Feist Dog

Our faithful companions have long played a crucial role in working with their owners to put food on the table, all while barking away at any potential intruders and protecting your family. The Feist dog is no different, and while this breed was first developed in Great Britain by miners, farmers, and field workers, their ultimate purpose was clear: hunt small game and clear the house of vermin.

Nowadays most animal lovers, including you, don’t have to concern yourself with these once-needed chores around the house. However, it’s still essential that you understand the Feist’s origins, temperament and general appearance –before welcoming this bundle of energy and joy into your home!

What is a Feist?

A Feist pooch (also spelled as fice or fyce) has a similar appearance to a Jack Russell, and they are often mixed up due to their resemblance. While the Jack Russell has been around for many generations as a more pure-breed dog, Feist pups are of mixed heritage.

When talking about their appearance and temperament, it’s no wonder that the two types of dogs are often confused, as this small-sized and noisy mongrel is renowned for its high spirits and its feisty demeanor.


As previously pointed out, the Feist is an energetic companion that has been long used for hunting birds, rabbits, squirrels, and other small game. Believed to have originated in Great Britain from a mix with a small terrier (i.e., either Manchester Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier), the Feist was brought to the United States by British immigrants around the southern borders.

Hunters in their purest form and unspoiled by celebrity attention or fad, the Feist nowadays serves only two purposes: companionships and cuddles, or hunting and running around. Going deep into the meaning of the breed’s name, the word “Feist” comes from the German “fyst” or “fice”, which means to smell a foul smell or to stink. Although you might see this as unfair assumption since the pooch is quite lively and adorable, once upon a time the Feist might have been called “stinking dog”, which is the reason for the name of the breed.

It’s been a long wait until the United Canine Association recognized the dog as a breed, something that merely happened in 2002, while the United Kennel Club was quicker to recognize the Treeing Feist all the way back in 1998. Of course, there are some differences in the two hybrids, including different proportions and sizes.

shedding for feist dog

Considered by many one of the last true hunting dogs, the Feist is known for heavily relying on sounds, sight, and scent –as all natural hunters do. It’s hard to overlook their high levels of energy and the need for daily outings, as they are important for both their physical and mental state. Notoriously silent once they find a track, it’s important to note that they make for excellent hunters due to their persistence, ability to go underground, and need to please their owner.

Provided that they have enough sensory stimulation and exercise, the Feist is a grateful pooch that will live its life as your faithful companion. However, it’s worth considering that their constant energy supply and high-drive could make for a less-than-ideal setting when it comes to young families that need space and quiet.

In fact, when boredom sets in, it can result in problematic behaviors you’ll want to avoid, including chewing furniture and shoes or scratching doors.

That being said, the right environment will allow the Feist to thrive in each situation, and their agility and desire to please will mean that you all get along and live peacefully. Despite their few similarities with terriers, they are not known to create “packs”, saying that it’s not uncommon for them to not get along with other dogs.

The same goes for small animals or pocket pets that your kids might be interested in owning –remember, this pooch is highly predatory towards small game, meaning that they should never be left together unsupervised.

However, this doesn’t come to say that they are aggressive, but instead that their genetic and historic markup makes them hunters. This breed will forever create a strong bond with his family, becoming devoted companions to all humans around the house; unprovoked aggressive behaviors are not a cause for concern, thus ensure that you won’t aggravate them.

General Appearance

When it comes to appearance, the Feist dog is a sleek and compact canine equipped with a short coat and a gorgeous profile. This dog’s elevation ranges from 10 to 22 inches, or in other words 26 to 56 cm, meaning that it’s quite small to medium concerning its height. With sharp and pointed ears that can either be upright or folded over, it will still maintain a high hunting acuity needed for these hobbies. Equipped with a weight of only 10 to 30 lbs. or 4.5 to 13.5 kg, it will be easy for you to pick and smooch your pooch anytime you want.

Once your puppy starts growing into an adult, you might notice that their muscular shape will become more and more prominent, with sturdy legs capable of running and climbing long distances. Of course, this is meant to improve the dog’s ability to chase down and catch an elusive small game –all while their medium-sized and erected tail will act like a little beacon to where you should be running towards.

Breeders have these pups in a wide range of colors, including white, light brown, black, and a combination of these nuances. With a smooth and short coat that is excellent for petting and shies away from excessively furring up your sofa, the Feist is an excellent companion for any individual or family looking for a loyal canine friend.c

Feist Dog Shedding and Grooming

Grooming or Feist Dog Shedding isn’t really much of a problem as they are a short-coated breed. Their smooth short coat will look neat if you brush them from time to time, and it also reduces shedding, so make sure to give your dog a routine. Otherwise, there is no need for extensive grooming. When it comes to bathing, that depends on the level of activity and whether your dog enjoys an occasional mischief or not. Bathe your dog as necessary which for Mountain Feist may be slightly more often than with an average dog.

