Milton Decker
Deckers Brandy
      The NRTA has recently spent a lot of time corresponding with Milton Decker to update some of what he did to produce his lines and some of his thoughts on the whole breeding project. We have also updated our database records to completion for all the dogs that he owned. Most of the Decker dogs weighed between 22-30 pounds with a few exceptions being higher and only a few lower. Mr. Decker only bred the colors Black White Tan, Black and Tan and some Sables.

Dear Margaret,
     So, now just maybe you have the rest of the story, as we know it. Please make this material available to all interested now and in the future. I truly had a ball with this project.  A great learning experience for our growing family (four children) and a wonderful chance for me to really do great things with this BEST OF ALL DOG BREEDS.  We traveled all over for breeding stock and met great folks. It started with Henry as you know and he was sired by Jock.  This old male was named Jock, after Jock Gibson, the dairyman that gave Chris and Betty Lindseth the dog as a puppy. Spunky was also sired by Jock.
A couple of questions Mr. Decker:

1. At what point or what dogs did you start to see offspring being produced that knocked your socks off. Were there particular dogs that specifically produced what you were looking for?

     IN THE LEAST AMOUNT OF WORDS---TOWSER, STELLA, MISTY and MARCELLA and their offspring from other great large Rat Terriers produced all I could ask for. Some of there offspring were: Misty produced Duke, Prince and their sister Shortcake. We sold both these males when they were small.  Stella produced Badger, Cougar, Jolly and Tuffy. Marcella produced Perky, Calico Kate and Tess. And of course Towser produced our Wragler and many more.

2. What dogs, of the 50 plus dogs we have listed from you would you consider to be your foundation dogs?

      PROBABLY HENRY, BRANDY, ZACK, WILLIS's PETE, & JOSH influenced our down lines the most.

      Deckers Josh was an exception.  Great dog, and nice to be around, but nearly sterile.  His breeder Mr. Gentry, in Searcy Arkansas (he was a pretty big volume breeder) had him sperm tested twice and sold him without mentioning this fact.  Very nice to visit and via phone.  I was really amazed that he would sell me (he knew very well that Josh was for breeding) a near sterile dog.  I never had a dog sperm tested and can see no reason he would have had Josh tested twice.  Joke was on him, as in the end after a few years this near sterile dog was very instrumental in the evolution of Deckers Giant Rat Terriers.  We only got one litter from him, but as luck would have it, we later got Deckers Wragler from his only breeding daughter.  This Deckers Wragler had it all.  Classic black and white color, erect ears, nice disposition, loved to hunt, and produced wonderful babies.  He weighed 36 pounds.  He was camera shy.  Whenever I brought out a camera, he looked beaten and so I never got a good photo of Wragler. By the way, we never named them Deckers Giants, but are thrilled others did.
     This morning I came to the conclusion that Texas Star (bred by E.C. Allen of Marlin, Texas) was also a very important Foundation female for us.  She was bred to Henry for Twinkie and Pippi –two of our first and best, large Tri colored females.  Then she was bred to Spunky--a full brother of Henry to produce a male to go as half of the pair that produced Gillian, (owned by Arlene Fischer) who was Wragler's mom.  So Twinkie produced the only litter we ever got from Josh and a female to pair with Texas Star's male. This pair was sold as puppies to Arlene Fischer, who lived about 100 miles north of us. This pair was bred to each other and produced Gillian.  Then most importantly Towser was bred to Gillian to produce our wonderful big Tri colored DECKERS WRAGLER.   So due to his classic Black and white coloration and all his other great attributes, we used WRAGLER a lot for stud. So if I have confused you, please draw a little pedigree diagram and if I have explained all correctly you will see how Texas Star was so important.

     Deckers Echo was a truly wonderful Black and Tan Female from Henry and Brandy.   Echo was perfect, but as with most all of our females, we only bred her for three litters, and we did not breed a female under two years old that I can remember.  In our travels, we saw females that were used up----it was quite pitiful in some cases.  We usually found them a loving home after three litters or so.  I do not have her destination in our records.  Also, she did have tipped ears and after all other considerations, we did try for erect ears.

     We did register Deckers Mr. Big and sold him to Tim Brown in Pennsylvania. Wills Pete belonged to Mr.Willis, who lived about ten miles from here. Willis said he got the dog through Kenny's Kennels of St. John, Kansas. Kenny Keller dealt in Rat Terriers for years.  He would get neighbors of his, a pair of dogs and then market their puppies for them.  Kenny said when I called him, that he did not have the records of the parents of Willis Pete.   We flew back to visit him, when we only had Henry, and although we never actually bought a dog from him, we did meet other breeders through him.  He introduced us to other breeders in Kansas and told us how to contact E.C.Allen of Marlin, Texas. Southern Belle was bred by E.C.Allen. Kenny Keller should have a prominent spot in Rat Terrier History, for all he did to keep the breed alive. Thanks again!

Deckers Crystal
Deckers Prince, 
Shortcake and Duke
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