Category Archives: Camel Training

Why Australia Kills Wild Camels

Why Australia Kills Wild Camels

All the amazing camels that we’ve ever had, and now have, would be lying dead on the desert floor if we did not have them with us. This, we know for a fact.

Given our wild camel ‘situation’ in Australia we refuse to ‘breed camels’ because that just seems unfair…

Tara Lea Cameleer Australian CamlesRussell Osborne Cameleer

Australia has the largest wild camel population in the world due to early importations to help Australia ‘open up’ it’s remote outback regions. But, what happened between the times where the camels were useful to the Australian government and now, classed as a pest and culled by the thousands?

In this episode we dive into the history of camels in Australia and how they came to being a ‘pest’ and therefore killed (culled) by the thousands – which seems absurd given that foreign countries are desperate to import our, healthy and disease free, Australian camels. We discuss why this ISN’T happening.

We also get a bit political on this matter (how can you not?!) and discuss possible solutions, beyond mass culling, for Australia’s wild camels.

Listen now below

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Or play below….

Join the conversation by leaving a comment below

 

Russell Osborne & Tara Lea Australian Camels

camel toys

Camel Toys – Do They Need Them and Are They Dangerous?

We all want to do the right thing by our animals, in this case our camels, but sometimes the lack of understanding of a camel’s psychology – their way of thinking – can do more harm than good.

camel connection podcast

The truth is that to gain a good understanding of a camel’s psychology takes years of being around them and there are no real solid studies (yet) to conclude a camel’s way of thinking to help camel owners understand them better, this means a lot of trial and error takes place from camel husbandry, camel training and camel handling.

This post is not about judging others who may or may not give their camels toys to ‘play’ with. This is about education about how a camel thinks, to help any potential problems or dangers manifest. You don’t have to Google far to hear of‘pet camels killing their owners’. It’s so sad, but true. The sadder part is that it’s human error because of lack of information and education – it’s our main concern and frustration for us as camel owners, trainers, handlers and lovers.

It’s our duty as camel advocates and mentors to other camel owners, to call out the warning signs and dangers of camels having, using and ‘playing’ with toys.
 
We’ll break it down by the most common toys used and explain how a camel thinks towards these situations.

camel toys

Large Balls (a.k.a. Horse/Jolly Balls)

If a large ball was to enter a camel’spaddock there’s a couple of things that might happen.

1. They’ll never go near it as it’s too scary
2. They will go near it and start pushing it around, seeming like they are ‘playing’ with it and if possible get it into a corner of some sort so the ball will stop, and they can try “sit” on it. And if it doesn’t stop they will continually try to ‘play’ with it so it will stop – so they can sit on it.

Sounds funny right!? The scary part is that it’s not funny once you know what the camel is really thinking.

So what IS the camel thinking when playing with this type of camel toy? Simple answer is, they want to destroy and kill.  The ball is foreign, scary & un-natural – they wouldn’t find one of these out in their natural environment.

What camels don’t know about, they fear about.

This ball is like a predator to the camel. It’s threat that needs to be gone! We’ve also seen this with round hay bales, a camel will “sit” on it. Simply put, if a camel is sitting on anything other than the ground, it’s scared of it (exclusions for in-tact bull camels, that’s a whole other topic). The reason a camel will keep pushing a ball around is that it’s trying to intimidate the ball so it will stop and the camel can crush it (this is what they’d do to a predator in the wild). Not so funny now. What if the ball was blue and a young child wearing blue come into the camel’s paddock. You can see the danger signs! Big jolly or horse balls are simply a frustration to camels and they do not support any of a camel’s (positive) natural instincts , except to kill things unknown to them. What camel owner wants to nurture that instinct? Not us!
Treat Toys and Balls

These reward-based balls or shapes are supposed to keep an animal entertained within their domestic environments. When you think about the psychology of a treat balls for a cat, dog or even a horse this can make sense. Cats and dogs are hunters and horses use their hooves & muzzle to reveal herbs and grasses in the natural environment. For a camel, it’s just frustrating. Camels are not grazers by nature they are forages which means they mostly prefer to search up high for food like trees and shrubs, and sometimes eat herbs and the like from the ground. Camels will certainly adjust to a grazing environment, but their natural instincts are to forage for food. So a treat ball doesn’t make sense for a camel. It will only frustrate a camel, which isn’t very mentally stimulating for them.

