Feist Dog Breed: Facts, Traits & History

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?

Mountain Feist Laying on Grass
Image Credit: Kyler Mitchell, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 17, 2023 by Dogster Team

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 and in varieties such as Mountain Feist or Treeing Feist. 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 Feists) 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.

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Featured Image Credit: Kyler Mitchell, Shutterstock

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