The Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz (Andalusian wine-cellar rat-hunting dog) is a Spanish breed of dog of the terrier type. Its name reflects its main occupation: hunting rats and mice hidden between barrels in the wineries of Andalusia in Spain. It was recognised as an indigenous Spanish breed in 2000 by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and by the Spanish Kennel Club, the Real Sociedad Canina de España.
Appearance The Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz is of medium size, measuring between 13.75–16.9 inches (34.9–42.9 cm) at the withers, with an appearance very similar to that of the Jack Russell Terrier, to the extent that it has on occasion been called the Spanish Jack Russell. The breed is an agile dog with a lean and athletic build; the head is triangular with a semi-flat skull. The eyes are very dark and the Ratonero has a long muzzle, and high set ears that bend over at the tip. The tail is traditionally docked to one quarter of its length, however they may also be born with a natural bobtail. The coat is short and dense, which is typically white. Its facial markings are a mixture of brown, white and black markings (known as tricolor), usually with tan-colored eyebrows, and always with a black melanistic mask.
Temperament The breed is lively and brave with strong hunting instincts. It must also be friendly and according to the breed club this breed is good with children.
English wine merchants settling in the Sherry making region of Spain, Marco de Jerez, brought with them the ancestors of today's Fox Terrier breeds as long as several hundred years ago, where they were crossed with local dogs and used for vermin control of rats and mice in the wineries. In the 1900s, the Toy Terrier was crossed into the breed. In 1993, the first breed club, the Club Nacional del Perro Andaluz Ratonero Bodeguero, was formed, and a breed standard was written. In 2000 the breed was recognised as a native Spanish breed by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, although it is not yet recognised internationally by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale. The breed is recognised by numerous minor kennel clubs - such as the Nordic Kennel Union - and dog registries, especially in North America. As some of these groups require little to no verification before registering dogs as being of a certain breed, puppy buyers should research their dog's pedigree to make sure it is from Spain and not one of the many similar breeds of dogs derived from fox terriers.
Health No diseases specific to this breed, or claims of extraordinary health, have been documented for the Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz, though an undescended testicle is not uncommon in male pups.
Similar breeds Breeds similar in appearance to (but not the same as) the Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz include the Jack Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier, and the Rat Terrier. Differences and similarities between the Brazilian Terrier and the Japanese Terrier are detailed on the breed club's website.