Ratonero Valenciano is a small to medium-sized breed from Valencia, Spain. It is popular in its homeland and fairly uncommon in the rest of the world.
Ratonero Valenciano or Gos Rater Valencià is a rat hunting dog from the Valencian autonomous community in Spain. It was bread to hunt different types of earth rodents as well as the water vole.
History of Ratonero Valenciano
The breed has existed at least since the 16th century. At those times rodent-hunting dogs were essential because their work helped keep the spread of diseases relatively regulated. However, disease control was just a by-product of their main purpose which was to protect the crops from rodents in large barns. Also, they were used to hunt the water voles for their meat.
Currently, the breed is still used for hunting rodents, especially rabbits, although it has become more of a companion dog.
It is believed that the British Fox Terriers were used in the breeding of the Ratonero Valenciano.
The breed isn’t recognized by the FCI, however, it’s recognized by the Spanish canine organization called Real Sociedad Canina de España.
Appearance, Temperament and Health
Appearance of the Ratonero Valenciano
Height: 30-40 cm/12-16 in (dogs), 9–38 cm/11–15 in (bitches)
Weight: 4-8 kg/8.8–17.6 lb
While in some countries the local ratter was bred to be as small as possible (such is the case of the Prague Ratter), the Ratonero Valenciano can reach even medium height. It’s an athletic breed with triangular muzzle, erect ears and short coat which is usually tricolor (more rarely the color can be black and tan, brown and tan or brown-white).
Traditionally, the dogs are docked, which means their tail is cropped. No vertebras are left or just the first one. However, more and more breeders decide to abandon this practice.
Ratonero Valenciano is an energetic, curious, playful and very active breed. It’s suitable for families with children, in fact, these dogs don’t handle solitude very well. As ratters they are very alert and don’t hesitate to bark to announce strangers. They’re also very self-confident and unaware of their relatively small size, which can occasionally lead to fights with other dogs.
The Ratonero has a great sense of territory and is ready to protect it which could lead to excessive barking. The dogs are able to undergo basic training and they are great for participating in activities such as agility training.
The average life expectancy of the breed is 12-14 years.
Ratonero Valenciano is a generally healthy breed, however, it needs enough physical and mental activity to thrive. Otherwise they become extremely nervous and frustrated.
Do you have a can of energy in the form of Ratonero Valenciano at home? Lucky you! Tell us why you chose this breed.