Untrainable Camels - Do They Exist?
I often wonder if I’ll ever meet a camel that is untrainable? I find myself daydreaming about situations and circumstances wondering if, in my career, I’ll ever come across this, I kinda like the challenging idea.
Logically I think it’s possible that some camels are “untrainable,” but in my heart (and experience) I know all camels can be handled and trained if given the time & a handler/owner with the right skills.
Ultimately, training a camel is a question about time…
Hi, I’m Tara, head Camel Educator at CamelConnection.com & host of this podcast all about camels! And if you’re a camel owner, carer, or wanna be owner then you are in the right place!
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We are here to help you become more Camel Connected. Let's dive into this episode all about Untrainable Camels…
People bring camel’s into their life without thinking about how much time these animals require, especially if they are solo camels. Camel’s in a herd environment is a slightly different story as they are stimulated amongst themselves & their social needs are better met.
Are some camels untrainable…?
Well, I can say for certain that some people are untrainable *jokes*
The goal with camel training is never to ‘get’ a camel to comply, it’s about building up a bond & friendship where the camel trusts enough to do what you're asking of him/her, even when communication wires get crossed.
Another big factor to consider if a camel is “untrainable” is if the camel handler / owner is actually a good match for that particular camel’s personality.
For example: There are just some camel’s personalities which I cannot relate to and really don’t like. It’s not that I don’t like The Camel, it’s just a bad personality match. As a professional camel educator I have to put my differences & ego aside and work with camels I don’t gel with and honestly, I like the challenge…
Not everyone has the ‘time’ or skills for a challenging camel though and you should never try to ‘force’ a relationship between you & a camel, you either like a certain camel or you don’t and visa versa.
Which leads me into the next point about training & handling camels…
When a camel bites, cuds (aka spits), kicks etc at you, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t like you, it means they 1. Want you out of their space and or 2. Don’t trust you yet (or in some cases have learnt a bad habit).
Think of camel handling like a human to human friendship, it can take time to build trust between you & a new friend and at some point the friendship might not work as you may drift apart, other friendships last a lifetime.
When people dubbed a camel “untrainable” or “too dangerous” or “too stubborn” and the like, what’s really being said is that the camel has not been decoded to human understanding.
The only camel that I’ve seen as “untrainable” was while training staff in Thailand, he was a massive a bull (intact male) camel that clearly did not have great experiences with humans, was quick to bite with his massive teeth and had a demeanor about him that said “I will get you” from the outside he WAS scary! The reason he was a “ride off “(for lack of a better word) was because we only had a certain amount of time in Thailand and he was only ever used for breeding, but ultimately, if given the time, he could have been trained.
What makes a camel untrainable in the eyes of some:
- Excessive biting, kicking out, charging, cudding (vomiting) - these are just defence mechanisms built into The Camels.
- Sometimes the older the camel the more set in their ways they get, which can prove challenging in training.
- Physical or psychological limitations like injuries or bad genetics
It’s really only the latter that might stop a camel from being trained, because you can’t undo genetics or injuries.
Before a camel bites, cuds, kicks and the like there are always warning signs and it’s often in their eyes, and it takes time, invested skill and a sense of intuition to pick up on warning signs before they ‘level up’ to more physical demonstrations – hence the importance of being mentored, skilled & educated in camels and building connection, Camel Connection!
So really, “most” camels are trainable, sure there are the 1-2% of camels out there in the world that might be “untrainable,” but some of these camels might just need time & a great handler / owner to live up to their full potential.
After a solid Camel Connection has been formed and trust has been built upon only then do we ask the camels to do things.
I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing many camel’s who their owners wondered if they’ll even be able to be trained - to be trained and handled with connection & gentleness - and you know the strangest thing is that the camel’s that give you the most challenging behaviours end up being one of your most trusted & willing camels. Every time!
If you’d like more information on how to train & handle camels the Camel Connection way, head over to camelconnection.com/camelschool and consider joining our camel community.
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