Aidi Dog Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

Aidi Dog Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

Aidi is a purebred medium-sized dog breed of the guard dog group. The Aidi, an indigenous Moroccan dog breed, is speculated to be genuinely ancient. Development theories are very divided between experts and archaeologists. Most of them think that the Aidi may have been developed from the local dogs’ gene pool through a natural mixing and selection process in the region. 

The Aidi was mistakenly classified as the ‘Atlas Sheepdog” in 1963 because of the breed’s thick coat that bears many resemblances to that of sheepdogs. This error was corrected by the breed standard, which was drawn up and accepted in 1969.

Although they are common in Morocco, they are quite rare to find in other countries and haven’t spread to the extent many other breeds have. The breed was not very well-known until the 1960s when the Aidi became more recognized in the North-African region after establishing breed standards. They are most common in their original homelands, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia – and are scarce in other countries.

Several other names are used for Aidi dogs, some of which refer to the incorrectly classified Atlas Sheepdog. The names include Atlas Mountain Dog, Atlas Shepherd Dog, Berber Dog, Chien de l’Atlas, Chien de Montagne de l’Atlas, and Kabyle Dog, with Berber dog mostly used.

The Aidi is a medium-sized dog, standing between 20 to 24 inches tall and around 50 to 55 pounds, with a fuzzy, thick, double coat to protect them from extreme weather and predators. These dogs are experts at protecting herds of sheep and other livestock from jackals and other predators. They are also used on hunting trips due to their excellent scenting ability. 

 Early socialization is essential for these dogs. They are friendly, but they can be a little bit aloof and territorial without exposure to strangers and animals. An Aidi may very well need an only-dog household to be at their happiest. Aidi dogs have 5 to 8 puppies per litter once a year, and their lifespan is 10 to 12 years.

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What is the History of Aidi Dog?

The origins of the Aidi dog breed have been traced back to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, where they guarded and protected the goats and sheep of nomadic Berber tribesmen. Aidi dogs proved most valuable at night when the tribe set up a camp.

The tribesmen would take the most aggressive and alert dogs from the pack, setting them as watchdogs at intervals around the camp. Aidi dogs were big and strong enough to deter almost all intruders, whether animal or human. 

When Mohammed’s armies invaded modern-day Spain in the 8th century, Berbers went too, taking their Aidi dogs with them. Thus, some suggested that the Aidi breed is one of the descendants of the Great Pyrenees (Pyrenean Mountain Dog).

Since then, the Aidi dog’s popularity has grown, and the Aidi breed has gradually become more popular as a companion and family dog. However, their services as guardians of livestock and protectors continued, and their excellent sense of smell made them excellent hunters too. 

What are the Breed Traits and Characteristics of Aidi?

The Aidi dog is always watchful and protective. Their canine behavior is unspoiled, and they communicate with their owners using body language, facial expressions, and different ear movements. Their natural survival instinct and high intelligence enable them to deal with various circumstances calmly.

Aidi dogs are an affectionate and playful breed, and their high level of intelligence usually makes them easy to train. Their innate protective skills make them great companions, guard dogs, and watchdogs. However, they are known to be a bit sensitive, so training that centers around positive reinforcement is more successful than one that employs punishments. Because of their history and energy level, Berber Dogs generally do far better in a home with space to run and roam and an active family that engages them regularly.

Aidi 

Characteristics

Temperament

The Aidi temperament is cheerful and relaxed, making the breed a good choice for families with kids. The Aidi will not typically herd and protect livestock as a companion dog for families. Thus, ensuring your furry Moroccan friend remains healthy puts the responsibility of providing adequate physical exercise and mental stimulation. Berber Dogs are playful, and having a large backyard and one or two more family dogs will benefit their health.

Adaptability Level

Their exposure to harsh conditions and treatment over the centuries means they have evolved into a tough, rugged breed with a highly attuned survival instinct. However, Aidi do not adapt well to cold climates, and restricted spaces like apartments are not for this breed.

Sensitivity Level

Aidi Dogs don’t like an irregular daily routine, noisy household, and frequent guest visits. This breed’s emotional level reflects their owner’s feelings, and they don’t handle punishments well. Some dogs handle moderate punishment very well, while others crumble apart at a dirty look. Berber Dogs can sense the emotions of their human family members, showing extra affection when it senses emotional concerns.

Affection Level

When appropriately raised, this breed can be very affectionate and loyal to the family.

Overall Friendliness

Aidi dogs are not naturally friendly. However, with socialization and loads of love and affection, they can develop into family-oriented, loyal, and friendly dogs. They are equally tender and loyal towards everyone in the family, adults and kids alike. Though cautious with strangers, they may not be warm in receiving visitors, and their affection doesn’t go that far.

