Camel Training Index   Training a Camel to Cush   Training to Ride

Camel wings
There are a number of verbal commands being used for asking a camel to lie down, such as; Cush, Woosh and Koosh. The word Cush comes form llama trainers; here we will be using Koosh. Teaching a camel to koosh is a natural thing for them, is very easy, and usely takes only a few training session.
There are both advantages in teaching camels at a young age and at an older age. Young camels are easier to manhandle, while older camels are more mature and learn easer. We will go over a couple of the different techniques, starting with the most common one which uses a couple of soft ropes for controlling them.



Camel Leg Rope


When teaching a camel to koosh you will need two ropes, a lead rope and a soft leg rope about 15 or 20 feet long. As you can see in the photo, the leg rope (long rope) has a steel ring on its end. This ring will help in getting the slip loop on and off the camel's leg without getting kicked.

Camels are very vocal, so don't be surprised by all the nose they will be making when training them to koosh.


Baby Dromedary Cush



First, hook the lead rope to the camel's halter and run it under the lower rail of a pipe corral, or even better yet, a steel ring near the ground. Open up the leg rope's slip loop enough so that the camel will easly step in it, and then pull it close around their ankle. The leg rope will go over the camels back as shown in the photo.




Baby Camel Kooshing




In this step of the training, the person holding the lead rope will pull the camels head down while the person on the leg rope will pull down on their rope. By pulling down on the leg rope it will bring the camels leg up, and apply downward pressure on its hind quarters. The use of a stock stick can be very helpful by lightly tapping on the camels hind legs to help give them the idea what's wanted of them.



Camel Cushing




Here is a little trick you can use on a camel if they don't want to koosh. Run the leg rope around the camels other front leg to keep them on their knees, and just wait. They will eventually get tired and go the rest of the way down.



Training Baby Camel



Here is a front view to let you better see what's going on. Remember to keep giving the koosh command when training them to lie down. In no time at all you will be able to tell them to koosh while giving a little downwards tug on their halter. As time goes by you should be able to just stand back and give them the koosh command.

When teaching a camel to koosh, don't over do it. For a good training session only koosh them about three times, and try to end it on a good note. The next day will be far easy, and work with them in the same place each time so they know what's expected of them. By the third day they should have it down fairly well, and it would be a good time quit working with them on kooshing for awhile. If you over do it, you will end up with a camel that is kooshing ever time you try to do something with them.



Baby Camel Training



On the second day of training, try kooshing the camel without the leg rope, they should know what's expected of them when you take them to the same spot from the day before. You may still need to use the lower rail of a pipe corral or steel ring to pull their head down with the lead rope, also use the show stick to lightly tap their leg. Do not let them go down without giving them the command to koosh.

By day three your camel should be kooshing like a pro, although you may still need the show stick. If they are doing it well, now would be a good time to have them koosh in a different place, and remember, don't over do it. If you start working with them and they koosh good the first time, go on to something else, there's no need to have them do it over and over.


The photos shown on this page were taken at Smooth Roose's camel training school and workshop, held at his Double R Exotic ranch. If you get the chance to attended one of these clinics you won't be sorry, they are fantastic!