Friday, February 11, 2011

Alpaca training day 2

The nice thing about clicker training is that it works on everything - dogs, cats, whales, tigers, chickens, and even alpacas. Today was the second day of 'don't push me over to get to the food' training, and they surprised me by offering different behaviors than yesterday in their efforts to get to the food quicker. They weren't GOOD behaviors, but that's ok. I just ignored them and waited for the behavior I wanted - which is standing at arms length and waiting. The behavior I want is the only one that gets them the bowl of food.

Today Red got frustrated when I blocked his repeated attempts to force his way to the bowl, and he looked right at me, tilted his head up and started gurgling up a wad of spit for me! I just held a hand up to him and calmly told him 'no' (usually I just ignore bad behavior, but I felt this one merited a comment, and I wanted to get my hand up there to deflect the spit) and he backed off and tried something else. So that's ok. I like that he's trying things. I want him to figure out on his own that standing back gets him the food.

Likewise Black got so annoyed he was kicking and stamping his feet, but not AT me, so it was ok. I just ignored it. He figured out on his own to stand back, and he got his food. I think he got it the quickest of all three. Red took the longest today. I had to use the whip to remind White to keep his distance while I was filling a bowl - I just tucked the whip under my arm and turned away from him while I finished filling the bowl (so the whip moved towards him) and the whip barely touched him but he jumped away and stayed back. Llamas (and alpacas) like their personal space - I think it's only fair for them to respect mine as well.

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1 comment:

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I agree! Well done :)

~Lisa