Llamas kush, or sit down, for much of the time that they are not
grazing. Generally of course they do this at will, in their own good
time! But from the point of view of training them to kush when you
signal, it is relevant to note that llamas do kush naturally on
command... i.e when a stud llama jumps on the back of an "empty"
(non-pregnant) female llama, she will sit down; equally when dominant males
jump on submissive males, playful youngsters jump on each other,
and occasionally adult females on adult females... Indeed experienced females
will often sit down as soon as the male approaches...
lesson here is not that you should try jumping on to the back of the
llama that you wish to kush - in fact "please don't try that at
home..." What you can do however, is adapt this knowledge...
method is best tried out on young adults (over 18 months) - males,
geldings, or females who are not yet mated. It is best not to practice
on stud males who will "naturally" resist any lessons, until you are
experienced at it, and not at all on pregnant females .
Firstly enlist the help of someone tall and
attached a sufficiently long but not too long, strong lead rope to a
well fitting halter, lead a young or gelded llama that is already well
lead-trained, calm and biddable, to a strong post-and-rail fence or
equivalent, with a low bottom rail.
Pass the lead under the bottom
rail to your helper who is on the other side of the fence. The helper
then pulls up on the lead rope so that the lead is effectively in a V
formation (the top of one side of the V is under the llama's head in
the halter ring, the bottom of the V is under the fence rail and the
top of the other side of the V is being pulled high by the helper).
As the lead rope is pulled upward, the
llama's front is being brought downward with
his front legs coming
to a kneeling position. Whilst
this is happening, firmly press both hands down along the llama's
back toward the
tail, exerting as much pressure as is reasonably needed.
this may sound very physical, do not allow the lesson to become a
fight or stressful for the llama or you. Whilst some physical pressure is
required for the upward pull on the lead and the downward pressure on the
llama's rear end, it should be used more to firmly
encourage and guide than
to physically overcome.
is quite possible that it will not work the first time - do not try
for too long, but repeat at intervals (the length depending on the
reaction of the llama). As with many new lessons, they sometimes
object the first time or two and then suddenly co-operate obligingly
the next time.
becomes very physical then perhaps the llama is not ready for this
sort of "advanced" lesson.
llama begins to respond, issue the command "Kush" loudly and firmly.
Depending on the llama, you should find that after a few lessons, the llama will respond to the verbal command
whilst giving just a simple tug downwards on the lead.
adjust your timing and persistence in relation to your llama's
acceptance of the exercise. And don't forget a small treat as a reward
totally amazed! Less than 24 hours after we
began your instructions to the letter, I have a llama that I can,
single-handedly, with a minimum of downward pressure at both ends, and
standing not now by a fence but in the middle of a field, require to
fold right down. I thought it would take weeks, if at all. Yes I was
heavy with the single, repeated, verbal command ...and the verbal and
material rewards on each of the twenty or so drops. I think I am on
the way to getting it by voice alone.
Back to top