Saturday, November 14, 2009

The History of the Decker Rat Terrier

In the year 1975, Milton Decker, owner of a plant nursery near Eugene Oregon made the find of a lifetime while looking for nursery stock. As he pulled into the driveway of Chris and Betty Lindseth, of Monroe Oregon, who’s son had a small wholesale Nursery, the door flew open and several large terriers ran out. Milton had grown up with terriers as pets and hunting companions, but the typical terrier of the northwest in those days was 20 lbs at the largest. These dogs were much larger. The conversation with the Lindseths was not about nursery stock, it was about these dogs.
As Milton sat and visited with the Lindseths, he watched the dogs. The Lindseths told him they had more than they needed, and told him to pick one out for himself. Henry was a three year old male with a much quieter disposition than the others, so Milton chose him. Milton took Henry to some nearby young timber, and hunted with him. He soon figured out Henry was gun shy, but had all the hunting instincts Milton desired. During the first few minutes, Henry jumped a nice spike buck deer and ran it about one hundred fifty yards while yipping. Not long after returning, he flushed a Ruffed Grouse and barked “treed” as it perched on a low tree branch. A short while later, Henry sniffed out a wood rat, killed and ate it. Milton was elated, knowing this big 32 pound male was outstanding.


Deckers Muggins
Henry’s dam was a registered smooth haired Fox Terrier named Frosty Dew, and his sire was a good old terrier type, farm dog named Jock. The exact breeds present in Jock’s ancestry are unknown, but Henry had all the traits of a terrier while hunting. He wouldn’t run off, but would hunt along with you, as a companion. Over the next year, Milton worked with Henry, and he got over his fear of guns, and was always ready to hunt anything! Henry was an outstanding all around hunter. He had a natural treeing instinct, was great on upland birds, became a great duck dog, and would hunt any pest out there, raccoons, rats, possums, skunks, and feral cats. Milton learned from trips to Eastern Oregon that chukar partridge were one of Henry’s great loves. Henry was not only a great hunter, but was a very loyal family pet. He quickly stole the hearts of the Decker family.

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