The Decker Line Rat Terrier
     A few years ago the Decker line of Rat Terrier was slowly being lost due to retired breeders and lack of sufficient bloodlines. Thanks to all of you the revival has been working. There are now more decker line dogs across the USA. The founder Milton Decker had done an amazing justice for the breed and his lines will not be lost, his legacy will continue for many generations for all to enjoy.

     The NRTA has a vast collection of pedigrees dating back to the original dogs that Mr Decker used. New breeders have searched out his lines and as carefully as Mr Decker did, bred in new blood, great conformation, hunting ability and temperament that holds to the Decker name. We felt this was a time to refresh everyone on the richness of the line, to remember who created it, the history behind the Decker dog and to remind you of the Breed Standards as written by the NRTA. The NRTA will continue to include the Decker as a Rat Terrier and will continue to support the growth of the breed. In order to register a Decker with the NRTR it must show a complete pedigree and verifiable Decker blood coming down in the pedigree and be traceable to the original Decker lines. It must carry at least 50% Decker blood throughout the entire pedigree to be considered. And must  also retain the qualities that were instilled long ago as seen below in the History/Development of The Decker Line Rat Terrier. Any dog that shows outcrossing to any breed other than the Rat Terrier or any pedigree that skips more than one generation from Decker Blood will not be eligible for registration as a Decker Giant.  This strain is extremely worth tracing, tracking, continuing and promoting.

     We must all remember that it is not a simple task of continuing this fine line but hard work to keep the attributes that Mr Decker worked so hard in locking in. We must all be very selective in our venture and only use the best of the best that compliments the Decker dog as he was created.

       The Standard size Rat Terrier has and will have to be bred into the Decker lines to increase the population but if selection is confined to one narrowly defined type, the result will almost inevitably be the accidental selection of various undesirable characteristics. Standards for building should include selection in regards to health, hunting ability, behavior, vigor and fertility as well as body form. The Decker has long surpassed being bred for a show dog and that alone. To take the dog on size and look alone would be the destruction of the purpose that Milton Decker had in mind. Of course this thought also reflects on the Rat Terrier in general.  Using the Decker lines and bred to a Standard size Rat without looking at the subtle differences that every Decker owner is quite aware of would make them a standard/giant size Rat Terrier and that alone. The subtle qualities of the Decker must remain in the strain for it to continue as it was originally developed for.

     When choosing a Rat Terrier to breed with a Decker line dog the Rat must have a like head structure that is some what broader with erect ears. Decker paid close attention to his ears and had set it in with good stability. There is no body Type B in the strain and should be carefully guarded against. His conformation must be scrutinized and the background carefully checked for continuity in the lines. He must also have pure colors of only the Black Tri, Black and White, Black and Tan, Sable and White or Tan and White. Mr Decker did not breed the Chocolate or Blue color. The Rat of choice must have exquisite hunting ability and an unshakable temperament. These are all the traits that Decker had carefully worked on and successfully accomplished. To breed carelessly would be a shame for the line.

     Some of the prominent breeders of yesterday and today and those presently working to preserve the breed include but is not limited to: Tim Brown PA, Rosalie Rinear AZ, Jim Johnson CA, Barry Clark FL Stan Simon MI, Kerri Darr WA,  Guy Chatterton NC, Margaret Burz CT, Joe Quintana CA, Mike Brown Utah and  Nathan Dailey OH.

Next Page
Back To Index