It can be difficult to find a dog breed that fits into an active lifestyle, but fear not, all you need to do is contemplate getting a Feist. The Feist has been around for a long time but regardless of being one of the first dog breeds in America, it is often less talked about in comparison to some of its current counterparts. The Feist is a small dog which is brilliant at both hunting and friendship and when you have the right energy to match them, they may be one of the best breeds to consider if you are looking for a dog of a lifetime.
What a Feist Is?
A descendent from the terrier, a Feist is a small dog ranging between 10 to 18 inches tall and weighing around 20 pounds. As they are bred specifically for hunting rather than for how they look, dogs from this breed greatly differ one from another. What they do have in common is that they are all little dogs with long legs and tall ears and lots of excess energy.
- Feist from England
These petite dogs were transported to the US by English miners as far back as the year 1770. Several historic figures noticed in the US, with the great George Washington being the person to first to record them. There are numerous different crossbreeds of Feist, so much so that little is known about their genetic ancestry. There are numerous ideas about their roots but what can be agreed upon is that the Feist has a mixed heritage and not essentially a specific dog breed. The American Kennel Club in fact has not yet recognized the breed.
This dog was initially established in Britain for working purposes. As such, their appearance was not of great importance; what mattered most was the breed’s temperament and physical abilities so they were bred with several other small breed dogs, including the Jack Russel and Fox Terrier. As soon as they came to the US, they were typically the dogs found to be working on farms. Over the years, the Feist has become especially popular in the South and has been used for many things out on the farm particularly hunting and tracking. Their speed and accuracy have been improved over the years through breeding, making the Feist a well-suited breed today for all situations.
- The Feist is so much fun
You should know that when you bring a Feist into your home, they will be very inquisitive and have high get-up-and-go levels. They depend on using their nose to seek out fun and so will want to go out to play every day to discover new things and exercise. The Feist is best known for being watchful, as they were made to be hunting dogs so they will always have an eye out for new adventures. They will also love the friendship you offer them and make really good company. Be ready to give your Feist lots of kindness and playtime to ensure their happiness.
Feists are at all times a bundle of energy and they will always up for fun in the form of a game. The most vital thing is to put them in a location that is beneficial for their high energy. You need to commit to having fun with them for at least 30 minutes a day helping them to exercise and burn off all that energy. There are some reflections that you need to make with respect to keeping your energetic dog safe as they play such as providing them with room in a well-kept yard.
Also, know that Feists are very vocal and they might not be good in a small home with neighbors close by. They will growl and bark but then to keep you on your toes they will turn out to be very quiet once they have picked up a scent. They are really contented in a pack setting with companions, which means they will latch onto you speedily. When you have a Feist from the puppy stage, they will always end up getting very committed to your family. They typically get along with extra dogs and will make fun friends quickly.
- Feist are born hunters
Since the Feist is bred as a hunting dog instead of a show dog, being outside is not enough for them, they will hunt any small animal down. They will frequently run off if they have not been trained well from the start in pursuit of anything. You will not see them looking the same, but there are some typical characteristics that they have in common including their natural need to hunt. They are therefore built for this and you will with no trouble recognize a Feist from their all-purpose body type. They are typically sturdy, with a long and wide muzzle which they use to hunt with. They have slight eyes which they use to seek out prey, with ears that are erect so they can effectively hear all around them. They have legs which are strong and powerful for running fast on any terrain.
- Feist grooming is easy
A Feist, despite the differences in color, will at all times have a smooth coat that stays short. This is exactly what makes the Feist easy to groom which is what you want when you do not have much time to brush your dog. You will frequently see the Feist with coats of many colors including brown, white, red and black, or tan. Whatever the color your Feist is they will stay affectionate and energetic as you groom them. Thanks to the short coat, you dog is not that challenging when it comes to grooming.
Equally they tend to shed very little, so a bit of spur-of-the-moment brushing every so often will be sufficient to keep them groomed. Though, since Feists enjoy playing outdoors, you may want to wash them often to help to keep them clean, particularly if your Feist has a light-coloured fur. As with all dogs, your Feist will require you to brush their teeth, wipe their ears and cut their nails as part of a light grooming routine. Though, their nails might not want to be clipped all of the time, as your dog will most probably wear them down naturally as they play around so much. Consequently, your Feist will be fairly low maintenance in relation to grooming routines.
