The Atlas Mountain Dog, also known as Aidi, Chien de l'Atlas, Atlas Mountain Dog, Aïdi, Chien de Montagne de l'Atlas, and Kabyle Doghas, existed for four or five millenia in the mountains of North Africa where he was used to guard flocks and property against jackals, bears, wolves, and other predators. Always alert and ready for action, Aidi was especially valued for his independent thinking, loyalty to his duty, and a remarkable ability to detect the presence of snakes. Faithful, affectionate, docile and very protective of his family, Aidi is somewhat aloof with strangers, but is never aggressive.
This breed is a classic flock guard, although a bit smaller and with less coat due to his semi-arid environment. The Atlas dogs have a very keen sense of smell, able to track even in the sands of the Sahara and join in the caravan's hunts. They are paired with a Sloughi, the Atlas dog finding the game by scent, then the Sloughi slipped for the chase. This desert dog has an amazing ability to leap from one brittle rock to another brittle rock and race at an impressive speed over shifting ground.
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The current standard supplied by the Maroccan Kennel Association describes the thick, harsh coat and heavy plume of the tail as a sign of purity of the breed. In some regions, the ears are cropped and the tail is docked, but the natural condition is the only one recommended by the standard. With the formation of the Atlas Mountain dog club of Marocco (Le Club du Chien de l'Atlas) the Aidi's future seems pretty secure.
Photo courtesy of Les Chiens des montagnes de l'Atlas
Colors: 1. Fawn (from sandy to deep red). This coat can be brindled with black overlay. 2. Brown (from beige to dark brown). 3. Black. All these coats can be spotted with white. The marking ars similar to that of the St. Bernard. Harlequin, blue and isabella are not acceptable colors.
Grooming Requirements: Atlas Mountain Dog's coarse and weather-resistant coat needs weekly brushing.
Shedding: Heavy twice a year
Personality: Faithful, affectionate, docile and very protective of his family. Alert, fearless and dependable in the presence of danger.
Social skills: The Aidi is good with the members of his pack.
Suitability for Children: Gentle and protective with children of his family.
Train Ability: Highly tractable with extremely protective instincts.
Health & Behavioral Issues: No known genetic diseases.