What else can you offer?

Offer tree and shrub branches (that are safe for them to eat) and hang them above their head level so they have to reach for it. We wrote more about this topic with practical suggestions – 3 Ways To Nurture a Camels Natural Instincts.

(Although not a toy) Salt Blocks can keep them ‘entertained’, but comes with warnings.
Have you ever seen a camel trying to eat a slat block? They will spend quite a while “playing” with the block trying to bite off chunks of salt. They will toss and turn the block trying to get their daily requirements  of salt. There’re doing this because camels need a lot of salt in their diet, and can eat up to 1kg per day (sometimes more). So you can imagine how frustrating it is for a camel to try and eat a salt block just to get their daily requirements.

There are two factors here that can frustrate a camel when  eating  a salt block

1. They don’t have long enough tongues to lick it – camels have short tongues!

2. Since the tongue doesn’t work they will use their teeth which will result in pre-mature loss of teeth from constant grinding.

So,what to do instead?

Use 100% pure loose salt (can get it as pool salt). Make sure it’s pure salt, no additives added. Leave a bucket (either with heavy bottom or tied to a fence post) with loose salt in it so the camel will help itself at free will. Depending on their need, ssome camels may eat more than others, that’s why it’simportant that salt isn’t hand feed as each camel’s ratio varies depending on what they are eating, drinking and their general well-being.

So there we have it!

Tell us what your biggest take away from this topic was and if there is anything that you’d like to implement – let us know in the comments below.

Russell Osborne & Tara Lea Australian Camels

camel husbandry camel toys camel care

3 Ways To Nurture a Camel’s Natural Instinct

If you’re a camel owner or care for camels in one way or another this blog post is for you!

The truth is that we humans take an animal from its wild and natural habitat, so we can admire, work with, get to know and understand them more. For thousands of years humans have been taming and domesticating wild animals for company or other practical purposes. The camel is no different.

camel connection podcast

The problem of taking a camel (or any animal) from ‘wild’ to domesticated (whether it be first generation or not) are there is always a slight bit of their ‘wild’, natural behaviour and traits that goes away. It’s always human error and for us, there is this deep underlying feeling that even though we have now domesticated camels (and they enjoy our company) we feel a slight bit of guilt. On our farm, we try our best to keep the camel’s natural instincts intact for the sake of understanding the camel at its phycology, as well, as “preserving” their natural abilities, instincts and traits. Not only does this make for easier training and handling, but, we believe that it’s our duty as the ‘caretakers’ that we allow the camel to be well, be a camel!

If you’re like us, you love the camel for being a camel, so you’d want to nurture their natural instincts and maintain their behaviours that made you fall in love with them in the first place!

Lets look at some ways to keep the camel’s natural instincts and behaviours in tact -for easier training, handling and bonding. 

3 Ways To Nurture a Camel’s Natural Instincts

camel husbandry camel toys camel care

1. They need friends

You’ve heard it before, either from us or other sources,  that it’s in the best interest of the camel that they are housed/paddocked in pairs.

A camel, by nature, is a copycat. They learn from their elders – regardless of the species – especially baby camels who is under two years old. It may seem ‘cute’ that a camel is copying behaviours of a horse, cow, goat, etc., but if we’re the devil’s advocate it’snot cute becausethe camel’s natural instincts and behavioural characteristics are slowly diminishing, and new ones are being formed (remember, they are copy cats).

We’ve had camels come to us from a young age and were housed with other animal species. The major difference we notice are the confusion on ‘who they really are’ which on a mental plain manifests as behavioural issues, aggressiveness and much harder to train and handle. We have a rule on our farm that if we get a camel that has not been housed with another camel, we turn them out amongst our herd of camels for 3-6 months (depending on the camel). We don’t work with or handle them for that duration of time, but we do observe and see major progress in their ‘learning to be a camel again’ as they copy the behaviours of the other camels and learn their place within the herd.