For more help on dog grooming, you may wish to read our guides on the best dog nail grinders, dog dryers, dog clippers, dog paw washers and dog shampoo.
- They are agile and swift
If you watch a Feist move, then you will notice them jump nimbly around in an untiring, bouncy way. This is since their strong leg muscles permit them to use their forelegs to move speedily. It is also true that they have widespread paws and a large breadth between the hind feet when they are stretched out. This gives your Feist amazing balance, and this is the main cause behind why they are so agile.
You will have to move very quickly to keep up with this breed of dog. A Feist dog usually only grows to a short height and they typically weigh a medium weight, so they are a muscular and lithe dog to have around. Due their mix of genes they have picked up and developed their speed and stamina over the years. This breed is not recognized by its standard appearance, but instead by its speed and bounce.
- The Feist likes the outside
Your Feist will enjoy being in the open so much more than being cooped up, so you will need to take them for regular walks and play outdoor games with them in your yard. The lovely thing about this outgoing dog breed is that you are able to go with them out and about on your travels without worrying about them provoking other dogs. A Feist will typically just pay attention to what they are doing with you and are normally sociable towards all and sundry, including other dogs.
One of the most vital things is to spend time outside with your dog every single day, therefore you are allowing yourself the chance to create the kind of bond that a loving Feist needs. Consequently, caring for them inside a small home without a yard is certainly not an ideal setting for them, without you promising to take them out for a number of walks each day.
Feist dogs relish dog parks since they get along well with other dogs and people, so you will not need to worry about any incidents occurring when you take them there. What you are able to do in fact is make a really fun day of it and take your dog’s toys with you and really engage them in outdoors play. When you purchase outdoor toys for your Feist, remember that they like hunting and so they will relish any games that arouse their hunting natures. It is particularly vital to take your dog to places like dog parks when you live in confined spaces when they have not got a lot of room to run around in. They will like the attention and will give you back the love.
- Little health problems
Feists in general do not have many health worries and in its place, they actually have the lengthiest life span over any dog breed living – in some cases they can live up to 18 years. As the Feist’s ancestry cannot technically be traced to a specific breed of dog, as an owner you may have little background information to give you a better idea of what may happen in regard to health. However, there are a couple of things that they may be more vulnerable too. Two afflictions most common for these dogs are hip dysplasia and allergies, but that being said this is only rarely. Feists are susceptible to the identical food allergies as any other dogs and so must not be fed foods not appropriate for dogs.
Hip Dysplasia is more common in Feists. Hip dysplasia is a skeletal ailment which is categorized by losing function in their hip joints. While cases of late onset are known, Hip Dysplasia typically starts when your dog is just a puppy. But it is still a low rate for Feists to show signs of the disorder and fortunately there is current treatment offered.
- Fences can cause problems
Feists are famous for their need to chase little animals like squirrels and rabbits, and they will spend all of their time doing this if your yard has a fence that allows them to get out and do this. Ensure that you inspect your fence every so often for any holes that have come about, that may cause injury to your pet, and patch-up your fence as soon as you can as you find gaps. Due to their small size, they can climb over most fences. Your Feist will effortlessly make light work of mounting a chicken wire fence then will frequently struggle to get back into your yard again once they are finished playing outside. Head over to our review of the best electric fence for dogs for more alternatives.
Is a Feist a Family Dog?
Feists as we know are really social animals who love being around people, particularly children which makes them the faultless family dog. Furthermore, they are continuously in the mood to play, and this makes them a total hit with children of all ages. These dogs can be very supple, so playing with busy and active children is no problem for them. They stay gentle and flexible and they understand when to correct their energy levels to accommodate your child.
The Feist might not be the most well-known dog breed, but increasingly people are considering them for friendship and their hunting nature and everything that this brings. These delightful dogs may be small in size, but they have a big bark about them, and they are constantly ready to play with the family. If you are searching for a friendly family dog that has lots of energy, then a Feist might be a fantastic option for your family.
- Feist Dog – Animal Corner