If you are looking for a faithful and reliable guard for yourself and your home, then the Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi) will suit you.
This breed is not suitable in spirit for every animal lover, as it is not very sociable, prefers solitude and has a strong character. By its nature, the Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi) is an unsurpassed watchdog with a quick reaction and an excellent sense of smell, it is these qualities that enable it to protect you and your home from the threat that has arisen at any moment. Due to his watchdog qualities, he’s ideal for service in law enforcement.
Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi) was first bred in Morocco, where he regularly served, guarding the steppe nomads and their homes. The main advantages of the dogs are smart eyes with a benevolent and attentive gaze, a strong physique with developed muscles, energy, agility and fearlessness. Heat or extreme cold are not terrible for these species, as they adapt perfectly to any weather conditions.
Other names: Atlas Sheepdog, Atlas Shepherd Dog, Moroccan Idi, Atlas Cattle Dog, Berber Dog, Chien de l’Atlas, Chien de montagne de l’Atlas
Origin of the Aïdi – Atlas Mountain Dog
The Aidi dog or mountain dog of the Atlas, the shepherd of the Atlas or the Berber dog is an old breed of molossiens similar to the Anatolian Shepherd and the white shepherds of the European mountains (Great Pyrenees).
The most probable of the hypotheses on its origins, says that it surely arrived at the Atlas with Roman legions and has its base in the Roman mastiff (mastiff which accompanied the legions and was introduced in different corners of the Roman geography there 2,000 years ago) whose root dates back to the Tibetan bulldog.
Over the centuries, the Aïdi – Atlas Mountain Dog underwent a natural selection in a harsh climate and in a state of permanent alert to wolves and jackals. It is currently an abundant breed throughout the Atlas, especially in Morocco and Libya and deals with the guarding and protection of property and animals in mountain villages and nomadic Moroccan tribes and has become a big pet in Morocco.
Although in 1963 his official name was “Atlas Shepherd Dog” in 1969, this was changed. And this is because the Aïdi has never acted as a shepherd in the same sense as the one attributed to this work in other countries.
The breed is recognized by the FCI.
In the past, the Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi) was exclusively a working dog: it guarded people or animals and hunted. Recently, this dog has been increasingly found in homes, especially in rural areas. If the Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi) has his own depot, in which he can invest his abilities and strength, then he can be kept in the city.
Physical characteristics of the Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi)
An adult Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi) can reach a height at the withers from 53 to 63 centimeters, and weighs 25 kilograms. He has a proportionate physique with a well-developed musculoskeletal system and muscles.
The appearance and physical characteristics characterize it as a hunting dog, as it has a well-developed muscular body, a large head, a massive neck folded into folds, strong jaws and strong teeth. Thick and hard coat perfectly protects the dog from the hot rays of the sun and piercing mountain winds. The traditional color is white, but there are also red, black and black mixed with white spots of color. This animal amazes with its excellent sports qualities and endurance.
Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi) description:
Body. The back is broad, moderately long, and muscular. The loin is strong, muscular and slightly arched. The sacrum is raised. Shoulder blades set obliquely. The withers are well defined. The ribcage is wide and deep enough up to the level of the elbows. Ribs are elastic. The belly is tucked up behind the false ribs, but not lean.
Teeth, Jaws. Powerful. The teeth are large and white. Prognathism is unacceptable.
Eyes. Set obliquely. Medium size, dark brown regardless of coat color. The eyelids are black or lighter depending on the color of the coat. The expression in the eyes is lively, attentive and intelligent.
Ears. Medium in size with rounded coccyx. Semi-stable. Set on high. When excited, the dog raises its ears and directs them forward, in a calm state, lowers them to the neck.
Nose and lips. The nose is wide, the nostrils are open. Black or brown, depending on the coat color. The lips are dry, dense, black or brown, depending on the color of the coat.
Neck. Strong, muscular, without dewlap.
Tail. Long, reaching at least the hock. Set on high, at the level of the back. At rest, the dog keeps the tail down; when excited, it slightly lifts, but not above the level of the back. Long and thick hair on the tail forms a “feather”, which is a breed characteristic of a dog.
Limbs. The bones of the hind legs are strong, the thighs are muscular, but not loaded, moderately erect. The knee joint and hock joint are obtuse, which gives the sacrum an elevated position and makes it above the level of the withers. Dewclaws are removed. The paws are round, the pads are elastic, the nails are strong, their color changes depending on the color of the coat.
Wool. Very dense, long, approx. 6 cm. On the ears and muzzle, the coat is shorter and softer. There is a mane on the neck and under the throat, especially in males. “Pants” and tail are also covered with long hair.
Color. The most varied: colors of sand, deer, white, pale brown, spotted, a combination of white and black, white and deer with a black collar, with a three-color collar, etc .; frequent combination of spots, which, merging, form a saddle cloth, with regular spots on the head and collar, with tan marks, with a well-pigmented nose and lips, St. Bernard color.
Movement. Walk, trot, gallop. The movement should not be like a horse; but wide enough.
Many believe that the Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi) can be attributed to the herding varieties of dogs, but here is the main misconception, since this breed is characterized as an excellent hunter and guard.
Character of the Aïdi – Atlas Mountain Dog
This dog demonstrates its intelligence like other breeds in the service of shepherds to control herds, group them and lead them with shepherds along the mountain range of northern Morocco where nomads take their herds in search of new pastures.
