Activities For Aidis

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Introduction

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.

Scent Work

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
15 - 45 min
Items needed
Scent Marker
Reward
Activity description

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. 

Step
1
Working with scent
Hunting dogs in North Africa are typically tracking wild game such as fox, hare, and gazelle, but dogs that are preparing for traditional competitive scent work should searching for cotton swabs which have been adorned with scents like clove, birch, cypress, and anise instead. Most introductory scent work kits come equipped with scent markers that are typically utilized in competition, and these essential oils can also be found in many herbal shops, specialty stores, and even some grocery stores. It is usually recommended that you dilute the full strength oil to twenty-five percent of their original strength or less, and enclose items in containers to avoid ingestion. It is essential to store the full strength essential oils out of the reach of the reach of dogs as it can be toxic if ingested, particularly at full strength.
Step
2
Early steps
Choose five or six identical objects and scent each one of them, thereby ensuring your dog's success by making each option that they can choose a correct one. Whenever the dog indicates or investigates one of the scented objects, reward them with a click (if they are clicker trained), a food treat, praise, or play. It shouldn’t take long before the dog connects this scent to the reward and you can begin discrimination. Remove one scented item and replace it with an unscented item, being careful not to touch the unscented item with anything that touched the scented item, including your hand; reward the dog only when they indicate an item that remains scented. Keep replacing a scented one with an unscented one every few rounds until only one scented item remains and continue reinforcing this until your dog consistently chooses the scented item with little to no hesitation.
Step
3
Scent articles and locations
Start by hiding one of the items used from the previous step in fairly simple spots to find, and utilize a small area to help ensure your aspiring scent dog success. those that are practicing for competitive events will typically need to be able to discriminate between several containers and find the scented swabs in several specific situations including interior, exterior, and vehicle searches.
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Search and Rescue

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Any Day
Expensive
Hard
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Certification
Training
Activity description

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.  

Step
1
Suitability
In order to properly perform their duties, a Search and Rescue team must be physically, mentally, and emotionally equipped to deal with this rigorous job. If you don’t respond well to pressure, or if your dog is anxious or reactive, this may not be the best activity for you. Both you and your canine companion should make an appointment with your respective doctors and ensure that you are physically fit enough to participate.
Step
2
Training the handler
As your dog’s handler, you will undertake your own share of classes and training in order to obtain the proper certifications. Handlers are typically required to have training that covers basic life support methods, such as first aid and CPR techniques although additional training may be required for certain situations. Specialized training can include crime scene preservation, lifeguard training, and backcountry survival skills, among others.
Step
3
Certifications
In order to obtain official Search and Rescue team certification you will need to register through one of several organizations that specialize in Search and Rescue. These organizations include Search and Rescue Dogs of the United States, National Search Dog Alliance, FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue, and the National Association of Search and Rescue. These groups will typically help you determine which Search and Rescue missions you and your canine companion would be best suited for and determine if your team needs additional training.
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Recreational Skijor

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Cold Day
Moderate
Normal
15 - 60 min
Items needed
Skijor harness
Skijor Belt
Tow Line
Belly Band (optional)
Dog Booties (optional)
Activity description

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.  

Step
1
Gear up
The canine member of this team has relatively simple equipment requirements compared to the human participant. A specialized, sturdy harness will be needed and depending on the circumstances, canine booties to protect the paws and pads, a belly band to protect the belly from the elements or a specially designed dog jacket may also be recommended, particularly in inclement weather. The human participant requires basic ski gear, such as skis, poles, boots, and bindings, as well as a skijor belt which attaches to the dog’s harness by way of a bungee-like tow rope. You may need to take a little time to let your dog get used to wearing the gear before moving on to training the commands, especially if your Aidi tends to be suspicious of new things.
Step
2
Initial training
There are several commands that a skijoring dog will need to know in order to participate in this team sport. Practice commands like line-out, which readies your dog by getting them in the starting position, hike, which tells your dog to pull, on by, to tell them to keep running past a distraction, or easy, to slow down are essential to master. Additionally, teach your Aidi gee for right turns and haw for left, and allow them to practice with their gear on by walking around the yard suited up, including the tow rope. It may take several weeks to months of training for these skills to become ingrained in your dog’s memory, and patience is required in order to allow your Aidi to become completely comfortable with the commands before you switch to skis.
Step
3
Hit the trail (safely)
It is a good idea for you to be familiar with the trail that you are planning on utilizing when skijoring. Gear, such as elbow pads and helmets, while not required to participate, is a very good idea, particularly for novice teams. Use the buddy system when possible and ensure that you know the route before running it with your dog or dogs and take precautions to fit the circumstances, such as reflective surfaces and reflective tape in low light. The first excursions should be fairly short and simple to help build your dog’s confidence but will typically increase in both length and difficulty in order as you and your Aidi master this exciting outdoor sport.
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More Fun Ideas...

Hiking

Aidis have a great deal of stamina and were developed in the mountains for outdoor work. They are well-suited to outdoor activities like hiking and will enjoy the opportunity to explore with their family and friends.

Group Training Classes

This is an intelligent and independent breed of dog that thrives best when given plenty of training and socialization, especially if this is started early in their lives. One way to combine both training and socialization is to enroll yourself and your canine companion in a group training class.

Conclusion

This breed of dog tends to be very active and energetic, requiring a great deal of both mental and physical activity, and they are happiest with room to roam and a job to do. Aidis who are not provided with an outlet for their energy are prone to territorialism, destructive behaviors, and problem barking, particularly if left alone or restricted to small spaces, but when given enough exercise and mental stimulation, they are known to be exceptionally affectionate and loyal to their chosen humans.