Moroccan/ Watch Dogs
Weight: 55 pounds (25 kg)
Height: 21 to 25 inches (53 to 63 cm)
Coat Type: Course, thick, weather-resistant coat
Aidi or the Chien de I'Atlas is an exceptional breed of watch dogs that originated in Moracco. This ancient breed resided in the mountains of North Africa for over 5000 years and is regarded as very dependable. Aidi dogs are renowned for their protective nature and were used to guard families from bears, wolves, jackals and other forms of danger. Due to their strong sense of smell, they are often paired with the Sloughi, so that they can scent the prey, while the Sloughi runs and chases for the kill. Because of this keen sense of smell, Aidi dogs were often used by nomadic caravans as well, to help them track prey in the Sahara desert.
A strong and courageous dog, Aidi resided in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, Libya and Algeria and has probably originated in or around the Sahara. It mainly worked in protecting its owner and property from predators, strangers and other wild creatures and never used to work as a sheep dog. Aidi dogs were mainly utilized by the indigenous people of North Africa residing west of the Nile valley, called Berber tribes. Hence, they are also sometimes referred to as Berber dogs as well. They bear some resemblance to the Pariah dog, a species with which they are believed to share an ancestry. Though Aidi dog was primarily used for the purpose of working as a protector and hunter, it has become more common as a house dog in the country today. For this reason, the Moroccans have recently formed a club to protect the purity of the breed.
Aidi dogs are lean and muscularly built, with heavily plumed tails and thick, coarse, weather-proof coats. They have a bear-like appearance and their head is in good proportion to the rest of the body. These dogs have strong jaws, with tapering muzzles and their nose is black or brown in color. Their medium-size ears droop slightly and are slightly tipped forward as well. However, their lips are drawn tightly and are brownish or blackish in color resembling the shade of their coat. The eyes of Aidi dogs are also medium-size and of a dark color, with dark rims. Their coat color varies from white and black to tawny and pale red.
The first thing that comes to your mind when speaking about Aidi dogs is that they have an inherently protective nature and have been used for centuries, for protecting nomadic tribes and other animals. Hence, they make excellent watch dogs and guard dogs. They are highly energetic, very powerful and extremely agile. In fact, Aidi dogs are ready to spring into action at any time. However, they need firm training and should especially be attended by a strong and firm alpha male, because they sometimes tend to get aggressive towards other people. Contrary to the popular beliefs, these dogs are wonderful family pets and are very gentle with children, particularly when socialized from a very young stage. Because of their high energy levels, they require ample amount of exercise and continuous mental stimulation.
The coarse weather-proof outer cover or coat of an Aidi dog sheds heavily two times every year. Moreover, the hair can grow to about 6 cm long. Hence, it requires regular brushing at least once every week, to remove any form of dirt or dust. The regular brushing of the coat is very essential to promote its good condition as well, as it distributes natural oil all over the coat. Moreover, during the shedding period, the coat should be brushed more frequently, to hasten the shedding process. Apart from this, the dog should be bathed and cleaned two or three times per year, so as to keep the weather-proof quality of the coat intact.