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Villanuco de Las Encartaciones

Villanuco de Las Encartaciones is one of the least popular terrier breeds native to Spain.

Small in size, with a black and white or black and tan coat, this breed evolved as an efficient ratter. They have that typical terrier look with a sturdy built, powerful chest, long tail resembling a sickle, and upright ears.

Like most other terrier breeds, these too were developed as ratters. They mostly do well in a big yard with plenty of space where they have a job to perform, like tending to livestock or driving vermin away.

Temperamentally, they are brave and loyal, showing a protective attitude when safeguarding their territory. The Villanuco de Las Encartaciones display timid behavior with their family but show reservedness towards strangers.

Over time, their numbers underwent a drastic depletion, with just 50 remaining as per the 2009 reports.

Breed Characteristics

  • Other Names:Enkarterriko Billanuko, Basque Butcher’s dog, Basque dogo,
  • Colors:Mostly black and white; and black and tan; rarely white and cinnamon; black and cinnamon; tricolored
  • Life Expectancy:9-11 years
  • Height:23-26 inches
  • Weight:Around80 pounds
  • Temperament:Gentle, calm, strong-willed, loyal
  • Good with Kids:Moderately
  • Exercise requirements:High
  • Hypoallergenic:Not known
  • Litter Size:4-7 puppies
  • Barking Capacity:Moderate; emits a loud bark upon sensing danger
  • Health Problems:Not recorded
  • Trainability:Moderately easy
  • Origin:Spain
Villanuco de Las Encartaciones Dog
Villano de Las Encartaciones Puppy

History & Timeline


    Gained recognition as the traditional Basque breed by the Spanish government


    Included as a part of the rural development plan of the Basque community, along with 14 other indigenous animals


    Was critically endangered, the numbers falling below 50

Image of Villanuco de Las Encartaciones
Picture of Villanuco de Las Encartaciones


The working dogs that they were in the past, this breed needs ample exercise daily to remain physically and mentally fit. A 30-40 minute walk each day, teamed with a lot of play time in the yard or garden, is what you need to provide them daily. No wonder they are not the dogs that would enjoy the cozy comforts of apartment living.

Since these dogs have a short coat, you don’t have to worry too much about their grooming. A weekly brushing using a soft-bristled brush would help keep the coat in good shape. Also, take utmost care in its dental hygiene, brushing its teeth three to four times a week. Clean its eyes and ears routinely and trim its nails once a month or earlier if it gets long.

Active and energetic, this terrier breed needs a high-quality diet, homemade or store-bought. If going for commercially-manufactured food, you could choose brands that do well with medium-sized dogs, such as Blue Buffalo Life Protection and Royal Canin

They are mostly easy to train, but due to the streaks of stubbornness, a common trait in almost every terrier, firm and tactful handling is needed.

Socialize them early in life so that these dogs understand which person is a threat and who is a friend. In this way, every stranger at the door would not seem a threat to them. Simultaneously, train them on basic commands, like “Stay” and “Stop,” to instill discipline. Also, teach these terriers to wear a leash, lest handling them outside could be trou

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