It all began with the love of a dog named Henry. You see, this Rat Terrier, to Milton Decker an avid hunting enthusiast, possessed qualities that are seen only once in a lifetime. Henry was a 32 pound male with button ears and exhibited tremendous working and hunting qualities. He was quite intelligent with a wonderful disposition and a superb all round family dog.
so taken with this dog, and wanting to preserve what they had found, Milton
embarked on a journey about the year 1970. He traveled from Oregon to as
far away as Texas, Kansas and Mississippi; searching for the largest
Rat Terriers he could locate for breeding stock to recreate his ideal of
the perfect dog. By breeding the Henry dog to the Rat Terrier stock that
he had obtained the Decker strain was on its way to development.
Because there was a need for larger dogs
The dogs that he produced from these lines lived up to all his expectations. Here was a utility dog that was an excellent all round hunter. Vermin, squirrel, bird and upland quail were commonly hunted and they would also retrieve from the water when necessary. These dogs were capable of baying up wild pig and would tree just about anything. They were also skilled in hunting big game like deer, cougar and bear. Some were even used on Jaguar in Central America before they hit the endangered species list. Bow hunters loved them because they were such great scent trailers. The dog would stay within 300 feet of the hunter and have been known to even turn the hunt back.
instinct without any training makes them valuable to the farmer. They will
efficiently and quickly rid a farm of mice with a quick shake, a toss over
their shoulder and proceed onward. When presented with many mice to kill
at once, what couldn't be put in his mouth to kill was pinned down with
his paws until he could get to them.
The Rat Terrier has proven invaluable in states where new laws have prohibited the use of poison baits or traps. They help to control pocket gophers and feral pigs on
ranches that are plagued with them.
Their ability is not limited to hunting. His quiet demeanor also makes him an excellent apartment dog. He rates par excellent being unequaled in the sport of
and Deckers Stella 28lbs
The average weight for females generally ranges from 22-28 lbs. Males 28-40 lbs. Heights range from 16"-19" though occasionally larger and smaller dogs are seen. Recently there are selective lines producing both male and females of considerable size.
There are some subtle differences seen within the Decker Lines. They have a somewhat broader type of skull that tends to wedge into the muzzle and square off, and are commonly seen with some face wrinkle. They possess a very regal and elegant look regardless of their size. Though their tendencies are not to bark, when alerted or treeing they voice with a coarse bark. The Decker dog has the same character as the Rat Terrier but tends to be a tad bit more aloof and independent. Their average lifespan is 15 to 16 years. The most solid attribute that they share exclusively with the Rat Terrier is an undying will to please their master and a need to be near him. With this strong willingness to please, the teaching of aggressive behavior should be avoided at all costs.
Their intelligence is far supreme to most
breeds, holds extremely keen senses and a loyalty that transcends them
as a family dog. The three qualities that are essential to the Rat Terrier
breed are easily seen in the Decker Strain.
Quality 1. A capable utility/hunting dog.
Quality 2. A wonderful family companion.
Quality 3. A watch dog with keen alert senses picking up intruders very quickly.
Decker retired from breeding in 1991, This highly prized strain of Rat
Terrier can still be found dispersed throughout the country with breeders
located in California, Oregon, Florida, Alabama and Michigan.
The standards for the Decker Strain
are the same as the Rat Terrier with the following exceptions.
|Back to IndexNRTA|