If you have ever wondered if alpacas and dogs can live together, then you should read this article to the end.
Dogs are very friendly animals and they can be companions to both humans and other animals.
But when it comes to staying with alpacas, are there things to be wary of?
Can alpacas live with dogs? Alpacas can live comfortably with dogs and both animals will not have any problems as long as they have been properly trained. Dogs can act as guards to your alpacas and can also help in herding them together whilst feeding. The only thing to be aware of that your dogs should be trained not to attack and the alpacas trained not to kick or run from them.
Are alpacas good with dogs?
Dogs are very friendly animals that get along fine with other farm animals
Looking at lots of YouTube videos and interacting with other farmers on forums, I can tell you that keeping your dogs and alpacas together is very safe.
One thing you need to be aware of is that both animals need to be trained and prepared on how they interact with each other.
Why are alpacas kept with dogs?
Alpacas are usually kept with dogs for their protection and also for shepherd duties for the dogs.
Dogs are a man’s best friend and when it comes to farms can be a very useful asset.
They can be used in herding, guarding and for their companionship around your alpacas
Alpacas are also social animals, calm and gentle and can live with other animals
Most dogs have relationships with other animals due to their links with farming and with evolution.
Dogs have learned to work with humans and their genes have adapted too.
They have evolved to have different temperaments in domestication which makes cohabitating with other animals more natural for them; for example, with alpacas and llamas.
Although there is no biological reason they should get on, it shows that with excellent training and safe interactions, most dogs should be able to overcome some of their natural instincts and learn to love their alpaca counterparts.
Things to consider when keeping alpacas and dogs together.
When it comes to feeding, both alpacas and dogs eat completely different things
Dogs are carnivores and will eat lots of meat and herbs also while alpacas will generally eat herbs and grass.
So when feeding them you want to make sure that you separate them and also feed them different things.
The only thing I am sure they will both take together is water, so you can actually keep their drinking pens in the same place.
Asides from that, then you definitely need to separate the food you give them.
Related: Check out this article I wrote on “can alpacas live with donkeys“
Dogs are usually kept in kernels and on other occasions are allowed to run around and even allowed into the main house.
Alpacas on the other hand need to be kept in their own shed complete with special feeder equipment
So dogs and alpacas cannot be kept together in the same place
Alpacas also need special hays and flooring so they can lie down and sleep comfortably and this same special hay material will be uncomfortable for dogs.
If you plan on keeping dogs and alpacas together, then you need to bear in mind that they will need different housing and shelters to accommodate them.
Like I mentioned earlier, dogs and alpacas are social animals and can live peacefully with each other.
But in a living arrangements, there can be conflicts between both animals
The one thing you need to do is to ensure that both animals are properly trained to accept and accommodate each other.
There are some diseases that cannot spread between alpacas and dogs and there are some that can.
You have to keep this in mind while rearing them together.
Animals and poultry also need different medications and vaccinations to keep them healthy.
This is why you have to make sure your alpacas and dogs get the necessary care they need to grow healthy.
Appropriate feeding and housing also helps to keep diseases away.
Alpacas and dogs cannot interbreed.
In fact, it is impossible for them to mate. Keeping them together poses no risk of accidental mating or pregnancy.
This is one of the reasons alpacas are the best guard animals for your chickens.
How to train your dogs to live with alpacas?
One of the best rules of thumb to make your environment harmonious is to make sure that your dog responds to your commands and is well-behaved.
Your dog needs training from an early age, and you need to train your dog to be confident in understanding basic commands before you introduce him to any alpacas.
There are some basic commands that you must make sure that your dog knows before they are introduced to your animals:
- Sit – all dogs need to be able to sit down when commanded to do so.
- Quiet – barking can irritate other animals and can cause a negative reaction.
- Down – this position is calming and prevents other animals from feeling agitated.
- Come – a dog should be able to come to you even if there are distractions around.
- Leave it – this will teach your dog not to bother something.
- Manners on a leash – make sure that your dog is under control; this is especially useful in new environments.
- Drop it – this command will make sure your dog does not take something away that he should not have.
- Stay – this is important so that you can work with your dog from a safe distance.
- Go to mat – this makes sure that your dog knows where to sit to keep safe.
When you first introduce your dog to your alpacas, you need to make sure that your dog is on a leash and under control, and that the alpacas are all in a boxed off area or are securely tied. Begin by allowing them to smell each other and get used to each other’s scents.
Slowly, increase the time that they spend together and their proximity to each other.
Training should always include praise and positive reinforcement, as well as boundaries that are set in place so that the situation is under control for the dog, the alpaca, and for you.