Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi)
Other names: Berger de l’Atlas, Atlas Mountain Dog, Atlas Shepherd Dog, Berber Dog
The Aidi is a breed of dog from North Africa. Up until recently it was rarely seen out of its native lands, but its popularity elsewhere in the world is on the rise. It is used as a herder and a guardian of livestock and as such has an incredibly protective streak. An outstanding watchdog it may be, but this dog is also known to be a loving and sensitive companion.
Key facts about the Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi)
Life expectancy :
Origins and history
Among North African farmers (sedentary and nomadic) Aidis have been a popular choice of herding dog for centuries. It is still used today in its original role, and in Morocco the Aidi is favoured for use as a guard dog. Due to their being increasingly sought after as companion dogs, Aidis are slowly spreading into other parts of the world.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 2 - Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs
Section 2 : Molossian type
Physical characteristics of the Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi)
Female : Between 20 and 24 in
Male : Between 20 and 24 in
Female : Between 55 and 77 lb
Male : Between 55 and 77 lb
This dog’s coat is seen of white, black and tawny colours or a mixture of all of them.
Type of coat
A thick, harsh, and abundant, medium-length coat covers the dog. The fur on the face and ears is thinner than on the rest of the body. Males tend to grow a mane around their neck of especially thick fur.
Dark amber to golden brown.
The Aidi has a muscular appearance. Its muzzle is shortish and conical. The ears are medium length and carried half-dropped and away from the cheeks. The top line slopes gently towards the croup. The tail is carried low when the dog is inactive and more jauntily when it is in motion.
Good to know
The Aidi is best known for its ability to guard livestock. It is a supreme watchdog and although it is edgy at the best of times it is fearless and will not back down from confrontations. It is also a sensitive breed of dog. The prospective owner of an Aidi must be mindful of this dog’s complicated character.
An affectionate dog is the Aidi but it is also sensitive and easily unnerved. This breed of dog requires its owner to be patient and loving.
A dog that likes to play and to interact but also one that startles easily. The Aidi does not enjoy rough play and will not appreciate being teased.
This is a nervous dog. Among its family it will be calm and relaxed, but in a changing environment or unfamiliar territory it will be very much on edge.
An intelligent dog, the Aidi will easily get bored. It requires almost constant attention and interaction.
The Aidi is a herding dog rather than a hunter. It is not likely to exhibit predatory behaviour.
Fearful / wary of strangers
Aidis tend to be very wary of new people and take some time to warm to a visitor in their home. They may even adopt some sort of defensive behaviour.
The Aidi is very dependent on its owner. It needs to feel safe in order to stay relaxed and well-behaved. This dog prefers to shadow its owner.
Behaviour of the Atlas Mountain Dog (Aidi)
The Aidi tends to follow its owner from room to room when indoors. It is a dog that hates (and fears) solitude.
Easy to train / obedience
A firmness and confidence are needed of a trainer for this dog. The Aidi is easily distracted and easily bored. If subjected to harsh training the dog is likely to become painfully shy and withdrawn.
Because this dog is always alert and has a strong instinct to protect it tends to bark at anything it thinks is threatening the household.
Tendency to run away
Well-trained dogs of this breed will respond to a recall.