Aïdi or Atlas Mountain Dog - Origin, Characteristics and Care

Aïdi or Atlas mountain dog: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. Coming from North Africa, the Aïdi or...

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Coming from North Africa, the Aïdi or Atlas Mountain Dog has a vast history behind it. That's because it's one of the oldest dog breeds in the world.

These slender yet sturdy dogs embody the very spirit of bravery and ferocity, as they are renowned for taking on the most fearsome predators to defend the livestock they usually guard in the mountains of the Atlas. If you want to know all the characteristics of the Aïdi, its care and its possible he alth problems, read on and discover everything on PlanèteAnimal.


  • Africa
  • Morocco

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group II

Physical Characteristics

  • Rustic
  • Muscular
  • Proportional
  • Short ears


  • Large


  • 55-70

Adult Weight

  • 25-45

Life expectancy

  • 12-14

Recommended physical activity

  • High


  • Balanced
  • Society
  • Very loyal
  • Active
  • Quiet
  • Docile

Ideal for

  • House
  • Shepherd
  • The guard


  • Harness

Recommended climate

  • Temperate

Hair type

  • Medium
  • Big

Origin of the Aïdi or the Atlas Mountain Dog

The Aïdi is a breed of dog originating from North Africa, more precisely from Morocco. These dogs have traditionally served as shepherds of the flocks belonging to the farmers of the northern Atlas, where it has been popular for hundreds of years, being a truly ancient breed, with a long history in its region of origin.

However, its functions as a shepherd differ greatly from other breeds of shepherds in the rest of the world, because in addition to guiding the herds, the Aïdi is responsible for fiercely protecting it from possible predators. It is also common to see them as guard dogs of homes and farms throughout the Atlas.

Characteristics of the Aïdi or Atlas Mountain Dog

The Atlas Mountain Dog is a large dog, because according to the official breed standard, its height is usually around 52-62 centimeters and its weight is between 33 and 45 kilograms. The usual life expectancy for this breed is between 12 and 14 years.

Aïdi's body is rustic and has developed muscles, however, its appearance is light and balanced, and they don't look like a hound at all. Its head is quite distinctive, very thin and distinctly triangular. On her, his medium-dark eyes and black nose stand out.The ears, of medium length, hang down to the sides and have rounded ends.

An Aïdi's hair is semi-long and very dense, showing greater length on the neck, throat and tail, while on the face and ears it is shorter, fine and sparse.

Colors of the Aïdi or dog of the Atlas Mountains

The coat of the Atlas Mountain Dog can have different shades: white, sable, fawn, reddish, brindle, black and white, white and fawn more or less carbonado, as well as tricolor.

One of the most common patterns is that consisting of distributed spots forming a blanket and a hat, separated by a band with a gradually widening line. The nose and the lips are well pigmented, both absolutely black.

Atlas Mountain Puppy Dog

The Aïdi as a puppy has no particularities compared to any other dog of the same age. They are very docile dogs, especially with their families, although it is common for them to be wary of strangers from an early age.

As is the case with all breeds, it is recommended to start with a basic education as early as possible, because although docile, many dogs become rebellious if left unchecked. In addition, it is necessary to maintain a certain discipline to prevent them from becoming capricious by teaching them to coexist in a respectful way with those around them. Finally, if he is bored or inactive for a long time, he can become impulsive, restless, destructive and barking.

Character of the Aïdi or the Atlas Mountain Dog

If there is one word to define the character of the Atlas Mountain Dog, it is “loy alty”. These dogs are extremely faithful and very loyal to their guardians, whom they will fiercely defend from harm. They are also extremely affectionate and docile dogs both with their guardian (reference person) and with all the members of their family.

The Aïdi is a dog that is characterized by its guardian qualities, because it is courageous and implacable in the face of danger. In this sense, it also highlights its ability to detect potential threats and dangers, so it is a dog that is always very alert.

Care for the Aïdi or the Atlas Mountain Dog

Given the characteristics we have mentioned, such as the fact that it is a guard dog traditionally used to living in rural areas, this breed requires some attention. To begin with, if you have an Aïdi at home, it is recommended to have a large open space, in which the animal can play and run at will, because they are very active dogs who need to do a lot of exercise. daily exercise. They need to be physically and mentally active, so it is recommended that they have toys or entertainment available to them that facilitate this.

For all this, it often happens that they adapt in a difficult way to life in the city. Likewise, it is not advisable for them to be alone in houses without a garden or outdoor terrace for a long time. For good reason, their need to run and play will make them destructive or barking.

As for the daily care of Aïdis, it is necessary to monitor their diet, because they are very greedy and tend to gain weight easily. Regular brushing of their fur is also a must to avoid tangles and buildup of dead hair.

Education of the Aïdi or the Atlas Mountain Dog

The Aïdi is normally a very active and very obedient dog. This combination allows him to learn new tricks very easily. For this reason, it is such a popular dog as a working dog, because in addition to being very obedient, it is loyal, alert and very territorial, which makes it an ideal guard against strangers and predators.

Although he can be somewhat stubborn within his family circle, if we follow some basic guidelines regarding his upbringing and adopt he althy habits, there will be no problem. The Aidi is one of the breeds that responds best to training, learning really complicated tricks without much effort. Likewise, he is a calm and very balanced dog. Of course, as with all dogs, to instruct it, it is advisable to use techniques such as positive reinforcement. Punishment, violence or yelling does not work with the Aïdi, or with any other dog, as it only generates fear, anxiety, stress and frustration in the dog.

Although he is balanced and obedient, it is important to note that he is also generally dominant with other dogs and very suspicious of strangers, so it is recommended that introductions and approaches are controlled and progressive.For this reason, it is vital to carry out a correct socialization of the dog as part of the education of the Aïdi, and the sooner the better!

Aïdi He alth or Atlas Mountain Dog

Aïdi are dogs who enjoy a good state of he alth, however, this does not exempt them from suffering from certain diseases. Some of the most frequent are those related to their large size, since they belong to the category of large or giant breeds. Some examples of these diseases are dysplasia of the hip, elbow, patella, and stomach torsion, among others.

Furthermore, a frequent check-up of their ears is recommended, as they tend to develop fungus due to their morphology, allowing them to retain more moisture, favoring the proliferation of harmful microorganisms . Of course, visits to the vet should not be neglected, they should be carried out regularly to protect your dog from various infections.Therefore, it is important to keep them vaccinated and wormed.

Adopt a dog from the Atlas Mountains

Apart from Morocco or North Africa, keep in mind that this breed of dog is not very common in Europe or Asia, America or Oceania. Therefore, if we are looking to adopt an Aïdi as part of our family, it will probably cost us quite a bit to locate a specimen of that breed.

However, don't give up before trying. It is possible to contact animal shelters and associations in your area to ask if there is a dog with the desired characteristics. If there isn't one, you can be patient and wait for the shelter to contact you as soon as it finds one or expand the search area.

It is always better to adopt a dog, because in this way we will give this animal the opportunity to come out of a life of abandonment and loneliness, giving it the opportunity to join our own family.

Photos of Aïdi or Atlas Mountain Dog

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