Facts About the Feist Dog Breed

Feists (also called Mountain Fesists) originated in North America several hundred years ago, from crosses between English terriers and American Indian dogs. What should you know about Feist dogs? What sort of special care do they need, if any?

Proud parent of a Feist who’s looking to learn more or thinking about getting a Feist dog? Learn the facts about this dog breed here:

A Feist dog.
A Feist dog.

Quick Facts About the Feist:

Feists are small, compact and muscular dogs. They have slightly rounded heads, tapered muzzles, black noses and ears that stick up. They have strong necks and shoulders, deep chests, sturdy legs and tails that are set high. Feists have short, smooth coats that come in red brindle, red & white, black, black & tan, tricolor (black, tan & white) and blue & white. Overall, Feists have an alert and outgoing look.

Feist traits:

  • Spirited
  • Friendly
  • Dependable
  • Intelligent
  • Fearless

Who gets along with Feist dogs?

  • Outdoorsy types
  • Retirees
  • Families with older children

What are Feist dogs like to live with?

Feists have lots of energy, but around the home they aren’t likely to bounce off the walls — in fact, they are more than happy to cuddle on the couch. Easy to train and eager to please, Feists can help on the farm, in the field or in the yard. And if you have a rat problem, they will soon make it go away. They also love to play in the park and jog through the neighborhood.

Feists get along great with children. They have gentle, adaptable personalities, and they know when to adjust the energy level. Their solid terrier genes can make them slightly territorial, but they are generally good with new people. However, they do have nose when it comes to intruders — they will bark and alert the family if they sense a threat.

What you should know about a Feist dog

Feists need at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, whether through walks, jogs through the neighborhood or hikes in the park. Being an intelligent working breed, they also like constructive games and tasks to keep their minds sharp. They will be happy living in an apartment as long as their daily exercise requirements are met.

A healthy Feist can live as long as 18 years. These are solid, healthy little dogs for the most part, but some can develop hip dysplasia and allergy problems. Their short coat is easy to manage. Just brush them every few days.

Feist history

Feists (also called Mountain Fesists) originated in North America several hundred years ago, probably from crosses between English terriers and American Indian dogs. Today, Feists are still valued by hunters, farmers and families for their great tracking and pest-control abilities, not to mention their steady temperaments.

Interested in Feists? You might also like:

23 thoughts on “Facts About the Feist Dog Breed”

  1. Got our 9 years ago sight unseen from a shelter. What a great dog. She is social but also ok on her own if I have to go out. She is energy on demand, although she is getting a bit lazy in her old age. I agree that these dogs practically train themselves. We’ve had several friends watch her for a week and they all offer to watch her again any time.

  2. Beverly VanDee

    I got my Lucy when she was 5 weeks old. She is 6 now. Im positive Lucy trained herself. Shes nuts when it comes to her balls, sometimes i have to tell her "thats enough" She sits on my left like shes guarding me shes all back strait & ears up.when she had puppys she was strict with them. Is that normal? & her legs are taller than i seen in pics.


  3. We got ours from a shelter. The best way we found to get over her shyness and skittishness was to put her on a long leash at a family party giving her the availability to leave or participate as she felt she could. We’ve had her 13 years and couldn’t be happier! She is obedient although slow sometimes in responding. We couldn’t have asked for a better dog from a shelter.

  4. I just purchased a Feist from from a couple that were down sizing,so I bought a girl; she’s been terrified ,and has been on the defensive side,and it concerns me. I would like some feed back on this adoption of my dog,and her very noticeable, behavior. Thanks, Wendy Fillmer

  5. We got a Feist mix from a rescue 3 years ago. He’s been our little girl’s best bud and the family protector from the start. He can catch a rabbit or squirrel in the yard with no trouble, but most of the time he just wants to relax with his people. I’ve been thinking about getting another Feist because he’s just such a joy for our family.

  6. I have a feist that I got about 7 months ago and he is by far the best dog my husband and I have ever had. He trains easy, has an amazing personality, he gets hyper but will lay around if we do, and is amazing with our small children. We are getting another one soon because they are such great dogs.

  7. They are great squirrel dogs. Pet people, please stay away from this working breed. Yall have ruined plenty of good working breeds in the name of suburban pets and purse decorations.

      1. cut out the judgments. some dogs are both tools and pets. if you live way out in a holler, you’d know this. it can be both. hypocrite.

        1. Stop using dogs as tools and you won’t be judged. It’s your presumptuous comments that got you a reply to begin with.

          1. Dogs were domesticated as tools. They live more full lives doing what they were bred to do. Not just stuck inside the house all their lives. If you want a pet, get a lap dog breed. Leave the working breeds to people who can work them.

    1. My feist is a working dog but he’s not just a working dog. He’s treated like one of my kids. So us pet people don’t ruin dogs we just love them in a way that everything should be loved.

  8. Pingback: Facts About the Feist Dog Breed – dogcaz.com

  9. Pingback: 20 Adorable Male and Female Farm Dog Names – DogVills

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.

Let Dogster answer all of your most baffling canine questions!

Starting at just


Follow Us

Shopping Cart