Bottom line, camels are to be brought and housed in pairs. This is not a marketing strategy, it comes down to the well-beingof the camel, it’s natural instincts (given they are a herd animal) and their overall well-being, particularly mental welfare in this case.

If you have been saving madly for a camel and the ‘right one’ comes along, but there’s no extra cash for a second camel, make it your new camel’s prerogative to get another camel friend ASAP.

2. “Enrichment” Activities for Camels

Have you heard about Enrichment Activities for animals? It’s usually when an animal is given a ‘hard task’ to complete usually in the shape of a man-made “toy” of sorts. The animal is supposed to “play” with it until a reward is gained. This track of thinking is right for some animals, but camels are different.

What we see, time and time again, is that the activities that are given to camels do not support their natural instincts and behaviours. It’s no one’s fault, it’s just that a camel’s physiology can take a while to understand and often trial and error will take place. The only way of knowing if trial and error has been detrimental, is when this results in difficult to manage behaviours. Obviously, the goal here is the enrich the camel’s natural instincts and behaviours as they would in the wild so…

Here’s some examples of enrichment exercises for camels – side note here, camels in a large herd or well replicated domestic environments generally don’t need a lot (if any) of these exercises.

·      Handpick tress and shrubs that your camels like to eat and hang them higher than the top of their head, so they mustreach to get to the branches. This supports their natural wild instincts to forage and reach for their food and encourages them to think of ingenuities ways to get their food. This is what they would do in the wild. And, if your camel has other camels with them they will work together as a team to get to this yummy food – It’s amazing to watch!

·     Another alternative is to take your camel for a walk to tress and shrubs that they would like to pick, explore and forage. In the wild, studies have shown from tracking wild Australian camels, that a camel can and will walk up to 50km/day just foraging for food and water! So, walking and eating at the same time is 100% in a camel’s nature. Even in our herd, on our farm, we notice that every day the camels will walk the entire property (as they are free range) doing their natural thing – foraging for food.

·     What not to do, is give your camels ‘hard task’ activates such as balls to “play with” – these are very dangerous. ‘Treat balls’ that have kibble or other food rewards drop out of them when they turned the right way. Yes, the camel will keep going and going until they get the food reward, but it’s frustrating for them and does not support any of their natural instincts or behaviours, because they are foragers not hunters. Also, it doesn’t support their mental wellbeing and it’s not every mentally stimulating for them.

The important thing to keep in mind is that a camel doesn’t need too much ‘entertainment’ if theyare housed/paddocked in a way that replicates their natural environment .

To give you an idea of an ordinary day of a camel’s behaviours, here’s what it looks like:

They wake up at sunrise, poop, get up, have a little stretch, pee, soak up the sun for a while, start making way to food, slowly start eating, after a few hours – sit down, chew cud, get up, eat some more, maybe push around buddies a bit – just to let them know whose boss, sit down, chew cud, pee, poop some more, and repeat!

3. Use Training & Handling that the camel understands

A camel that is being trained for the first time will understand what is being ask of them quite quickly, because they are very intelligent creatures. Now training can go two ways: the first way is being the coercive, dominating and forceful approach. The second way is building trust, gentle, persuasive training with an “elevation” approach.

If you’re not getting quick results with your camel, then, it’s likely that you’re using language they don’t understand.

Training and handling camels is all about working WITH the camel,not having the camel work FOR you. Why? Because in herds of camels (in the wild and domestic) they work together, so this method makes sense to a camel. Now, every now and then, there is always a ‘bully’ and another camel is FORCED to do something and surely, they will, because camels always live on the verge of fear, it’s in their nature. So you can see that the two camel training and handling methods will work, but one day in a herd, when they are much older and more confident, that bullied camel will fight back, they don’t care about the consequences! That’s why you need to be careful what and how you’re teaching your camel.
This is what camels respond to best when training & handling:

Respect.

Just think of the natural herd environment, there is always a level of respect that one camel has for another, so your job when training and handling is to give them respect and they’ll give it back!

Work with the camel’s strengths.

