much fun watching them figure out (read) the alpacas. Anyone have alpacas? How do you move them? Do you use your dogs? Were my observations accurate? Any thoughts on using less "affiliative" animals to hone skills? Kim Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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