Kid-Friendly 

Although parents should supervise all interactions between canines and children, the Aidi dogs are exceptionally patient and playful with children and can typically be trusted to be gentle.

Pet-Friendly

Aidi Dogs are wary and instinctively hostile when faced with perceived danger. With proper training and socialization, Berber Dogs will coexist in peace with other pets, and they may even have problems with any other dog who gets in their space at the puppy stage. That territorial nature remains as they mature without socialization.

Exercise Needs

Aidi dogs are very active, so they need 30 to 60 minutes of daily physical exercise. It can be a simple exercise, such as taking a walk or playing catch. Regardless of what form the activity takes, it is an essential daily requirement to keep your Aidi healthy and prevent common joint conditions like hip dysplasia.

Playfulness Level

Aidi Dogs’ extra playful nature makes them a good companion for kids. Children can play games with the Aidi dog without scaring them.

Energy Levels

Berber Dogs are high-energy dogs. Active lifestyles make them happy.

Trainability Level

Aidi Dogs’ quick mind is one of this dog breed’s best characteristics. Thus, training an Aidi to sit, stay, heel, etc., is typically not challenging. However, Berber Dogs are sensitive canines and only receptive to training provided with loads of encouragement and praise. 

Intelligence Level

Aidi Dogs’ fierce intelligence level accounts for this breed’s brilliance as herding dogs. It also plays a significant role in their reputation as affectionate, loyal companion dogs and family pets and great companion dogs.

Barking Tendency

Aidi Dogs were bred to guard and bark to warn their owners of potential risks, and they still fulfill that role today. Top reasons for barking include protection, alarm, and fear.

Shedding Level

The Aidi breed’s shedding level is low. Regular brushing is enough, and maybe daily brushing during shedding seasons.

What is the Average Lifespan of the Aidi Dog?

The Aidi breed is one of several ancient breeds grouped under the Africanis. These dogs evolved over thousands of years, serving nomadic livestock owners. As they settled in different areas, their dogs that served as herders, guard dogs, watchdogs, and hunters adapted to their environments. The Aidi lived in harsh conditions, and their life expectancy now is significantly better than in ancient times.

The Aidi breed developed after their owners settled in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. DNA determined that these dogs share similar DNA, and while some call them breeds, others say these dogs were not selectively bred and should be called a landrace instead of a breed. 

Domesticated Berber Dogs’ lifespan is 10 to 12 years. Overall, the Africanis group of breeds is expected to live longer than in the wild. The expected lifespans of some of the African dog breeds are listed below.

  • Africanis 10 to 12 years
  • Sloughi 10 – 15 years
  • Basenji 10 – 12 years
  • Boerboel 9 – 11 years
  • Azawakh 10 – 12 years

What is the Average Maintenance Cost for Aidi Dog?

First-time Aidi owners should consider all the long-term expenses of purchasing or rescuing an Aidi before doing it. It is a good idea to be prepared for the financial responsibilities of bringing a new pup home.

The typical annual costs of having an Aidi:

  • US: Average $650 USD
  • Australia: Average $1,500 AUD
  • United Kingdom: Average ₤ 1,183

The most regular annual costs for Aidi dogs consist of:

  • Food items
  • Veterinary care
  • Vaccinations
  • Preventive medicine
  • Toys
  • Pet Insurance
  • Pet Supplies

Grooming the Aidi requires no more than frequent brushing, and it will not affect the maintenance costs of keeping a healthy dog. Thus, professional grooming will not form part of the maintenance costs of Aidi. 

The Aidi breed’s exposure to the harsh environment helped its development of a tremendous natural immunity to external and internal parasites. Aidi enjoy overall health most of the time, although they are predisposed to several diseases.

Berber Dogs are not prone to drool more than is natural for any dog breed.

What are the nutritional needs of Berber Dogs?

The nutritional needs of an Aidi Dog include high levels of specific nutrients. The essential nutrients for Aidi are listed below:

  • Protein: Aidi Dogs need natural animal protein, valuable for the amino acids they contain essential for Aidi’s health. Equally important is the fact that protein builds lean muscles and provides energy.
  • Fat: Animal protein provides adequate fat, an additional energy source that boosts the Aidi Dog’s metabolism. However, there is a fine line between enough and too much. Excessive fat levels in the dog’s daily diet could result in weight gain and, ultimately, obesity. Most importantly, adults and senior Aidi need lower fat levels than puppies.
  • Carbohydrates: Although carbs are not essential nutrients, they are crucial energy sources. Giving the Aidi Dog sufficient carbs will provide energy, encouraging the body’s protein absorption to build lean muscle. Beware, though, too much carbohydrate can lead to obesity.
  • DHA: DHA is one of the components of omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes proper eye and brain development in Aidi Dog puppies, and DHA develops cognitive development in puppies and slows cognitive decline in older dogs. Furthermore, omega fatty acids benefit aging dogs by treating chronic kidney disease and canine arthritis. Omega-3 oils improve the coat health of Aidi.
  • Micronutrient: Taurine is one micronutrient that aids heart health, and other valuable micronutrients for the promotion of strong joints in Aidi Dogs are chondroitin and glucosamine.
  • Minerals: Beneficial minerals for an Africani’s growth include a healthy balance of phosphorus and calcium. Pre- and probiotics and chelated minerals provide additional health to the diets of Aidi Dogs.

Choosing the right dog food for your Aidi is never easy. Aspects to consider include Aidi’s life stage, overall health, metabolism, activity level, and any existing allergies. Below is a suggestion of Premium-quality dry dog food available in three versions for Aidi puppies, adults, and seniors. The benefits of BLUE Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food to help your Aidi thrive are listed below.

  • HEALTHY MUSCLE DEVELOPMENT: High-quality protein plus protein meal and egg help promote strong muscles. Small breed formulas are precisely blended to help meet small and toy breeds’ higher energy needs. Large breed formulas feature L-carnitine to help promote lean muscle mass.
  • STRONG BONES AND TEETH: Calcium, phosphorus, and essential vitamins help promote strong bones and teeth. Small breed formulas feature special “small-bite” kibble for easier chewing and tartar removal. Large breed formulas contain glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint function and mobility.
  • HEALTHY SKIN, COAT, AND IMMUNE SYSTEM: Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids help promote a shiny coat and healthy skin. Essential vitamins, chelated minerals, and important antioxidants help support the immune system.

What are the common health problems of Aidi Dog?

Aidi Dogs are a healthy breed, but regular veterinarian checkups remain essential. 

The amount of time Berber Dogs spend outdoors increases their risk of heartworm, and preventative care is crucial. Aidi Dogs are predisposed to several health problems, some of which are listed below.

  • Hip dysplasia is a deformation that occurs and develops as Aidi puppies grow. It is caused by loose joints that prevent the ball part of one bone from sliding smoothly in the socket of the other joint bone. Instead, it grinds and rubs in the joint, causing painful wear and tear damage as the Aidi grows and becomes heavier. Although it could start in puppyhood, it usually only becomes evident in adult dogs, making annual medical examinations crucial.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: The most common cause of lameness in the forelimbs of active breeds like the Aidi.
  • Cataracts: A common cause of blindness in Berber Dogs. A cataract is an opacity on the lens of the eye, which causes difficulty in seeing. The eyes of the dog will have a cloudy appearance. Cataracts usually occur in old age and can be treated by surgically removing the cataract.

Aidi owners are recommended to have the following three health tests done:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • PRA Optigen DNA Test
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation

How to train an Aidi Dog?

The Aidi is bound to its human family and territory, making it a breed of admirable loyalty. They will follow their owners on a walk for many hours without being on a leash and are obedient and willing to please. Training dogs of the Aidi breed is easy if the owner respects the dog’s tendency to be sensitive. Teaching methods must include encouragement and praise every step of the way. Their high levels of intelligence make the training process a rewarding and bonding one.

Berber Dogs have natural hunting and guarding skills. Traditionally Aidi was bred to guard humans, livestock, other dogs, and domestic animals. It has a natural tendency to guard and protect livestock, and once it is domesticated, the protectiveness is transferred from the livestock to its human family. Furthermore, hunting skills are part of their lives, and their inborn prey drive might trigger instincts to chase cats and smaller dogs.

When a family adopts a new Berber Dogs puppy, the first training to provide is potty training, which may seem an overwhelming challenge. However, following the steps below might ease the process.

What is the First Step of Potty Training?

  1. Start Here: Take your Aidi outside every hour that you can and wait there with your puppy for a couple of minutes to see if they need to go. Doing this will limit the risks of your tiny furry friend accidentally making a mess inside. It is essential to praise them and even offer a small treat if the trip was successful. You will soon be able to extend the time lapses between potty visits outside.
  2. Learn the signs: The sooner you can recognize the signs that your Aidi needs the potty, the better. Common indications include sniffing the flooring, circling, squatting, barking, and sitting at the door leading outside.
  3. Use the same spot: It is essential to take the Aidi puppy through the same exit way every time and to the same place to go potty. The Aidi is smart enough to learn the potty rules if the procedures become routine. If the Aidi can quickly get out through the allocated exit and has access to the same spot used before, it won’t be long before there aren’t accidental indoor puddles or poops and only one outdoor area to clean up.