Think about what a camel will do in its own time. They will sit down and walk around. For an un-trained camel you need to build on their strengths so that trust is gained and they feel proud of themselves (which they do)! Other training can come later. Consistently build on their strengths, especially if they are young.

Now it’s over to you!

What was your main take-away from this and are there somethings that you’d like to implement right away? Tell us in the comments below!

Russell Osborne & Tara Lea Australian Camels

Cameleers Camel Trainer Tara Lea & Russell Osborne

camel health camel husbandry

3 Signs That a Camel is Healthy

We all know how important it is to keep our animals healthy. ‘Dr Google’ is most people’s favourite Go To for diagnosis and cures – we’re all guilty of it! But, there’s an underlining problem with Googling camel husbandry information, because, lets face the hard facts here, information found online can be extremely contradictive, in technical language you can’t understand or in a foreign language.

Read more below or if you like to do more than one thing at a time, listen to the audio…

camel connection podcast

Another hard fact is that most vets are not specialised with caring for camels so they mostly guess diagnosis and treat the camel based on their experience and knowledge with other animals (sidenote: veterinarians do a great job, we’re not knocking veterinarians here). It’s a painful truth that you buy a camel (that usually you’ve been saving up for a long time, especially in the U.S) and all is wonderful, BUT you cannot seem to get any straight answers from anyone on what to feed your camel so that they stay healthy.

A lot of camels get the ‘trail and error’ treatment to health. Now, don’t think that is such a bad thing as we (humans) do it to ourselves – you know that doughnut that tastes sooooo good but you know you’ll regret it latter on…. You get the point. The most unfortunate thing about camels is that they are a less common animal compared to cattle, horses, dogs, cats etc. therefore camels don’t get all those wonderful studies done on them like the more common ‘household’ pets or animals do. There are camel studies, but just not as many as we need.

 

So, without us being veterinarians or scientists specialising in camels and only camels what can we offer….? Well, to be upfront…Common Sense. Okay, maybe it’s not that simply, but the idea is simple:  Giving where the camel originates from – Desert environments, for both Dromedary and Bactrian –  What Would They Eat? Or WWTE, and how can we, as camel owners replicate that as much as possible?

 

One thing you might not know about me personally (Tara) is I tend to be a real nerd about food and health, some people say Commander Like, but don’t listen to them! In all our camel’s diet I replicate everything as best as I can from their originated desert environment. I really nerd over it! It keeps me up at night – truly! I’m lucky enough to see camels in their natural environment here in Australia. When we go out on camel treks and expeditions I’m out there with the camels while they feed doing my ‘field studies’, if you like. Seeing what they eat, why they eat it, why one day they’ll eat a load of something and the next day not even look at it and How often they drink in the winter compared to the summer – It’s all so interesting and incredibly insightful!

 

To narrow it down, and know that not everyone lives out in the desert or wants too for that matter, we’ve narrowed it down to some key ‘ingredients’, you could call it, for a camel to maintain good health. Now, full disclosure here, this does not mean that we haven’t had illness happen to any of our camels. We’ve had camels die from unknown and known causes. It happens, it’s devastating, but it is the cycle of life and with camels, I’ve noticed, it really has to do with genetics too.

 

So, with all that said, lets have a look at Prevention Before The Cure type clues to know if your camels is healthy and catering to it’s camel husbandry needs.

 

3 Signs That a Camel Is Healthy

camel health camel husbandry

1. It’s all about the humps.

As you may already know,  a camel stores pure fat in its hump (not water). The fat, in short, can be used for H2o needs or nutrition (feed) needs. Camel’s are desert creatures, so this makes complete sense that they store food and water for more trying times. Also, the hump is the last resort to their survival. A Camel can starve and dehydrate if all their ‘stores’ have been used up. To us camel owners our job is to keep the humps healthy, but not overweight.

How to know if a camel is overweight? If you cannot clearly see and feel where the hump finishes and ends on the side of the camel – there should be a ‘dip’ where the hump ends – then they’re most likely overweight. Most pet (and Australian wild) camels are overweight – some of ours included! Like any species that gets overweight, it will eventually put strain on vital organs.

