Basics of Dog Breed : Atlas Shepherd

Posted on September 26 2018

Basics of Dog Breed : Atlas Shepherd

The Shepherd of the Atlas is a robust dog, rustic, powerful, muscular, of strong constitution, but without heaviness. It has a bushy and thick dress which protects it as much from the climatic rudess as from the aggressions of predators during the combats.

Breed Information:

Other names: Aïdi, Atlas Dog, Atlas Mountain Dog, Atlas Mountain Dog
Origin:  Morocco
FCI Group: Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid breeds and Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs and other breeds
FCI number: 247
Hair type: Half-long
Shape of the head: Long

Race history

The Shepherd of the Atlas is a very old breed native to the mountains and plateaus of North Africa . It is especially present in the Atlas of Morocco. Contrary to what its name might suggest, the Atlas Shepherd is not destined to herd management. He has always accompanied the nomadic mountain populations for whom he provides care and protection . If he watches over their herds and deters any attempt at attack by predators, he does not lead them. The race of the Shepherd of the Atlas was definitively recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale on June 13, 1963. 

Physical characteristics

His hair: mid-length (about 6 cm in length), thick, rough. Ras and end on race and ears. Forming a mane on the neck and under the throat in the male. 
Its color: fawn (washed to dark red sand) brindle or charcoal, with or without coat, brown (burnt bread beige) with or without darker coat, black with or without white plumes. 
His head: strong, wide, well proportioned, conical, without wrinkles. 
Its ears: medium in length, slightly rounded ends, semi-drooping, upright forward when the dog is awake, backward when at rest. 
Their eyes :medium in size, dark in color (dark amber to golden brown), with a lively, attentive and very observant expression. 
His body: the top line has a slightly dipping profile, the back is wide and very muscular, the rump slightly inclined, the chest very long and well down. 
Its tail: long, very bushy, attached in the extension of the line of the rump, carried low at rest. Worn whip and more cheerfully when the dog is in action.

Weight and size

Weight Cut
Female Between 28 and 32 kg Between 52 cm and 62 cm
Male Between 28 and 32 kg Between 52 cm and 62 cm

A Berger de l'Atlas breed dog is classified as a medium-sized dog .

Behavior and character

The Shepherd of the Atlas is a loyal , faithful dog , who knows how to show his affection to his master and his family. He is much more suspicious of strangers . His instinct of guarding and protection is, indeed, very developed. He faces courageously with danger, which he strives to analyze thanks to his observant and attentive nature.


The  Shepherd of the Atlas is a rather independent dog   with a  strong personality , he must be educated firmly and just from a young age. By imposing himself as  the pack leader in his eyes , while being gentle towards him, one thus ensures the company of a balanced dog, polyvalent and pleasant to live.


The Atlas Sheepdog is a hardy, resilient dog with strong health . Its coat gives it a very good protection against the cold and the heat which characterize its mountainous regions of origin. The breed is not predisposed to any congenital disease.

Maintenance & Hygiene


The Shepherd of the Atlas knows 2 moults a year during which he loses a lot of hair. He only wants basicbut regular maintenance .


It is recommended to  brush the dog every week . In times of moulting, the cropping has to be daily. His eyes, ears and pads are regularly inspected  for detecting and removing debris and preventing infections.

Physical activity

The Shepherd of the Atlas  needs to stay active to be happy . Accustomed to evolve freely, he must be able to benefit from long daily walks (2 at least) and exercises.

Living conditions

The Berger de l'Atlas is not really made for living in an apartment . It can adapt to an urban lifestyle if it is frequently walked and regularly invited to spend outdoors. A house with a fenced garden would suit him perfectly.

Price and budget

Minimum Maximum
Buying price 500 € 1000 €

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