Aidi Dog Breed

  • Other Names:
  • Atlas Mountain Dog
  • Atlas Mountain Hound
  • Atlas Schaferhund
  • Atlas Sheepdog
  • Atlas Shepherd Dog
  • Chien De L'atlas
  • Chien De Montagne De L'atlas
  • Kabyle Dog
  • View all 8...
Overview

The Aidi is a purebred dog that is believed to have been around for nearly 3,000 years, and may have been domesticated by the Phoenicians. Although they do have a murky history — like any dog that has been around for a very long time — they were certainly known and trained long ago by the Berbers in North Africa. Used as guard dogs that could sense potential enemies from a very far distance, the breed was brought up to also protect property and people in the rare case that a predator attacked: Aidis have very thick coats that can protect them against most predators' bites.

Rarely found outside the Atlas Mountain region that marches through a handful of North African countries, the Aidi is nevertheless a great family pet (even though yours may not be nice to strangers and other pets), easily trainable and even good with children. Moreover, they remain superb watch dogs and if it comes down to it, remarkably effective guard dogs.

Aidi Breed Details

Breed Specs
TypeLifespanHeightWeight
Purebred10-12 yrs.20-25 in.50-60 lbs
  • Friendliness
  • Overall
  • Family Friendly
  • Kid Friendly
  • Pet Friendly
  • Stranger Friendly
  • Maintenance
  • Easy to Groom
  • Energy Level
  • Exercise Needs
  • General Health
  • Shedding Amount
  • Behavior
  • Barks / Howls
  • Easy to Train
  • Guard Dog
  • Playfulness
  • Watch Dog
  • Ownership
  • Apartment Friendly
  • Can Be Alone
  • Good for Busy Owners
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Intelligence
* The more green the stronger the trait.

Below are details and specs for the Aidi dog breed.

Aidi Breed Description

Aidis are medium- to large-sized dogs, and when they are mature, expect them to be approximately 20-25 inches high and 50-60 pounds.

Although Aidis make great family pets, they possess a loyalty that leads them to be aggressively protective of the home, and they do not mix well with strangers or other pets. They are great watchdogs and guard well too, are very intelligent and even a bit stubborn but relatively easy to train.

Adopting an Aidi will mean lots of maintenance when it comes to grooming and exercise, and as they are not good apartment dogs due to the free space they require, a large home and outdoor property is practically mandatory too.

Aidi Breed History

The Aidi is a purebred dog that is known by a number of other names — Atlas Mountain Dog, Atlas Sheepdog, Berber Dog are but a few — and has a history that is long, somewhat mysterious and occasionally confusing even in modern times. (A breed standard that was allegedly published in 1963 labeled the them as "Atlas Sheepdog," and it is also said that this was corrected in 1969 — but the entity that set the standard is apparently unknown.)

Aidis are believed to have come from North Africa and may have originated specifically in the Sahara; one theory has them being initially domesticated by the Phoenicians when the Mediterranean seafarers colonized the area during the first millennium B.C. The misnomer by which the breed remains frequently known (due to the inexplicable standard mentioned above) was attributed to the breed's workplace: the Atlas Mountains that cross a number of North African countries. The mountain-dwelling Berber tribes that eventually employed the dog trained them to protect their flocks, tents and property throughout the mountain range's wild environmental variations and from the richly diverse species of predators which included human thieves and murderers.

The Aidi did not work in the typical manner that most dogs guarding flocks performed; instead, their extraordinary sense of smell was used to alert shepherds and other people long before a predator approached. Over time, the Berbers paired the relatively slow-moving Aidi with a Sloughi, a much faster and more agile breed; the Aidi would sense and direct the Sloughi which would in turn hunt down and attack. The work combination remains in use.

In modern times, the Aidi has been used as a police dog as well as for search and rescue (primarily in Morocco) but has also become somewhat of a house dog. The Aidi is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, but in 2006 it was recognized by the United Kennel Club — which also calls it the Atlas Mountain Dog.

Aidi Appearance

The Aidi is a proud dog that walks with a calm confidence. They have a very thick coat of medium-length, coarse hair that protects them from the elements as well as from most predators. The breed's long, large head is well-proportioned to the body, and they are perpetually alert.

Aidi Coloring

Your Aidi may be black, brown, cream or red, and may have a black mask as well as some white on her.

Aidi Size

When mature, Aidis tend to be about 20-25 inches high and weigh 50-60 pounds.

Average Adult Height

20-25 in
*Height is measured in inches from the front paws to the top of the shoulder while the dog is standing on all four legs.

Average Adult Weight

50-60 lbs

Aidi Temperament

Expect your Aidi to be fiercely loyal, remarkably energetic and ever alert; if they don't have a job to do, they will almost certainly develop very bad habits to burn off their seemingly endless energy. They are relatively easy to train as they have a few millennia of experience, but they are also headstrong and sensitive; punishment-based training will not work well at all. They make excellent watch- and guard-dogs as they will bark at most any unusual noise, and they are very strong protectors.

Aidi and Children

If socialized early and patiently, Aidis are good with children. Once they understand them to be a part of the family, they will certainly protect them, but they will also be happy to play with them a bit too.

Aidi and Other Pets

The Aidi is not very good with other pets; they were bred and raised to protect flocks, people and property from all possible predators, and they are very territorial.

Aidi and Strangers

As with other pets, your Aidi may behave aggressively toward strangers; at the least, they may merely be mistrusting of them.

Aidi Maintenance

Your Aidi will require moderate to high maintenance: frequent and thorough coat brushings, lengthy daily walks and other exercise — not to mention a fair amount of space to run freely.

Grooming Requirements

Brushing daily will help to maintain the coat's natural oils and improve its weatherproof quality. Expect the undercoat of your male Aidi to blow out once a year; females may shed their undercoat twice annually. If you live in a warm climate, expect year-round shedding. Aidis should be bathed no more than two or three times a year; doing so can significantly impair or even remove the coat's weatherproofing.

Exercise Requirements

Expect to exercise your Aidi daily and at length. They are highly energetic dogs that need a great workout as well as mental stimulation to keep from being bored — which in turn leads to destructive behavior and nuisance barking. Very long daily walks and lots of unleashed, well-fenced play areas are basically a minimum requirement.

Living Requirements

Adopting an Aidi is no small move, and they are certainly not apartment dogs. It is best to have a big house with large, highly secure outdoor areas for them to roam and run. The ideal home — outside of a mountain range! — is a farm.

Temperature Range

The Aidi can tolerate almost any environment. They have a very thick, weatherproof coat that will blow out if the climate is too hot, and will protect them very well in cold climates.

Aidi Health

Aidis have no known hereditary ailments, but like any dog, they can develop joint and eye concerns. Be sure to keep their ears clean and dry, and always be on the lookout for any skin problems.

  • Eye Problems
  • Joint Problems

Aidi Breed Recognition

The following dog breed registries and organizations recognize the Aidi as a dog breed:

  • Dog Registry of America Inc.
  • Federation Cynologique Internationale
  • United Kennel Club
  • American Canine Association, Inc.
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