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Llama Training Tips

April 5, 2022

Are you interested in keeping llamas? Homesteading is becoming increasingly popular these days. Many people are starting microfarms, and trying their hand at raising cattle and livestock. Llamas may not be the most common option, but they definitely have lots of fans. Of course, keeping and handling llamas is much easier when they have been properly trained. A Roswell, NM veterinarian offers some llama training tips below.


Llamas can be trained to do many things, from pulling carts to carrying packs to being ridden. You’ll of course want to customize your llama’s education depending on what you want him to do. However, we do recommend that all llamas be taught to accept being haltered, led, and groomed, and having their teeth and feet handled. It’s also a good idea to teach your llama to go in and out of a trailer and to come when called.

No Drama Llama

Llamas learn quickly, which is both good and bad. On the one hand, that makes them easy to train. However, it’s also easy to train them to misbehave! Always use positive reinforcement to reinforce good behavior.

Keep in mind that, like most prey animals, llamas are naturally skittish. Once your llama has formed a bad association with something, it’s going to be very, very difficult for you to override that first impression. If your llama gets scared of the trailer the first time he goes into it, he may very well try to resist entering it every time after that.

Do It Daily

Many of our animal companions are creatures of habit. Llamas are no exception! Try to work with your llama every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. This should continue even after your llama is trained, as you’ll need to revisit and refresh your llama’s lessons regularly.


Llamas all have their own personalities. While some pick things up very quickly, that isn’t always the case. Tailor your training to suit your llama’s age and personality.


No surprises here! Snacks are a great way to reward and motivate your four-legged friend. Most llamas absolutely love fruits and veggies, such as apples, carrots, and sweet potatoes. However, you’ll need to cut them into small pieces, as otherwise your pet may choke. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Our advice on Llama Training in 2024

What are some beneficial skills to teach llamas for handling and care?

Beneficial skills to teach llamas for effective handling and care include accepting being haltered, led, and groomed comfortably. Training llamas to have their teeth and feet handled is also crucial for health maintenance. Additionally, teaching them to enter and exit a trailer confidently and to come when called enhances their safety and ease of management. These foundational skills facilitate daily care routines and strengthen the bond between llamas and their handlers, ensuring a cooperative and stress-free environment for both.

Why is it essential to teach llamas to accept being haltered, led, and groomed?

For several reasons, teaching llamas to accept being haltered, led, and groomed is crucial. First, it ensures their safety and the safety of those handling them, allowing for effective control in various situations. Secondly, it facilitates essential care practices, such as veterinary check-ups, hoof care, and dental maintenance, which are vital for their health and well-being. Additionally, grooming promotes skin health and can help in the early detection of potential health issues. These foundational skills also enhance the bond between llamas and their caretakers, fostering trust and cooperation.

What are the challenges of training llamas due to their quick learning ability?

The quick learning ability of llamas presents both opportunities and challenges in training. While their capacity to learn rapidly can facilitate the training process, making them relatively easy to teach, they can quickly pick up and reinforce unwanted behaviors if not guided correctly. Positive behaviors can be established soon, but so can negative ones if incorrect methods are used or the llama has a bad experience. This sensitivity requires consistent, positive reinforcement and careful avoidance of negative associations to ensure training success and prevent the development of undesirable habits.

What role does consistency play in the successful training of llamas?

Consistency is paramount in the successful training of llamas, serving as the foundation for effective learning and behavior reinforcement. Regular, consistent training sessions help llamas understand and remember expected behaviors, reducing confusion and building trust. Consistent cues, rewards, and handling techniques ensure that llamas can predict and respond appropriately to their handlers’ expectations. This reliability in training fosters a positive learning environment, accelerates the training process, and reinforces desired behaviors, making it easier for llamas to adapt to routines and commands, ultimately enhancing their overall well-being and ease of care.

What types of treats are recommended for llamas during training?

During training, llamas respond well to treats as favorable reinforcement. Recommended treats include small pieces of fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots, and sweet potatoes, which are both healthy and appealing to them. Cutting these treats into manageable, bite-sized pieces is essential to prevent choking hazards. Offering these treats sparingly can motivate llamas effectively without overfeeding. Always consult a veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations to ensure the treats suit your llama’s health and nutritional needs.

Do you have questions about llama care? Contact us, your Roswell, NM animal clinic, today!