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Chien de l'Atlas Breed Description

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Breed Organization

United Kennel Club (UKC)

Native Country
Morocco

Other Names
Aidi, Kabyle Dog, Atlas Mountain Dog, Atlas Sheepdog, Berger de l'Atlas, Chien de Montagne de l'Atlas

Life Expectancy
Approximatel 12-13 Years

Litter Size
No litter information available.

Breed Group
Flock Gaurdian

General Description

The Aidi is a Moroccan dog breed used as a flock guard, protecting herds of sheep and goats. It also possesses hunting capabilities and good scenting ability. In its native Morocco it is often paired in hunting with the Sloughi, which chases down prey that the Aidi has located by scent.

Standing 21 to 25 inches (53-63.5 cm) 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 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 colors are white, black, black and white, pale red, and tawny.

Breed Standard

Head: Like that of a bear. Dry. Size in proportion to the body. Flat, broad skull. Stop not pronounced. Tapered muzzle. Black or brown nose, matching coat color. Strong jaws. Black or brown tight lips.
Ears: Medium size with rounded tips, semi-drop.
Eyes: Medium size. Dark color. Dark, slightly oblique rims.
Body: Powerful. Muscular neck without dewlap. Broad, very deep chest. Broad, muscular back. Ribs slightly sprung. Powerful, arched loin. Belly tucked up.
Tail: Long, carried down, reaching the hock joint, in the form of a scimitar at rest. Very thick fur (plume).
Hair: Very thick, slightly long (6 cm) except on the head and ears where it is very short and not as thick. Mane at the neck (particularly impressive in dogs).
Coat: Wide range of colors: white, tawny, fawn, red, black and white, fawn and white, shades of gray, tri-color, etc…
Size: 52 to 62 cm. (20.5-24.5 in).
Weight: Approx. 30 kg. (66 lb)


History

No sheepdog breed exists in the Atlas mountains. This Moroccan dog, probably originating in the Sahara, lives in the mountains and defends his owner and property from wildcats, but he has never worked as a flock guard. This explains why his 1963 standard, which was published under the name Atlas Sheepdog, was nullified in 1969. Some Aidi's were introduced in France in 1992.


Behavior

This very rustic breed has remarkable power and agility. He is always on the alert and ready for action. He will protect his owner and loved ones from predators and strangers with great courage. This breed can even sniff out snakes. The sensitive, lively dog must receive firm, but kind training.

Function

Gaurd Dog, Pet.


No known genetic diseases

The Aidi has a weatherproof coat that sheds heavily twice a year. The hair grows to about 6 cm; it would need to be brushed weekly to remove burrs and dirt. Regular brushing distributes the natural oil of the coat therefore promoting its good condition. Coat must be brushed more often during the shedding season to hasten the shedding process. Bathing the dog should be done twice or thrice a year so as not to remove the weatherproofing of the coat.



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