Of course, if there is one thing every dog owner must learn about their dogs are the periodic grooming and cleaning tactics which means you will have to handle nail clipping teeth brushing etc but this goes for all dogs regardless of what breed you have. This dog breed requires the same grooming routine as most short-coated dogs.


Possible Health Issues To Note

Mountain Feist dog breed isn’t known to have any major health issues. They are active, energetic dogs who tend to live about up to 18  years, which is one of the longest lifespans for a dog. It is not very clear what breed this dog stems from but they rarely experience some serious health issues and no major health problems are related to this breed. However, there is the possibility of developing allergies or hip dysplasia.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the ball and socket joints are malformed which means the ball and socket don’t meet properly. This means there is a failure of the hip joints to develop normally and so the joint grinds instead of functioning smoothly.

Hip dysplasia is one of the most common skeletal diseases in dogs and it is determined by many environmental and genetic factors. Some breeds are more likely to be affected by this disease than other although gender seems no to have a significant role. Usually, larger dogs are more often affected by hip dysplasia although small dogs can be affected too. The difference is that small dogs are less likely to show clinical signs.

The disease usually begins while the dog is still young, four months and older. It can also appear later when hip dysplasia develops due to osteoarthritis. The symptoms depend on the duration of the disease, joint inflammation as well as joint laxity. They include decreased activity, difficulty rising, loss of muscle mass in thigh muscles, pain in hip joints, joint looseness etc.


Just like with people, immune systems in dogs can recognize certain substances (allergens) as dangerous and so allergies develop. They can cause a series of issues for your dog and as his body tries to fight against it, many skin, digestive, and respiratory symptoms can appear. The common symptoms of allergies among dogs include itchy or red skin, itchy eyes, itchy ears, itchy tale, vomiting, sneezing, diarrhea etc.

All dogs can develop an allergy and it can occur at any time in their lives. However, there are certain dog breeds that are affected by allergies more often and these include Retrievers, Terriers, Setters, Pugs, Bulldogs, and Boston terriers. There are many things a dog can be allergic to such as a tree, grass, and weed pollen, dust, cigarette smoke, feathers, food ingredients, fleas, perfumes, cleaning products, fabrics, insecticidal shampoo, prescription drugs and many other substances.


As we have already mentioned, Mountain Feist is a very energetic dog and they love hunting and being outside. They enjoy being active and their bodies require it. That is why it is necessary that you provide plenty of exercise for your furry friend. If you don’t plan on going hunting with your dog then make sure you take him to a walk every day because your dog will expect it. They need at least 30 minutes of daily activity and if you can provide more, even better because these dogs simply can’t get enough of running and hunting. They like walking, running, and jumping and that is why having a backyard is essential for your Mountain Feist dog. You can also take your dog to a dog park where he will be able to run free.

However, Mountain Feists require more than just physical exercise. They are smart dogs so you should engage them mentally as well. Come up with some constructive games for your dog to stimulate his mind.


As Mountain Feists are very bright dogs, they learn quickly which makes them easier to train compared with other dog breeds. They are an active and intelligent breed but they are also willing to please so you should expect to have no difficulties training this dog. Their hunting instinct does make them a little bit stubborn but if you train them in a consistent and positive manner, that won’t represent a big problem.

Mountain Feists like a firm and consistent leader whom they will obey so it is important that you do your job properly.

Ideal Environment

These dogs are not large. In fact, they are small and this makes them adaptable to most living environments. They are also suited to be working dogs as well as family pets so really there is no need to worry about Mountain Feist fitting into your living space and habits. However, they are very energetic and love being active so it is best if there is a spacious yard around the house where they can be. This dog breed prefers hunting above all else and so they require enough room to run around and do their thing. So we may say that the ideal environment for Mountain Feists is the one that allows them to have plenty of exercises.

Is The Feist Dog Good for Families?

Mountain Feist dogs are intelligent with an active and curious personality. They are ideal as working dogs or as family pets. They love being around people and they are great with children. Their adaptable and gentle personality makes Mountain Feists a great family dog that is capable of adjusting their energy levels according to different situations. They are perfectly able to get along well with people and they can be very protective of their owner and people they live with. They are excellent communicators and communicate with their owner by barking or baying or growling. Mountains Feists are also well-behaving with people they don’t know.


All in all, the Feist is a family-oriented pup that has a strong desire for love, attention, and affection.  Whether you’re looking for a friend to tag along during hunting season, or whether you’re looking to fight the cold winter months cuddled up with a pooch, the Feist can serve both those purposes –and comes in a tiny-travel size model that won’t moult too much.


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