Terrier awarded protected status in Jerez for keeping cellars rat-free
A Spanish breed of terrier known for keeping wine cellars in Jerez free of mice and rats has been awarded protected status in the Andalusian city.
As reported by Spanish website The Local, Jerez has declared the Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz as part of the city’s cultural heritage. It is the first Spanish breed of dog to be awarded such protected status in the country.
According to The Local, on 30 September the city council announced the decision to honour the breed, which was created in Jerez and has long been employed to hunt for rats and mice within the city’s numerous Sherry bodegas.
“The delegate Rubén Pérez believes this will be a catalyst for the enhancement of this breed, which is so closely linked to the city of Jerez and its wineries,” a Tweet from the town hall in Jerez said.
The Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz has roots dating back to the 18th century.
The breed came into being when English wine merchants settling in Jerez brought ancestors of Fox Terriers over from Britain and crossed them with local rat-hunting dogs. In the 1900s, the Toy Terrier was crossed into the breed.
Similar in appearance to Jack Russell terriers, they are sometimes known as the Spanish Jack Russell. They were originally bred to keep Sherry bodegas free of mice and rats.
The Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz was recognised as an indigenous Spanish breed in 2000 by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Spanish Kennel Club.
Known for their boundless energy and affectionate nature, the agile, athletic dogs have short white coats, black and tan face markings, and high set ears that bend over at the tip.
In 1993, a breed club for the terrier, the Club Nacional del Perro Andaluz Ratonero Bodeguero, was formed and a breed standard was written.