Where to Buy or Adopt an Aidi?

Aidi Dogs are incredibly rare and, therefore, hard to find, except in their countries of origin, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.  If you purchase your puppy from a reputable breeder, you can expect to pay $450 to $1,100. 

Breeders will have one or both parents on-site so that you can get a feel for their temperament. Aidi puppies are often peppy and playful—all should have cheery expressions and kind eyes. These dogs are not registerable by the AKC.

It might take some time to find a legitimate breeder, and travel may very well be in the cards. Steer clear of backyard breeding by avoiding sales sites and ad pages. When you select a breeder, make sure they have proof of successful, healthy litters with any documentation necessary.

The Africanis Assistance Network NPC is a reputable Facebook group that handles requests and inquiries about breeders, adoptions, and rescues of African dog breeds. Although you can buy or adopt Aidi from abroad, not all countries allow importing adopted dogs.

Those whose countries allow the importation of Aidi may find the logistics challenging. Procedures include obtaining certification from a vet to prove the Aidi is fully vaccinated and providing all the additional required veterinary documents before the travel

Furthermore, your country must approve the veterinarian to authorize the importation, and it will be your responsibility to ensure you use the services of a certified vet.

What are the Rescue Clubs for Aidi Dogs?

Even though the breed is slightly uncommon, you might be able to find an Aidi or Aidi mix at a local rescue or shelter. These dogs come with proper vetting, spay or neuter, and a history of health issues. You might not find Aidi puppies as quickly, but you can find an adult one in desperate need of love.

If you adopt, you can expect to pay $150 to $300, which covers vaccinations, spay or neuter, and other basic care.  The Africanis Assistance Network NPC is a reputable Facebook group that handles requests and inquiries about reputable rescue facilities with available African Dogs. It is important to become familiar with the importation laws of your country if you fall in love with an Aidi dog in another country seeking a loving home.

How to Name an Aidi?

Naming an Aidi dog might require different criteria than new Aidi parents might expect. It is never the actual name the pup responds to; instead, it is the sound and how it is said. There might be a specific inspiration like history, a movie, nature, or the night sky, and in the case of the Aidi, why not use their origins as inspiration. 

The building blocks for naming an Aidi include the significance of the sound. The Aidi’s name will mean something to the humans in the dog’s life, but as far as your canine companion goes, only the sound matters. Aidi Dogs respond best to two-syllable names that are not short enough to be confused with single-syllable command words like “sit,” stay,” “come,” and “down.” However, the names should not be long enough to become puzzling.

Choose a name that could sound different in regular interaction than when calling your Aidi. It might be a good idea to call out a name you like and check your Aidi pup’s reaction. Be creative use different tones for each syllable. Don’t rush; try several, and if your favorite name is too long or too short, add or remove bits until you have composed the perfect unique sound that your precious pup will recognize from a distance.

Below are several African names to play with.

Male 

Aidi Names

Information About The Name

Mustafa

Means “The chosen one” in Moroccan 

Maleek

Meaning “Angel of God” in Moroccan

Beni

A place in Morocco

Female

Aidi Names

Information About The Name

Aidi 

Why not? Imagine the sound you can produce if you call your furry friend Aidi. Think Ah-heee-dy

Zweeni

Means “ My beauty.” A Middle-Eastern word.

Zohra

Means “Flower Blossom”  in Moroccan

What Dog Breeds are Similar to the Aidi?

Many African dog breeds have similar characteristics and traits which link them back to their ancient origins in a group called Africanis. However, some of these breeds with ancient origins are scarce, and some countries may not allow the importation of African dogs. People considering adopting or rescuing a pup similar to the Aidi can see a few options below.

Africanis: The Aidi dogs have Moroccan origins, but the Africanis have origins in South Africa. The two breeds share similar heights, but the muscular body of the Africanis weighs about 45 pounds more than the Moroccan Aidi. Both breeds have the same expected life span and litter size, but the Aidi requires less grooming. The Aidi’s coat is longer than that of the Africanis.

Basenji: Hunting dogs from the Congo Basin are part of the Aidi group. Like the Aidi, the Basenji served as hunters for native tribes for centuries. The two breeds differ in size and height, but Aidi and Basenjis have the same life spans, litter size, and grooming needs.

Sloughi: The Sloughi and the Aidi share Morroco as their country of origin. However, the Sloughis are greyhound look-a-likes, standing taller and with a shorter coat. The Sloughi’s short coat makes it low maintenance compared to the longer Aidi Coat. The most significant difference, which might explain why they are easier obtainable and also significantly more expensive than Aidis is the fact that the Sloughi breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.