 

Without a hump a camel is not a camel. That’s not scientifically true, but it does speak volume for a camel on the unhealthy scale. When hump reserves are starting to diminish, like floppy humps in Bactrian’s or little to no hump in dromedary’s, the camel will feel the strain on their body and become more susceptible to illness and parasites. Anyone who has had a camel underweight will tell you how hard it is trying it is to get weight back on the camel. It’s a real challenge. So our job, as camel owners, is to maintain the hump reserves with good, nutritional feed and important and necessary minerals.

 

2. It’s the way they look – Skin Condition.

Skin is a great indicator on what’s going on inside the camels body. Things like unexplained lesions, missing hair (obviously not during shedding times), fungi and wart like growths are a camel owner’s guide to assessing where the camel’s heath is at. Often these things can be overlooked, but the signs are always there. Personally, in our experience, 9 times out of 10 any camel’s ‘skin condition’ is a mineral deficiency. Again, this makes complete sense, because their natural diet in the wild consists of so many different minerals they obtain from plants, trees, shrubs, even eating bark off trees. While on camel trek once we witnessed a camel pick up a marrow bone, off the desert floor, and eat it in full, just chewed it down – we thought surely a tooth is broke! But no, the camel needed the important minerals within that marrow bone.

camel husbandry camel sores camel skin issue
Example of camel with sore on nose indicating mineral deficiency.

3. Attitude is everything – Behavioural Changes.

This may seem obvious, but you’ll be surprised how many camel owners don’t pick on the initial signs. There are ALWAYS initial signs of unwell-ness and it’s often in a camel’s behaviour – maybe you wonder why we harp on so much as to why it’s so important to connect, bond and build trust with your camel… There is a reason to the madness, because it not only matters to the training and handling, but YOU will be the first to know if something isn’t right with your camel, because you will KNOW your camel.

 

Behavioural signs could be: isolation from paddock mates, won’t come up for greetings (if normally do) and won’t eat (that’s an obvious one). The behavioural signs are just as diverse as each individual camel, but those are the 3 main points, especially the isolation from their paddock mates.

 

I’m a very intuitive person, and a mother, so it can be easy for me to pick up if something ain’t right with a camel (they’re my babies after all). But, If I don’t know a camel too well and I distrust my intuition, I go for the camel’s eyes – the eyes always tell if something isn’t right there will be a dullness to their eyes and a sort of ‘sorry’ look playing out. Another way to tell besides the eyes is a camel’s upper lip. If the camel’s upper lip is slightly ‘kissed’ looking and protruding from their upper plate (given it’s not their natural form), this is a tale tail signs that they’re  in discomfort and further investigation needs to take place ASAP.

 

Now before you rush out to take a look at your camel to check for the 3 signs to know if they are health, do you want to learn more about the nutritional and mineral requirements of a camel (one hump or two)? We’ve created an easy to read (and digest) guide to camel health. This is especially for you and your domesticated camel(s), because most of us don’t live in the desert. We’ll give you simple action steps that you can start to implement TODAY to maintain your camel’s good health. Grab a copy now!

How to care for camels Camel Husbadry eBook

 

Russell Osborne & Tara Lea Australian Camels

Treat Training camels

Treat Training Camels Why it Works & Why We Don’t do it

It’s no secret that training and handling camels can be a challenge regardless of the age, breed or the size of camel. As camel owners or wanna be camel owners our main priority and concern is getting the camel to understand what we’re asking of them, whether that be to sit, walk on lead, ride or milk.

Read more below or if you like to do more than one thing at a time, listen to the audio…

We bet, that as a camel owner, these questions always linger:

  • Am I doing the right thing by the camel?
  • Do they really understand what I’m asking?
  • And how can I understand better?

Simply put that’s exactly why we have camels in the first place. To bond with them – because most of us a long-time, serial animal lovers!

For us the three questions linger on a daily basis. We’re always learning from these amazing creatures and always trying to better our skills with them.

We’re  going to explore if treat training camels really works (yes is the short answer, but sit tight as there’s more information on that to come), and what exactly is the camel thinking when treats are used during training and handling.

In our video Camel [& Coffee] Chat we dipped into this subject just a little. We’ll reference the video at the end of this post so you can hear/see that chat as well as read this.

