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The Aidi dog, also referred to as the Berber dog due to their connection with the Berber people of Africa, was developed in the Atlas mountains of North Africa which run through the countries of Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, and Morocco. These multipurpose canines were employed as both herd guardians to the sheep and goats found in the region and as hunting and scenting dogs, often sniffing out prey for the Sloughi, a swift sighthound. They tend to be very independent and intelligent dogs with protective but sensitive natures who are best served by early obedience training and socialization that is continued throughout their lives.
Aidi dogs are used in North Africa to locate prey so that the swift Sloughi dogs in the area can chase it down. Like other canines, they have nasal passages with more olfactory receptors than the six million found in the human nasal passage, greater by a factor of at least ten to twenty times, giving them a much more defined sense of smell, which is often even more developed in scenting dogs like the Aidi. They are also much better at analyzing the odors that they locate as the part of the brain that is devoted to analyzing odors has been found to be around forty times larger in canines than it is in humans. This exceptional scenting ability can be a useful skill to hone for the canine sport of competitive scent work.
Aidis are highly intelligent and extremely trainable, particularly if their training begins early in their lives. They are very sensitive dogs making them highly responsive to the praise and positive training methods that are utilized when training a Search and Rescue dog. As livestock guardians, Aidis need to be very alert and attentive, and this natural trait is quite helpful when searching for missing or trapped individuals, and they are extremely agile canines, giving them an advantage in many search situations. This activity is more likely to be an expensive endeavor as the owner or handler are often responsible for all or part of the cost required to train both the dog and themselves. Volunteer search teams may also be asked to foot the bill for certain types of equipment and travel in some cases.
The Nordic sport of Skijor was originally designed as a way to help Arctic sled pulling breeds such as Samoyed dogs, Malamutes, and Huskies to prepare for certain sledding tasks, but any dog over thirty five pounds and relatively resistant to cold can safely participate in this sport when the proper precautions are taken. The dense coat of the Aidi protects them in all but the most inclement weather, although booties to protect the pads of the paws from damage are still a good idea in many cases. Aidis are typically very agile and alert dogs that enjoy rigorous activity and thrive when they have a job to do, making them well suited to this exciting activity.