The Aidi dog is a very hardy and solid dog breed, which is on the first sight quite powerful, well muscled and strong, but also agile and athletic. The Aidi is known for its large and bear like head, strong jaws, tapered muzzle, ears that are tipped forwards and slightly dropped and medium sized eyes in dark color.
The muscular body of Atlas Mountain dog is protected by a thick, dense and bushy coat, which is great protection from the predators, but also from the sun and cold weather, which is important, since these dogs are originally from the cold Atlas Mountain range. The coat comes in a variety of colors including black, white, tawny, brown, pale red, and brindle and it creates a little mane around the dogs neck and it also grows longer around the tail and hindquaters.
The average height of this breed is typically between 52-62 cm which is 20-24 inch and weight is usually around 55 pounds, which is 25 kg. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
For centuries, these dogs are used for guarding and protecting the livestock and property and this utilization formed their personality. These dogs have natural protective instinct, they are always alert and according to the official FCI breed standard, they instinctively measures the gravity and proximity of any danger and fearlessly provides an appropriate and efficient response. These dogs are also quite suspicious towards strangers, and it can take a while, before a complete stranger will gain a trust of this dog.
On the other hand, the Atlas Mountain Dog is extremely faithful and loyal to its owner and family. They want to be part of the family and the Aidi is quite sensitive breed that wants a lot of attention. It is also very docile and affectionate dog. If socialized from the puppyhood, they can live with other dogs or pets in the family, but they can be wary of stranger dogs. They are normally okay around kids in the family, but of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised.
Very important thing to mention is, that this is highly active dog. They are used to guard the livestock all day long without getting tired and they just want to have some kind of a job or daily activity in their life. The Aidi will always love to go on any outdoor adventure with its owner, it can be a long walk, hike or jog. They will enjoy almost any activity, if they can do it with its family. Because this is also quite smart dog, you will also need to stimulate their mind. It can be some task oriented playtime, problem solving puzzles or fun training. Without enough physical and mental stimulation, these dogs can develop some unwanted behaviour such as destruction.
As i mention earlier, this is an intelligent breed, but they are not total pushovers to train and i would not recommend them to unexperienced dog owners. Because this is quite sensitive dog, you should trian them with positive reinforcement, rather than using punishments. Good early socialization is even more important, so the dog does not become overprotective. If you want Aidi as a family pet, you must expose them to as many social conditions as possible when they are still puppies. You should try meet as many other people and animals as possible and give the puppy positive experience with them.
The Aidi is a very old and ancient dog breed, that has existed for a very very long time in the mountains of North America, especially in the Morrocan Atlas Mountain range, where they were used by local semi nomadic people for protecting their property and livestock from predators. It is important to say that this is not a sheepdog, in a sense, that they would herd the flock, they were used purely for the protection. The tribe, that is known for keeping this dog are the Berbers and even the Aidi dog is sometimes nicknamed as the Berber dog.
Later, these dogs were also used for hunting purposes, when they were paired with the famous North African sighthound Sloughi. The Aidi would locate the prey with they great sense of smell and the Sloughi would then hunt it down. Later it was also used as police dog and of course, as amazing pet.
Health and grooming
Great fact is, that the Atlas Mountain Dog is normally very hardy, tough and healthy breed. They do not suffer much from any health issues and many Aidi dogs are healthy during their whole life. Of course, just like almost all larger dogs, they can occassionally have problems with hip and elbow dysplasia and some other dog health problems, such as patellar luxation, allergies or eye problems, but none of those is extremely common with this breed.
The grooming is also not very hard. Despite them having the dense and thick coat, the Aidi is not terribly difficult to maintain. They are moderate shedders, so if you want to minimize the shedding, you should brush them regularly to remove the dead hair and minimize it. Just like with all dogs, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clean them or clip them if needed.