Llamas As Guard Animals

Llamas are strong, sturdy animals that form strong attachments to their families, be they humans or other livestock. Once a llama becomes familiar with an area and a group they will become protective of that group.

In a study published by Iowa State University, llamas introduced to sheep herds were able to substantially reduce losses to flocks. Llamas integrated with the herd quickly, and soon showed protective behavior including:

Watching over the flock from a distance
Confronting predators like dogs and coyotes
Attacking predators
Placing themselves between the sheep and the predators
Raising alarm

Llamas were shown to accept family dogs that were not aggressive to the llama or the sheep in the flock.

Compared to other guard animals such as dogs, llamas required little training to keep watch over a territory or livestock. Llamas in the role of a guard animal have a much longer lifespan than other guard animal options and do not require particularly expensive care or feed. Llamas graze and require modest supplemental feed, typically costing under 100 per year per animal.