: Dog Breed Profile
The Atlas Shepherd is a robust, rustic, powerful, muscular dog, with a strong constitution, but without heaviness. It has a bushy and thick coat that protects it as much from harsh climatic conditions as from attacks by predators during combat.
Other names: Aïdi, Atlas Dog, Atlas Mountain Dog, Atlas Mountain Dog
History of the breed
The Aidi is a very old breed originating from the mountains and plateaus of North Africa. It’s mainly present in the Atlas of Morocco. Contrary to what its name might suggest, the Atlas Shepherd is not intended for herding.
It has always accompanied the nomadic mountain populations for which it provides care and protection. If he watches over their herds and deters any attack attempts by predators, It does not lead them. The Atlas Shepherd breed was definitively recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale on June 13, 1963.
- Its hair: mid-length (about 6 cm in length), thick, rough. Short and thin on the breed and the ears. Forming a mane on the neck and below the throat in the male.
- Its color: fawn (washed sand to dark red) brindle or charcoal, with or without a coat, brown (beige to burnt bread) with or without a darker coat, black with or without white plumes.
- Its head: strong, broad, well proportioned, conical in shape, without wrinkles.
- Its ears: of medium length, with slightly rounded ends, carried semi-drooping, straightened forward when the dog is awake, backwards when it is at rest.
- Its eyes: medium in size, dark in color (dark amber to golden brown), displaying a lively, attentive, and very observant expression.
- Its body: the top line presents a slightly plunging profile, the back is broad and very muscular, the croup slightly inclined, the chest very long and well let down.
- Its tail: long, very bushy, set in line with the line of the croup, carried low at rest. Carried as a whip and more cheerfully when the dog is in action.
Behavior With Others
The Atlas Shepherd is a loyal, faithful dog who knows how to show Its affection to Its master and Its family. It’s much more suspicious of strangers. Its instinct of guard and protection is, in fact, very developed. It faces danger with great courage, which It strives to analyze thanks to Its observant and attentive character.
The Aidi being a rather independent dog with a strong personality, It must be educated in a firm and fairway from an early age.
By imposing Ithimself as the leader of the pack in Its eyes, while being gentle towards It, we thus ensure the company of a balanced dog, versatile and pleasant to live with.
The Atlas Shepherd is not really cut out for apartment living. It can adapt to an urban lifestyle if it is frequently walked and regularly invited to exercise in nature. A house with a fenced garden would suit him perfectly.
Health & Maintenance
The Atlas Shepherd is a rustic dog, resistant, and in good health. Its coat gives it very good protection against the cold and heat that characterize its original mountain regions. The breed does not show a predisposition to any congenital disease.
The life expectancy of an Atlas Shepherd is, on average, between 10 years and 11 years.
The Atlas Shepherd undergoes 2 moults per year during which he loses a lot of hair. It only requires basic maintenance, but regular.
It is recommended to brush the dog on a weekly base. During the moulting period, stranding must be done daily. Its eyes, ears, and pads should be inspected regularly to detect and remove any debris and prevent infections.