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September 9, 2006  Any Hope for this Aggressive Male?


Llama Training

I have an aggressive male that attacked me when he was two year old.  He jumped on me, biting my legs, and wrapped his legs around mine and held on.  Good thing I am strong as I had a time getting loose and trying to keep him from biting me more.  Once the fight was over he seemed to kind of shy away, guess he was tired as I certainly was.

Since then he has tried to jump on me another time or two.  I have not put any other animal with him. He is now four years old and still very aggressive, spitting, squealing, and jumping up on the fence when I pass by.  I close him off to clean up the pasture and I do not go in his area.

He does this now with everyone.  As a weanling he followed everyone around the pasture and would come up to the fence and let everyone touch him.  As he became mature he turned.  I have let him breed two of my females hoping that this behavior will not come out in the offspring.  Course I will not know for a long time and selling these offspring is questionable.

I have had several suggestions:

Gelding - should quite him down.  (I don't want to support a gelding although he is a color champion) Put him down. (I don't want to put him down.  If nothing else I will just let him live out his life alone and be non-productive)

I know you advocate using a Frisbee and some other  methods and I know this will probably keep him away from me, but will I ever be able to halter, halter train or handle this aggressive animal like other alpacas.

Llama Training

It is good of you to describe so honestly and graphically what the tragic outcome of so called "friendly" behavior often is. Your male is pretty far down the road of aggressive behavior and I don't hold out much hope for vast improvement; but you never know. I doubt at this stage that a Frisbee is going to do much. You have passed the window where a plastic disk is going to keep him back I am afraid.

I would certainly suggest that:

1. You geld him color champion or no
2. You not breed him because it is not out of the realm of possibility that the behavior does have a    genetic component.
3. You make sure that no one can accidentally get in the pen with him
4. You have his fighting teeth removed

I seriously doubt that you will ever be able to handle this animal as you would other alpacas especially if you don't geld him. Even though alpacas are not huge, they can seriously injure you; particularly if they catch you by surprise. Having an aggressive animal around, particularly if you are in the business of selling animals, is a liability.

You didn't mention how this happened. Did you buy him or raise him? If you bought him then it would be important to make sure that the people who raised him understand that this happened so that they can make sure to change their behavior. If you raised him it is important that you understand how it happened so it won't happen again.

I would encourage to you attend a clinic. There are some techniques that I teach that would certainly make handling this animal much safer for you. Good luck and I hope I see you at a clinic.




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