If you want a hunting dog that is extremely job specific, and will sit in a kennel with no attention except when it is hunting, the Decker Rat Terrier is a poor fit. They are companion dogs with a great hunt drive! They want to be part of the family, part of your lives! If you are looking for a best friend and hunting partner, whatever you are hunting, the Decker Rat Terrier is probably the perfect dog for you!
The Rat Terrier comes in a variety of coat colors and patterns. Puppies start at a weight of two pounds. The classic base is black tanpoint with piebald spotting (known as black tricolor), but blue and brown tricolors are also common, along with red, sable, lemon, burnt orange, and other colors set off by varying amounts of white spotting. Ticking is usually visible in the white parts of the coat, or in the underlying skin. Brindle, currently disallowed by the main breed standards, is considered by some to be a traditional Rat Terrier pattern, and there is a growing movement to have this pattern accepted into the breed. However, merle is widely considered to be the result of recent outcrosses and, because of associated health problems, is rejected by most Rat Terrier breeders
If you are looking for a versatile hunting dog, the Decker Rat Terrier will probably be a great fit! Decker Rat Terriers love to hunt just about anything there is. They are used for deer, rabbits, wild pigs, upland birds, waterfowl, Squirrel, coon, and just about any rodents and vermin you may have. I have never been around a more versatile hunting dog.
On deer, they will hunt with you, not in the next county, and, when they get on deer, they will run them for a couple hundred yards and then return to check on you. Many of them will yip when they are on a hot track, or in pursuit of a deer, which is great as it lets you know where they are, and that they are on something! They have a great nose, and will help you find your wounded when the blood trail is dried up. For this, they are a wonderful aid for archers.
On waterfowl, they need some training. Most of them don't naturally love the water, so they must be worked with, to get them used to it. Once they are used to it, they will brave the water and help you find your ducks! They will be miserable if it is too cold and wet, as they havea short coat, and a muscular build, without much fat, so a wetsuit is a great aid to keep them more comfortable while duck hunting.
Pig hunters use them as strike dogs. They will wind the pigs, and bay them up, but will give the pig enough room to keep it from bolting until the larger catch dogs show up. Pigs can be very dangerous, so training is very important, but a Decker Rat Terrier is extremely quick, smart, and tenacious!
They are a great natural squirrel dog. With practice, they can tree with the best of them! They are great, as they will hunt with you, so you won't have to spend more time hunting for your dog than the squirrels!
They are great on coon, with training, they can take on a full grown coon. They can get injured, but will usually circle and wait for the right moment before striking. If the coon can't get itself up a tree, it will usually meet its match with a Decker Rat Terrier!
As far as vermin and rodents, just give them time to mature and practice, then stand back and watch in awe! They are a natural pest manager! I was cleaning out my shop a while back, and there were a quite a few mice. Sugar was aiding with the process! She watched me pull out shelves and boxes, and, when the mice would run out, she would quickly grab them, give a little shake, and look for the next one. I loaded some stuff into a 30 gallon garbage can, and noticed that Sugar kept going over to it and sniffing it. She would whine a little, and then go look for other mice, but she kept going back to it. After a couple of times, I knew there was probably something in there, so I started taking things out. I pulled out a small box, and set it on the ground, and a mouse ran out. Sugar had it in no time, and, with a quick shake, she was satisfied. She knew it was in there! I have watched them hold down a mouse with their paws while killing another. They are as good as any cat!
Tags: Rat Terrier Grooming and Care, Rat Terrier Breed and Breeders Srandard, Rat Terrier Pointer Hunter dogs