The Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz has a very descriptive name which tells us the purpose for which they were mostly used. In Spanish, rata means rat and bodega means wine cellar so the breeds name can be literally translated as Wine Cellar Rat Hunting Dog of Andalusia. And indeed, this was their main utilization for which they were developed.
It is believed, that the Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz was developed in the late 18th and early 19th century from smooth Fox Terriers brought to Spain by English wine merchants and who were later crossed with some local dogs. In the 1900s, the Toy Terrier was also added into the breed. In the year 2000, the breed was finally recognised as a native Spanish breed by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture
3) Similar breeds
Often times, this breed is nicknamed as Spanish Jack Russell and indeed, the JRT is very similar to the Ratonero. But even though they both have Fox Terrier ancestry, they are separate purebred dogs. The Ratonero is slightly taller than the JRT. Other breeds that are similar to Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz are Rat Terrier, Parson Russell Terrier and other Spanish rat hunting dogs, such as Ratonero Valenciano or Ratonero Murciano de Huerta.
Hunting rats is not an easy task, but this breed has great qualities for this purpose. It is an extremely quick and agile dog with great courage and natural chasing instinct. They are absolutely focused and driven when on the hunt. They also show the typical terrier independence and lets say stubborness, but these characteristics are very important for succesfull hunters. Overall, this is just amazing ratter.
Of course, the Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz is not only a hunter, but also great companion. These dogs are especially famous for their love for children. They are just amazing playful partners for kids, but of course, the kid should be old enough to know how to treat small and fragile dogs gently. These small lively dogs are affectionate towards the whole family and they love receiving affection from us.
As i mentioned earlier in the video, this is a lively and active dog breed, so even though they are small and they are capable of happily living in apartment, these dogs need to be provided with regular opportunities to exercise, which definitely include several longer walks every day accompanied with some playtime or fun trainin sessions. These dogs are also great adepts for some dog sports such as barn hunt or agility. Without enough exercise, these dogs might develop some unwanted behaviour, such as excessive barking or digging. It is important to be aware of it, because even though relatively small and affectionate, the Ratonero is definitely not a coach potatoe, but a very energetic dog breed.
The Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz is on the first sight athletic dog breed with well balanced body and average height between 13-17 inch which is 33-43 cm and weight is usually between 16-18 pounds, which is 7-8 kg. There are no extreme size differences between males and females.
This breed has a short, but quite dense coat and it typically comes in white body and a tricolored mask, which is black tan and white. They should have black mask and tan colored eyebrows. These dogs also have very dark eyes, long muzzle and ears that bend over and that are set high on the head.
The short coat of Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz is very easy to maintain and groom. They do shed some deal and regular weekly brushing will remove the dead and loose hair and minimize the shedding. Regular brushing will also remove any dirt from the coat and keep the coat as clean as possible. No other grooming is required. Just like with any other breed, you should regularly check the dogs ears, eyes, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
There are no scientific studies about the breeds health, but it should usually be a very healthy dog breed with no specific breed related health issues. Of course, they still may suffer from some health issues, such as joint and eye problems or some allergies, for example skin allergies. Male puppies are also known for having undescended testicles. The average lifespan of this breed is around 14 or 15 years.