Fun Feist Facts For Kids

Georgia Stone
Aug 29, 2023 By Georgia Stone
Originally Published on Oct 20, 2021
Feist dog facts are fun to read with family.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 9.4 Min

Feists, also called treeing feist, are descendants of terriers. These are small dogs with long legs and ears, which were transported to the United States by a group of miners in 1770.

Although the American Kennel Club has not yet recognized this breed, it is considered as the pride of America, as many renowned figures are known to have kept them. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were two prominent figures who kept this breed.

Their genetic ancestry is little known because of their different crossbreed. Their mixed heritage contributed to the various color combinations in which they are available.

Their profound hunting skills are well known and are comparable to that of Jack Russell terrier and Fox terriers. They can hunt and track down with extraordinary speed and accuracy and thus are considered to be true hunting dogs.

The feist dog is highly inquisitive and playful. They easily get along with family and display great amounts of enthusiasm.

The high energetic levels of the feist dogs make them adventurous and perfect hunting dogs. However, feist dogs are very vocal and once they pick up a scent, they will not remain quiet anymore and constantly growl and bark. This particular trait makes it difficult to train them.

They prefer the outdoors and love to play games. Their strong leg muscles and less body weight makes them capable to balance their body and jump around in a bouncy way, with great agility. The feist dogs are susceptible to various diseases.

Hip dysplasia and allergies are quite common in this breed and therefore, require good care. Keep on reading to know more about the intelligent and cute feist breeds.

If you liked reading this article, why not also read about the American bulldog and the Clumber spaniel here on Kidadl?

Feist Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Feist?

A feist is an intelligent dog, that possesses similarities with Jack Russell terriers and mountain feist breeds.

What class of animal does a Feist belong to?

Feists belong to the class Mammalia and genus Canis, just like the labrador retrievers and the pitbull.

How many feists are there in the world?

Though the exact number of feist dogs in the world is not known yet, there are a total of 14 species of feist dogs that belong to the same family and genus.

Where does a feist live?

Feists are excellent hunting dogs, just like terriers and Jack Russell dog breeds. They prefer the outdoors, particularly farms, where they could keep the pests like a rat and squirrel away.

The feist dog breed adapts well with family and children. When brought home as a puppy, they can even get along well with other pet animals. They are highly energetic dogs and are swift climbers.

What is a feist's habitat?

The feist dog breed prefers farmlands and parks, rather than confined spaces in homes. Their inquisitive nature often takes them on an adventure spree, where they try to chase a particular smell and hunt that down.

This curious trait forces the owners to keep them on leash so that they do not run away chasing after a squirrel. These dogs can climb trees with excellent agility and run over extensive miles. It is, therefore, important for all pet owners, to allow the feists to exercise on a regular basis.

Who do feists live with?

Feists are highly social animals and love spending time with their owners. They can be great family dogs if given proper training from the puppy stage. The feist dog breed can even get along well with other dog breeds and animals and grow to be awesome companions. Children are fond of the curious little feist breed.

How long does a feist live?

The feist dogs can live for as long as 15-18 years, and with proper care, their lifespan can hit up to 20 years of age.

How do they reproduce?

The feists reproduce by sexual reproduction just like other feist dogs. The feist puppies range from 5-8 in number. The mountain feist dog is usually bred by breeders and the puppies are taken for adoption immediately after their birth. Due to crossbreeding with other dog species, the feist mix-breeds are common.

What is their conservation status?

The feist terrier breed is not listed in the IUCN Red List.

Feist Fun Facts

What do feists look like?


Feists are small and muscular, with long legs and ears. They are available in a variety of color combinations due to crossbreeding. Black and white, brown and white, tri-color with the black tail are the most common color combinations seen in feists.

Their coat texture is also of different types- smooth, rough, and broken. They have dark small eyes. Their short body size and muscular legs attribute to their swift jumping skills.

The terriers are basically working dogs, that are best suited in farmlands chasing after the squirrel and other animals. They are considered true hunting dogs, that weigh about 15-20 lb (6.8-9 kg). Their small head bears a short rounded skull.

How cute are they?

