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Aidi image
Tricolour Aidi
Other namesAïdi
Atlas Mountain Dog
Atlas Shepherd Dog
Kabyle Dog
Berber Dog
OriginNorth Africa
Dog (domestic dog)

The Aidi is a dog breed native to the Atlas Mountains of North Africa and is used as a livestock guardian, protecting herds of sheep and goats.[1] It is most commonly found in Morocco, which holds the standard under the Fédération Cynologique Internationale.[2][3][4] The Aidi is also found in Algeria, Tunisia and Libya.[5][6] It possesses hunting capabilities and good scenting ability. In Morocco, it is often paired in hunting with the Sloughi, which chases down prey that the Aidi has located by scent.[7]


Female Aidi in a dog show.

The Aidi is a breed native to the Atlas Mountains of North Africa.[8] Despite being initially referred to as the Atlas Sheepdog in the 1963 standard, the Aidi has never been used as a sheepdog, and this misnomer was corrected in 1969. Known for its courage, the Aidi has traditionally lived and worked in the Atlas Mountains, providing protection to its owner and property against wildcats, predators, and strangers.[9]

The breed has also been referred to as the Berber, named after the Berber tribes who utilized the dog. The Aidi shares some ancestral resemblance with the pariah dog. In the past, it played a vital role as a protector for desert nomad tribes, with the most alert and aggressive dogs stationed around the camp perimeter at night. Historically, the Aidi has not received the same level of admiration from the tribes as breeds like the Sloughi, which are considered noble. However, a club has recently been formed in Morocco to preserve the breed's purity due to its significant contributions as a protector, hunter, police dog, and companion.[10]

While the Aidi has primarily been used as a working dog, it has also gained popularity as a household pet in urban areas. When given sufficient tasks and exercise, the Aidi can adapt well to an urban environment and make a content and fulfilled companion.[11]

In terms of color and flock-guarding abilities, the Aidi shares many characteristics with other livestock guardian dog breeds.[citation needed]


Head of the Aidi.

Standing 52–62 cm (20–24 in) in height and weighing around 55 pounds (25 kg), the Aidi's lean, muscular body is protected by a coarse, thick, weather-resistant coat with a heavy plumed tail. The coat is heavy and soft. The head is bear-like and in proportion to the rest of the body. The breed has a tapered muzzle with a black or brown nose that usually matches the coat. Their jaws are strong with tight black or brown lips. The medium-sized ears are tipped forward and drop slightly. The eyes are medium, with a dark color and dark rims. Coat colours are white, black, black and white, pale red, and tawny.[12][9] In some regions of Morocco, the ears are cropped and the tail is docked.[3][13]

Head of the Aidi.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Aidi Breed Information: History, Health, Pictures, and more". Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  2. ^ "Aïdi, le chien de l'Atlas: une race 100% nationale méconnue des Marocains". Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  3. ^ a b "AÏDI (CHIEN DE MONTAGNE DE L'ATLAS)". Fédération Cynologique Internationale. Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  4. ^ "Breed Standards : Atlas Mountain Dog". United Kennel Club. Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  5. ^ "Aïdi : caractère & éducation, santé & entretien, prix..." (in French). Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  6. ^ Espérandieu, G.; Coppé, G.; E. B; Chaker, S. (1994-02-01). "Chien". Encyclopédie berbère (in French) (13): 1919–1924. doi:10.4000/encyclopedieberbere.2236. ISSN 1015-7344.
  7. ^ Fogle, Bruce. The New Encyclopedia of the Dog. London: Doring Kindersley, 2003. ISBN 978-0-7894-6130-8
  8. ^ "Breed Standards : Atlas Mountain Dog | United Kennel Club (UKC)". Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  9. ^ a b Grandjean, Dominique DVM. The Royal Canin Dog Encyclopedia. Paris, France; Aniwa Publishing, 2005.
  10. ^ Hall, Sian. Dogs of Africa. Loveland, CO: Alpine Blue Ribbon Books, 2003. ISBN 978-1-57779-039-6
  11. ^ De Prisco, Andrew and Johnson, James B. The Mini-Atlas of Dog Breeds. Neptune City, NJ: TFH Publications, 1990. ISBN 978-0-86622-091-0
  12. ^ American Rare Breed Association Aidi Standard
  13. ^ Alderton, David; Morgan, Tracy (2002-06-01). Dogs: Smithsonian Handbooks (Revised ed.). Dk Pub. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-7894-8981-4.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)

Further reading[edit]

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