The concerns for treat training camels are real and as camel owners, trainers and mentors ourselves we feel a sense of responsibility to educate  on how a camel thinks in these circumstances. 

What is treat training? Treat training is a reward based technique used to get the camel to ‘do’ something in exchange for a reward (the treat). Clicker training is a common reward based method alongside many others than evolve and develop from each individual practice. In short if you’re using food to get your camel to do something either before, after or during training – that’s treat training. 

Treat Training a Camel, scenario: Asking a camel to sit by using treats in a similar manner as you’d teach a dog to laydown – by placing the treat really low to the ground so they are forced to sit to get the treat.

What the camel thinks in this moment: YUMMY.. FOOOOD… – that’s it. There’s no bonding, no understanding just a really yummy treat.

The problem with food rewards, problem for you not the camel so much, is that it makes the camel think that they’re ‘getting food’ not getting trained. It seems like a good deal for the camel right? But it’s not. In this kind of trickery there is no real training, just expectations that there will be more food to come.

By now (if you’re a camel owner) you’ve realised that a camels way of thinking is really unique. It’s practical, smart (like “where’s the escape route”) and everything is well thought out on the camels behalf. When treat training camels, they are getting the better of you which can cause an unfair advantage later on as a camel never forgets.

Although camels aren’t vindictive by nature – it’s their circumstances, training & handling that can make them that way – they are very clever and will always have the survival instinct in them to ‘get more’. As an example, on our camel farm & out in the desert observing wild camels we notice that the camel has an innate knowing that someday soon there will be no food. So they eat, and eat, and eat and eat… Given that they are desert creatures this makes complete sense – store food for more trying times! Now take treat training with that in mind. Point being, there could be a day when a camel [that has been treat trained] will do ‘anything’ to get to that food because of their natural instincts. say to “eat while I can”. This could mean running over the top of you for food sake, accidently biting you or something greater.

 

By now you can see the disconnect. All a camel thinks about when training with treats is “YUMMY FOOD”. The camel is not thinking about you and how lovely you are, it’s not thinking bonding with you. there’s no trust building (only that the camel trusts that’ll feed him/her). The camel is simply using it’s natural instincts to ‘stock up’ on food for more tyring times.  Most camels will outsmart the human – eventually.

 

Where not saying all this to have a ‘bash’. If you’ve been treat training don’t feel bad. Even after reading this you still might want to continue treat training and that’s personal choice. The Camel World isn’t a big one and we know how hard it is to get good camel information – not to mention finding a technique that resonates with you at the core. There’s no one way to train a camel – We personally only use ‘one way’ – obviously (our Camel Connection Trust Based Camel Training™), but we tweak it for each individual camel with the ‘Camel Connection’ element as a foundation.

Camel Training

So, if not treat training what then?

We’ve got 5 things you can start doing right now to increase your bond with your camel(s) and safely train and handle them without treats:

 

1. Observe their eating behaviour. From a distance watch them eat and how the ‘care factor’ of anything else around them is zero –unless there are other animals with them and they’re constantly trying to defend their food. It’s survival of the fittest!

 

2. When feeding (hay/bucket feed etc.) use the Drop n’ Go method. Meaning give the food in a bucket or hay feeder and leave them their feed that way. Naturally they will associate you with food at feed time, but the goal is to get the message across that your not in their space when food is around and therefore not asking them to ‘do’ anything (training and handling wise).

 

3. Start at square one with the training. It may seem backwards, but trust us when we say this: Have your camel in a paddock or yard. Stand on the opposite side of the railing/fence facing the camel. With your head down (wearing a hat is ideal) Ignore all their sniffs and the like, but if they start to nibble or bite or get too invasive (not allowing person space) take enough steps away from rail to get out of reach and turn your back. Wait 30 seconds to 1 minute then walk back to rail. If they invade your personal space, nibble or bite walk away again. Repeat 3 times. On the 3rd time if they continue to invade your space walk away completely and try again in 15-30mins or so. Camels are very quick at getting ‘the message’. You’ll know you’ve made progress when they are not invading your personal space, biting/nibbling or they have walked away. This is good! The camel is beginning to understand that you are not giving treats, you’re simply wanting to bond and build proper trust. The aim is the next step below…

