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Alpacas for herding?


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Hello, 

We are considering getting a few alpacas to add to our "mini-farm". I currently have a Border Collie that I have started taking herding lessons with. My question is whether alpacas can be used for herding in a similar manner as sheep. I've heard llamas cannot since they will "stand-up" to a dog and can be aggressive. However, alpacas tend to be more docile (at least from what I've read :D) so I was wondering if anyone has any experience or insight into how they would react. We plan to get young ones and introduce them to dogs right away as well. 

Thanks for any tips and insight!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just saw this post.

I tried my border collie a couple of times on my alpacas. My dog is not an experienced herder, but he does have a lot of try and push.

One time, I tried to herd 7-8 male alpacas into the barn. They decided that they were going to gang up on the dog and actively tried to chase him down. Poor dog tried his best, but he was only one against 6 or so alpacas trying to run him down or kick him. If he was more experienced, the outcome may have been different.

Another situation was when one female alpaca escaped through a gate that had been left open. She was loving the green grass and didn't want to be herded into the barn by me, nor was she interested in being lured back inside by pellets. Tried the dog. Again, she did her best to attack/kick him, but he stood up to her and kept trying to move her. After a minute or two, she did decide to move back toward the barn.

Alpacas definitely do not like dogs. Some will run from the dogs, but others will stand up to a dog. I don't think that using a beginner dog on alpacas is doing the dog any favors. i.e. it is not teaching the dog appropriate herding skills.

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