A Mobile Ad-hoc NETwork (MANET) is an infrastructureless network consisting of self-configuring mobile nodes connected by wireless links. Nodes rely on each other to store and forward packets. Most of the proposed MANET protocols assume cooperative and friendly network context, and do not address security issues. Furthermore, MANETs are highly vulnerable for passive and active attacks because of their open medium, rapidly changing topology, lack of centralized monitoring. Encryption and authentication solutions, which are considered as the first line of defense, are not sufficient to protect MANETs from packet dropping attacks. Most of the current Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs) for MANETS rely on the Watchdog technique. In this research we study the behavior of this technique and propose a novel mechanism, named: Adaptive ACKnowledgment (AACK), for solving two significant problems: The limited transmission power and receiver collision. This mechanism is an enhancement to the TWOACK scheme where its detection overhead is reduced while the detection efficiency is increased. NS2 is used to simulate and evaluate the proposed scheme and compare it against the TWOACK and Watchdog methods. The obtained results show that the new AACK scheme outperforms both of the TWOACK and Watchdog methods in terms of network packet delivery ratio and routing overhead.