 

4. With the camel safely tied to fence or rail stand near your camel on opposite side of rail with your back turned (if deemed safe – if you still don’t trust your camel keep doing step 3 until more trust is formed). They will most like sniff (or kiss), maybe nuzzle – but if it’s at your pockets or where you normally keep treats walk away for a minute. The point of this exercise is bonding – without any intentions or commands whatsoever. Your asking the camel to get used to you being in its space and the camel in your space. There will come a point where the barriers will breakdown, food is no longer on the brain and you’ll be bonding for real!

 

5. Training and Handling without treats. Now that there has been some established boundaries and the camel and yourself have bonded and built trust probably – without bribes – it’s time to use the trust and bond that you’ve built with the camel, to your advantage. It’s time to ask them to do something like sit, stand, lead etc. The goal here is to get the camel to understand what you’re asking and comply without treats. Now, we’re not going to sugar coat here, this way of training might be a lot more challenging compared to treat training your camel, but the long term results of being able to safely handle and train your camel through proper bonding and trust will pay off in dividends. It really is worth that extra effort and… it’s in the best interest of the camel.

 

Side note: if you’re unsure on where to start with camel training take a look at our online camel training course.

Camel training course camel husbandry book

We 100% endorse bonding and understanding between a human and camels, because we believe it is the most rewarding for both involved. For us, and many others, using a Camel Connection approach it has been life changing.

 

Now it’s over to you.

What was your biggest takeaway from this?

And, if you plan to implement these step which are you looking forward to the most?

Leave a comment below.

 

Reference: Camel [& Coffee] Chat

Russell Osborne & Tara Lea Australian Camels

About us

Raising Baby Camels & Setting Boundaries

There’s no doubt about it – baby camels are extremely cute, cuddly and simply adorable to be around. It’s a pure delight in watching a baby camel [or anything for that matter] grow and mature. You feel apart of their special life journey and quite frankly, honoured to share it with them.

This video moves beyond the husbandry requirements (How To care for a baby camel)  into the  undertone that needs addressing on raising baby camels in a domesticated environment. Believe it or not it can actually be dangerous to the new camel owner or even the experienced camel handler.  Often cuteness overrules the ‘warning signs’ or the pure desire to own a camel.

Our mission on this planet is to share as much camel information that we know through our blog (here), videos, in-person clinics and the like. This subject on raising (training & Handling) baby camels is a very important one that needs addressing before its too late. 

In this video we are talking about Raising Baby Camels and Enforcing Important Boundaries – beyond paddock/housing needs. 

You’ll meet one of our baby camels on our farm – Shilo along with 16 other camels.

Minute breakdown of video

1:30 – What most people assume about baby camels

3:47 – The challenge of training baby camels

4:36 – How a baby camel REALLY thinks

6:06 – The best environment for a baby camel to learn

6:49 – a surprise guest

7:00 – 3 Tips to Raising Baby Camels

12:04 – Recap of raising baby camels and setting boundaries

13:43 – Never work with kids and camels (bloopers)

Now, it’s over to you…

What did you learn from this video that you’d like to start implementing with your camel?

Or what experience have you had with baby camels that had you wondering about their way of thinking?

Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts…

Russell Osborne & Tara Lea Australian Camels

Tara Lea Russell Osborne camel trainers

How a Camel Thinks, Styles of Camel Training & Bonding

If you’ve ever wanted to sit down with some fellow camel lovers and trainers then this is exactly what our ‘coffee [camel] chats’ (minus the real coffee) are all about.

Episode 1 of Coffee [Camel] Chat

1:11 – We discuss why it’s important to get a camel to sit (hoosh, kush, sit down)  wether you have a pet, working or dairy camel. We also share several different circumstances on when you might need to have a camel to sit on command even if you’d thought you’d never need to use it.

5:40 – We discuss dairy Camels and whether they should or shouldn’t be trained...?

9:54 – Is bonding with camels really that important for proper training? We share some ‘stories’ on this exact question.

