Decker Hunting Terrier

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
U.S.A.
Translation
Francis Vandersteen

A brief presentation of the Decker Hunting Terrier

The Decker Hunting Terrier is a developing dog breed that is currently monitored by the National Rat Terrier Association. Milton Decker began the breed's development in the 1970s by crossing a smooth-coated Fox Terrier dog named Henry with particular Rat Terriers to propagate Henry's calmer temperament and superior hunting instincts, while keeping his size slightly larger. By the 1980s, this strain of dogs was really breeding, and in 1995, the National Rat Terrier Association began listing the Decker line on its pedigrees. These dogs are high-energy hounds that get along with most people and other dogs, but are likely to pursue any creature they consider prey.

History of the Decker Hunting Terrier

The Decker Hunting Terrier is a more recent breed of dog, developed by a man named Milton Decker near Eugene, Oregon. While buying plant stock for his nursery in the 1970s, Decker came across a group of Terriers and Terrier cross dogs in one of the local garden supply stores and was offered his choice. He chose one of the larger dogs, a calmer-than-average three-year-old weighing around 15 kilos. The dog, whom Decker nicknamed Henry, was a cross between a smooth-coated Fox Terrier named Frosty Dew and a good old-fashioned farm dog named Jock, and it didn't take long for Henry's new master to learn to appreciate the dog's naturalness with hunting instincts that included tracking, deer jumping and treeing. When he learned that Henry's mother had died shortly after acquiring the dog, he decided to breed Henry, in order to preserve his hunting instincts and pleasant temperament. He began looking for high-quality dogs for Henry to breed with, mainly Rat Terriers, preferably larger specimens with a strong hunting instinct and a calm, pleasant temperament, as well as erect ears. A few Basenji dogs were also used in the foundation, giving the breed extra size and prey. By the 1980s, the Decker strain was really breeding, and in 1993 Milton Decker was able to leave the development of the breed in the hands of other breeders such as Tim Brown, Arlene Fischer, Rosalie Riner and many others, with the help of the National Rat Terrier Association, which has been following the Decker line for many years and has allowed the Decker line to be listed on their pedigrees since 1995.

Appearance of the Decker Hunting Terrier

The Decker Hunting Terrier, although larger on average than most Rat Terriers, is still a fairly small dog, with the largest usually weighing less than 18 kilos. They are slightly longer in body than they are tall, with a compact but flexible body and a head that has a smooth, blunt wedge shape with a strong, somewhat tapering muzzle that is slightly shorter than their skull. They have oval-shaped eyes that can be brown or hazel, and fairly large triangular ears that sit high on the skull and stand erect. Decker Hunting Terriers have smooth, close coats with a glossy appearance that are pied in color, which means they are mainly white with large patches of color, usually black, chocolate, red or blue, although lemon and apricot sometimes appear as well. Tan spots and badger marks are common on these dogs, and they may have looser or slightly wrinkled lips compared to other Fox and Rat terriers.

Temperament of the Decker Hunting Terrier

The Decker Hunting Terrier is a friendly, cheerful hunting companion or family dog. Like most Fox Terriers and Rat Terriers, Deckers are very alert and intelligent, but they tend to be slightly less yappy. This breed is curious and eager to learn, so they tend to grasp commands fairly quickly, and like to accompany you on excursions. However, they don't react as well to boredom or lack of obedience training, which can lead to anxious, territorial or destructive behavior. The Decker Hunting Terrier is generally good with children, especially if socialized with them at an early age, and is good with dogs of their size and above, but can hunt small animals, including small dogs. Although there are a few breeders who breed the dogs specifically for show or home, most breeders specializing in Decker Hunting Terriers continue to breed them to be the active hunting dogs that many of them are employed to be.

Needs and activities of the Decker Hunting Terrier

Decker Hunting Terriers, like most terrier breeds, are very high-energy dogs that require a lot of physical and mental stimulation throughout the day. This breed has a large prey drive and must be kept on a leash unless hunting or in a controlled environment, as they can hunt smaller animals. They are also highly intelligent and attentive, and although their prey can sometimes attract their attention, they are generally quite easy to train. Decker Hunting Terriers are versatile dogs, and are likely to excel in hunting-related activities, agility training and even advanced obedience-centered activities.

Maintenance of the Decker Hunting Terrier

This dog's short, single-ply coat sheds moderately year-round, but is easily managed with a weekly or twice-weekly thorough brushing using a smoother brush or grooming glove. Bathing is not necessary frequently for this breed, and shampoos and other products must be chosen with care as they are a little more prone to skin allergies than the average. Particular attention should be paid to the ears to ensure they are kept clean and dry to prevent infection. Terrier breeds such as the Fox Terrier and Rat Terrier, from which the Decker Hunting Terrier was developed, are also slightly more likely to develop dental disease, so it's important to ensure that their dental hygiene is taken care of too. Ear and tooth infections can be costly to treat.

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