What is a Bodeguero?
The Bodeguero, or the Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz as this dog is officially called, is a Spanish type of terrier, native to the province of Cadiz, in Andalusia.
Where does the name Bodeguero come from?
Bodegueros were originally used to hunt for mice and rats in the bodegas (wine cellars) in southern Spain.
I have never heard of a Bodeguero. Is this a new breed?
No. Bodegueros have their origin around the 18th century, when English wine merchants came to Jerez, the region in Spain where sherry is produced. These merchants came with their Fox Terriers, which were bred with local dogs to create a new breed to catch the rats and mice in the bodegas.
The reason you may not have heard of a Bodeguero is because the breed is still very local to the areas around Jerez/Cadiz in Spain. The only way these dogs usually make it out of the area, is through adoption from shelters.
What do Bodegueros look like?
Bodegueros are medium-sized dogs. The have an athletic, muscular body, with white, short hair and black spots. The hybrids originating from the Fox Terriers were created to be whiter, to increase their visibility in the dark wine cellars. The breed has very dark eyes, a long muzzle, and high-set ears that bend over at the tip. Bodegueros have distinctive markings on their face, in a combination of black, brown and white. They often have a very cute, expressive face, and can give you an amazing smile 🙂 The tail of a Bodeguero is usually docked, but it’s not uncommon for them to be born with a short tail.
Why are there so many Bodegueros in shelters in southern Spain?
Like Podencos, Bodegueros in Spain are mostly seen as tools for hunting and pest control, rather than as pets. There are a lot of them, and they get quickly dismissed when they are no longer good enough or needed. Because the breed is unknown outside of Spain, it is difficult for people to make an informed choice about adopting a Bodeguero. Therefore they often get left behind.
So, does this mean they would make bad pets?
Not at all. On the contrary. Bodegueros make excellent pets. They are generally very sweet-natured, good with children, and very adaptable to any kind of environment. Bodegueros have a lot of energy and can be restless, but with the right exercise are perfectly able to live in an apartment, for example.
Bodegueros are very intelligent dogs and eager to please, which makes them easy to train. And if you’re one for cuddles, the Bodeguero also makes an excellent choice. They are very affectionate and loving, and even though they may be timid to start off with, they will soon come round and shower you with their kisses!