The Aïdi – Atlas Mountain Dog is a solid animal, of a remarkable mobility, energetic, of solid structure without any heaviness and endowed with a dense hair which protects it at the same time from the sun and the cold of the mountains from which it comes. This fur forms a shell that protects it during clashes against jackals and other predators.
its eyes are alert, direct and determined, because it is a guard dog always ready to fulfill its role of guardian. In some areas, it is usual to cut the ears and amputate the tail of working dogs, to make them less vulnerable to wild animals.
This dog knows how to love and knows how to show its affection and fidelity to its masters. It behaves in a very passive way to be educated in a simple way, but its best asset is to be a defender of both its family and its territory.
It is worth knowing that Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi) is distinguished by his freedom-loving and independence. These dogs are quite confident and like to dominate. The complex character of the animal can only be settled by the pros, so a beginner should wait a little while choosing this type.
In spite of its particular origin, the Aïdi – Atlas Mountain Dog is a breed which serves to live in the suburbs and in city. But its character allows it to open up to accomplish various tasks that it can solve without any problem and, besides, to keep busy and to exercise makes it happy and active.
The Aïdi – Atlas Mountain Dog is a beautiful dog who, because of its large breed genes, usually accumulates a lot of energy that is constantly being spent on its desire to protect and watch. Its behavior is very intuitive, it is always ready to jump, run or play. it looks like a very happy animal who establishes an excellent connection with its masters. This dog has great intelligence comparable to guide dogs for the blind.
Often you can find information that the Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi) can be aggressive towards children, since he has the habits of wild dogs. As practice shows, if you engage in his upbringing from an early age, while showing who is in charge, then in the end you will see that there is no aggression in him, and he will perfectly make contact with children.
It is very loyal to its family and ts patient behavior helps t to obey without complaining. The Aïdi – Atlas Mountain Dog knows its role in the family and is more than willing to show its masters that they love them very much.
It is a loving dog, patient, faithful and very independent. The Aïdi – Atlas Mountain Dog likes to socialize and does not bother with many barking as long as it is busy. It can fight the enemy fiercely, but it will not behave aggressively when it is happy and with its family. It is perfect for country living but it can easily live in houses, preferably with a garden, because its behavior can adapt quickly.
The characteristics of the breed include energy, quick-wittedness, excellent reaction. The Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi) is constantly in need of physical activity and mental development.
It is recommended that you do not adopt an Aïdi – Atlas Mountain Dog when there are other dogs at home, unless both are puppies. In order for them to get along at home, they must get to know each other from an early age and training is essential to this relationship.
It is a suspicious specimen, so it can react very unexpectedly if it encounters other dogs. However, this does not mean that it is not smart enough to accept the discipline and rules that are taught. With a good education, the Aïdi – Atlas Mountain Dog can be exceptional and very friendly with other dogs.
The Aïdi – Atlas Mountain Dog is a breed that does not present many health problems let alone inherited. However, it is not exempt from some of the common diseases of large breed dogs: dysplasia of the elbow, knee or hip, it may also suffer from neck problems and stomach twists.
However, these types of diseases can be avoided at an early age when the dog is well fed and strict control is maintained with the veterinarian.
The health care of this dog will also depend on its activities, if it is a dog who lives clearly outside, it is recommended to take care of parasites that may appear in his fur and in the dirt accumulated in its ears.
Average life span: between 10 and 14 years.
Having learned a lot of information about the difficult nature of the Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi), you will naturally have questions about the proper care and maintenance of such a wayward animal, so you definitely need to know all the features and secrets of their maintenance.
Aïdi – Atlas Mountain Dog has a fairly dense coat (average 10 cm)
The conditions of city life are not suitable for this animal; a freedom-loving dog will like rural life. Unlike other dogs, this species prefers solitude, it will not entertain itself in noisy companies of people and animals. In the process of education, he can show willfulness and toughness in his character, so you need to be patient and be quite strict and demanding of him.
The thick (average 10 cm) hair of the Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi) requires regular combing, but with bathing it is much easier, you need to do this only a few times a year with a special shampoo during the shedding period. Swimming in open reservoirs in the fresh air will bring great pleasure to the dog.
The Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi) is very active and mobile, so you must provide him with the necessary amount of physical activity to maintain his tone and body shape in excellent condition.
The Aïdi – Atlas Mountain Dog is a very active dog, accustomed to long hours of work and to a nomadic life. Therefore, although currently adapted to life in a family home, this dog needs a daily activity to consume some of all the energy he accumulates.
You can use its energy to participate in agility activities, but remember that it must first be socialized, and we must be careful in the circuits in the dog parks.
On the other hand, it is a working dog, and to avoid being bored one must stimulate it mentally, by offering it a continuous work. Otherwise, the The Aïdi – Atlas Mountain Dog will find something to do to deal with and the damage can be serious.
Training and education
The Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi) is a very dominant breed. Therefore, training must be started as early as possible and the owner must be firm but kind. Since this breed can periodically show aggression towards others, it needs a strong and dominant male owner.
Aidi is a strong, muscular and independent dog. He is very cunning and intelligent, he has an amazing reaction, don’t forget that he has the habits of a wild dog.