Decker Hunting Terrier

Decker Hunting Terrier Breed description: Character & Co

Decker Hunting Terrier


What is the origin of the Decker Hunting Terrier?

Originally, this breed comes from Oregon, USA, where the breed was created by founder Milton Decker by crossing a smooth fox terrier mix named Henry with Rat Terriers in the 1970s.

Milton Decker was so fascinated by the character of his dog Henry and the above-average size compared to the terriers he knew, that he set himself the goal of further preserving the character as well as the size of the loyal companion and passionate hunter. Thus, after years of breeding work, the Decker Hunting Terrier, also called Decker Terrier or Decker Rat Terrier, was born.

As an all-rounder among the hunting dogs, he used to be used for hunting small game as well as big game. In the meantime, this breed is becoming more and more popular in America as a family dog.

Although it is considered a separate breed, it is listed under Rat Terriers by the AKC and UKC. It is not recognized by the FCI and KC.

What are the breed characteristics of the Decker Terrier?

The decisive breed characteristic for a Decker Terrier is probably its size, which sets it apart from its smaller brother, the Rat Terrier.

Banner: Shutterstock / Lisa Turay
Breed description Decker Hunting Terrier, Decker Rat Terrier, large rat terrier, American dog breed, unknown dog breed, not recognized by FCI, brown white dog with prick ears from America, small dog breed, dog with stubby tail, tail is stubby Breed description Decker Hunting Terrier, Decker Rat Terrier, large Rat Terrier, American dog breed, unknown dog breed, not recognized by FCI, black and white dog with prick ears from America, small dog breed, dog with stubby tail, tail is long, dog similar to Rat Terrier, dog similar to Jack Russell, Agility
Alternate Name Decker Rat Terrier, Decker Terrier
Origin USA
Life expectancy 15 - 18 years
Care requirements low-maintenance
Activity level average
FCI group not recognised
AKC group not recognised
KC group not recognised

Decker Hunting Terrier mixes


What are the typical characteristics of the Decker Terrier?

In a nutshell, the Decker Rat Terrier can be described quite accurately with the following characteristics:

  • persevering and agile
  • intelligent and eager to learn
  • friendly and people-oriented

Although the Decker Terrier is the perfect dog for active dog lovers due to its persevering, exercise-loving nature, even a terrier should never be pushed too hard. Not only can boredom do tremendous damage to the Terrier's stress costume, which can cause behavioral problems to develop. His eager to learn nature as well as the joy to be allowed to work with his human make the training of various basic signals easier for you. Due to his original task as a hunter he is also very independent and fearless. These characteristics can make free running very difficult for you despite intensive training. A Decker Hunting Terrier is also suitable as a family dog, but he will only be able to show his balance and contentment if he is at least kept busy with hunting activities just for fun. Also, the mental workout should not be disregarded, which is necessary for the Decker Terrier because of his intelligence, otherwise he will be bored quickly and develop some fluff.


What are typical diseases of the Decker Terrier?

Typical diseases are patellar luxation, hip dysplasia and diseases of the heart.

Rarely, but nevertheless, this breed can also be accompanied by deafness, epilepsy, dental problems, diseases of the eyes as well as skin allergies.

The life expectancy is 15-18 years.

What to consider when breeding the Decker Rat Terrier?

If you are looking for one of these dogs, you will have to cross the pond, because breeders of this breed can only be found in America. This is probably due to the fact that the breed is rather unknown in our country. Compared to many other purebred dogs, the purchase costs are probably quite manageable at around 600€.

If you want to keep your dog exclusively as a family dog, then you should definitely go in search of a show line breeder. But even a dog from the show line is not a couch potato, but still brings a lot of power, whereby he wants to be physically and also mentally busy. So this dog is best suited for enterprising people.

Breed description Decker Hunting Terrier, Decker Rat Terrier, large rat terrier, American dog breed, unknown dog breed, not recognized by FCI, brown white dog with prick ears from America, small dog breed, dog with stubby tail, tail is stubby

The Rat Terrier is a muscular, powerful dog with a broad wedge-shaped head and prick ears. It has a short tail, but may also have a congenital stubby tail. The smooth coat is short and dense and requires regular grooming, preferably weekly. When it comes to coat colors, anything from black, black-tan, to tan with or without sable is possible. Likewise, the Decker Terrier can appear solid, bi-colored, or tri-colored with or without white markings.

How big does a Decker Terrier grow?

He grows between 38 and 50 cm tall.

How much does a Decker Rat Terrier weigh?

He weighs between 10 and 18 kg, depending on his size.

Fur length short
Fur flat coated
Ear shape Standing Ears
Tail stubby
Anatomy sporty
Size ♀ 35 - 45 cm
Weight ♀ 10 - 17 kg
Size ♂ 38 - 50 cm
Weight ♂ 10 - 18 kg
Suitable For -


  • Epilepsy

    Definition: Dog has epilepsy if, for example, at least two epileptic seizures occur more than 24 hours apart.

  • Eye diseases

    Often occur with allergies and intolerances.

  • Tartar

    If dogs don't get a good food or sugary food, tartar can quickly appear.

  • Numbness

    Often occurs in old age.

  • Skin inflammations

    Can be hereditary in certain breeds.

Other medium dogs

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