Llama Taming


The llama is getting a little tamer these days. I think having lived here for about a year now, she’s adjusted more and gotten used to me, all the dogs, and the layout of the place. She is much less flighty.

On the advice of a friend who has a lot of experience with llamas, I took off her halter (which rubbed uncomfortably on her nose bridge, despite trying a different model made specifically for llamas). I replaced it with a dog collar that rides loosely around the bottom of her neck. This is supposed to be safer and more comfortable for llamas, but still gives you something to grab when it’s necessary to catch them. In theory, you can also have them drag a line off this collar, to work on training them to be caught. But I find this to be too dangerous since she lives with sheep, they could easily entangle in it.

Here she is eating grain out of a bucket I’m holding. But, she is still wary- if I move my other hand anywhere near her, as if I might try to grab her, she bolts, and then is reluctant to eat grain for a day or two after that. One day I did catch her and gave her a nice massage, which she seemed to enjoy, at the time. But the next day she didn’t want anything to do with having that happen again! She has a long memory for perceived wrongs!

Fortunately, we have better ways of catching her now, if we need to. She has become comfortable moving with the sheep into the new fenced alleyway we have, and also into the small Electronet hotwire enclosures. She is motivated to do this to keep away from Bronte, the Maremma, whom she finds very annoying. Once she’s inside one of those small enclosures, another person and I can hold two ends of a long rope to make a visual “fence,” and just slowly walk her into a corner. Once she is calmly cornered, it’s easy to halter her up; and she leads very nicely. So, I feel safer that if we have more flooding, I can move her where I need to, and we should have no more swimming and dramatic rescue incidents! :-0

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