13:34 – Our opinion on Treat Training Camels, how a camel thinks in these circumstances and how and why it works.

We also have a few guest appearances – you’ll have to watch to find out!

Now it’s over to you: can you relate to any of the topics discussed and if so which one and why? Leave a comment below.

Do you have a camel question for us? If so write your question below in the comments – we’ll be sure to respond here or in another episode of our Coffee [Camel] Chat.

Russell Osborne & Tara Lea Australian Camels

catching camels haltering camels

Catching Camels Haltering – How To

Here’s a How To video on catching camels as well as haltering camels once they are yarded or in a confined area. The MOST important thing you must have between yourself and the camel you are attempting to halter is TRUST. We talk a lot about our Camel Connection Trust Based Camel Training because it matters more than you might think. It matters that the camel in comfortable with you and you with the camel, it’s also safer for camel and handler or cameleer.

Catching and haltering younger or inexperienced camels is very different to this short tutorial. If you want to learn how to do this on young/wild/inexperienced camels head over to here to learn how to build up a Trust and Bond with the camel before attempting such a thing like haltering.

In this video we show you two ways to catch and halter a camel as well as how to put on a rope camel halter – the style that we use – and how to tie the knots so that they are secure.

We use specially made camel halters and attached our own ‘nose guards’ and rope. Check out our DIY workshop on halter making over at our Camel Shop.

Thanks so much for watching! If you have a comment to make or question to ask please comment below

Russell Osborne & Tara Lea Australian Camels

Tara Lea Russell Osborne Cameleer

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Camel Training with Russell Osborne

Camel Training & Handling: 3 Important Knots for Cameleers

If you work with camels or are planning on working with camels, whether that be training or handling, there are 3 important knots you need to know for camel handling and camel training. Like riding a bike (or a camel?), once these knots are learnt, they’re hard to forget and you’ll be able to do them blindfolded, which is actually useful because when working with camels sometimes you need to be able to tie a knot without looking!

We demonstrate how to tie the  3 Important Knots for Cameleers and explain their individual uses while handling or training camels in a variety of different situations and circumstances.

Whether you have a camel as a pet or you’re planning on operating commercially or even going for a trek with camels, you cannot pass on these knots.

This is knot a laughing matter! ….okay couldn’t help ourselves with that one – That was KNOT FUNNY!

Watch the video below to learn the 3 Important Cameleer Knots for Camel Training and Handling  why not grab a piece of rope and start practicing with us!

Russell Osborne & Tara Lea Australian Camels

Cameleers Camel Trainer Tara Lea & Russell Osborne

camel equipment camel harness for camel training

Camel Equipment: Camel Spider Harness

There isn’t a camel training session that goes by without us using a “spider” (camel harness). It’s one of THE most  important pieces of camel equipment that we have and  if you’re doing without it you’ll soon learn why you need one (or more) if you’ve got more than one camel, which you should, because camel’s are a herd animal – we write about that here.

Using a ‘spider’ will benefit your camel training immensely and keep you and your camels safe while doing so. It also encourages good behaviour on the camels part especially when walking in line, camel caravan, camel train or camel string (whichever phrase you use for camel’s walking one behind the other). It’s also ideal for camel saddle training (which we explain more in video).

In this video you’ll learn what a camel spider harness is, it’s 3 major uses and exactly why YOU need one as part of our camel equipment.

Video Break Down

0:00 to 5:41:

Part 1: How To Harness up a camel using a spider (harness)

From 5:53

Part 2: Spider Harness Uses covering How To Use, Hitching Camels Together In a String / Caravan & Walking With Camels Safety and using a spider as first step to saddling camels.

Get Cameleering – watch the video below

Ready to DIY (Make Your Own) Camel Spider Harness for Dromedary Camels? Get the online workshop HERE

Blog: Nose Peg, To Use Or Not To Use

Attention Bactrian Camel Owners: We will be realising a tutorial on Bactrian Camel Spider Harness SOON – stay tuned by subscribing to our email list above.

 

Russell Osborne & Tara Lea Australian Camels

Tara Lea Russell Osborne Cameleer