aggressive male


Herd Master
Aug 1, 2011
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Rineyville, KY
at a loss for how to handle one of our llamas…
since the day we got him, he has had an issue with me, and only me. i am a small, 5’1” female. he is a large male. on several different occasions, he has spit on me, chased me through our field, bit me, and kicked me.
tonight, i was with him in our barn, and just sat down- pretty far away from him. he literally stopped eating, ran over with his ears pinned back, and went to bite me in the face. he does this unprovoked and without warning. the rest of my family and friends have never had an issue with him. it seems to be me he truly despises, and i don’t know why. has anyone else had an issue like this? he scares me and i don’t enjoy being anywhere near him. as long as he can see me, he is aggressive towards me. i’ve never experienced anything like this with an animal before. (we adopted him as a gelded male at age 15, who was used in weddings and other events with farm animals.)
There’s is something called “Berserk Male Syndrome” in llamas. No one is exactly sure what causes it, but some think it is due to over or improper handling as a young animal.

It may be only a case of an overly pushy animal that has absolutely no respect for you, but the fact that he’s trying to bite you concerns me.

Don’t go anywhere near him without a big stick. When he comes towards, you raise your stick, make yourself as big as possible, and make your voice loud. Don’t antagonize him, but use your posture and stick to push him out of your space. Honestly though, I don’t think it would be wise for you to go anywhere near him without someone else being with you.

Don’t feed him out of your hands or a dish that you are holding. Make him back away from dishes/hay racks until YOU are done.

I’d try asserting yourself like this for a while, but you need to consider putting him down if he doesn’t improve.

And please know that I speak from experience. I had a llama years ago, born on our farm, handled appropriately, trained for all sorts of stuff by me for 4-H, gelded at an appropriate age, but around the age of 6 or 7, he completely lost his head and started attacking me. The day he chased me barefoot (I had already thrown both shoes at him) across the pasture and a sibling with a dog and a large stick had to save me was the last straw.