Feists are extremely cute terrier dogs due to their medium-sized body. These working dogs are highly energetic and fun-loving. Their adventurous nature takes them hunting in different places. Feist terriers love to be around active pet parents and prefer large spaces to run and jump around enthusiastically.

How do they communicate?

The temperament of the feist pets is quite unique, owing to their high intelligence quotient. They communicate by barking and growling.

These pets are extremely fond of their family and thus, love to interact with them for long durations. The feist dog is protective of its family and warns them of potential danger by spontaneous barking. Though they are considered to be quiet when compared to other dog species, the feist will not stop growling once it catches anything suspicious.

This particular trait aids their sharp hunting skills and makes their temperament extremely high-spirited. However, it is not so easy to train these dogs because of their inquisitive nature.

How big is a feist?

A feist dog is about 10-18 in (25.4-45.7 cm) tall and is bigger than the beagle, which is about 13-15 in (33-38 cm) tall. Feists also possess ancestral similarities with beagles as well as treeing dog breeds.

How fast can a feist run?

Though their exact speed is not recorded, the feist dogs are excellent runners and can hunt down animals with great speed. This dog breed possesses similar characteristics to that of the other terriers and working dogs.

Their breed is known to be highly energetic with tremendous agility, which makes them great tree climbers. Their short body and long legs make it easy for them to chase animals swiftly.

How much does a feist weigh?

The feist dog weighs about 15-20 lb (6.8-9 kg). Feist puppies are popular among children due to their size.

This breed requires a lot of exercises that include running and fetching, among other games. Their high-spirited temperament is not so easy to tame and they must be put on leash so that they don't run away.

Their weight should be managed by putting them on a balanced diet and making them work out regularly for a minimum of 30-40 minutes outdoors.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Just like other dog breeds, male feists are referred to as dogs, while the females are called bitches.

What would you call a baby feist?

A baby feist is called a puppy, which is born with closed eyes and delicate skin. They undergo a lactation period, just like any other mammals, and require constant nursing.

The puppy grows pretty fast and sheds its puppy fur for the first time in four to six months of age. Children are extremely fond of feist puppies because of their soft coats and cute eyes.

What do they eat?

As feists are an extremely active breed, they should be fed at least twice a day. The frequency should be increased with their age and on the number of workouts, that they are undergoing.

Their diet should primarily be a balanced diet, which includes the right amounts of carbohydrates for energy, protein for the development of their body, vitamins, and minerals for their immunity. A very low-fat content should be given to them, as extra fat can lead to lethargy and obesity.

Plenty of water should be given to them, as they drool a lot.

Food rich in fibers is a must, that will contribute to their smooth peristalsis in the gastrointestinal tract. They tend to be seeking more treats, but this should be avoided in order to offer them a healthy life.

The newborns should be treated with extra care and needs to be given milk four to five times a day. A visit to the vet once every month can ensure a disease-free life for these dogs, as they are prone to several diseases and allergies.

Are they slobbery?

The feist dog can get slobbery and drools during their playtime. This drooling tendency increases if they suffer from allergies and dental problems. As feists are active dogs, they can get slobbery quite often. Therefore, think wisely before getting a feist as your pet if you are not fond of drooling dogs.

Would they make a good pet?

The feist makes an extremely good pet because of its quick wit. It is a fun-loving dog and enjoys spending time with its pet parents.

They can easily accommodate themselves with other animals as well. These dogs are highly zestful and like all types of games.

The feist is a protective dog and safeguards its loved ones from imminent dangers. Furthermore, they are easy to maintain as they do not shed quite often and thus, require less grooming. Since they are allergic and prone to catching infections from other animals, they require a good health check-up on a regular basis.

Hip dysplasia is a common disease seen in these breeds. As the feist is a devoted dog, it can become needy and suffer from acute depression if left alone for a long time.

Did you know...

The feist breed gained popularity from Skip, who was the hunting dog belonging to Teddy Roosevelt. Although the American Kennel Club has not yet recognized the feist, they have gained immense popularity in the United States from influential figures, like William Faulkner.

The origin of these dogs is little known. It is believed that they are cross-bred with different terrier species. The smooth fox terrier, the English-white terrier, and the Manchester terrier are the choice of dog breeds with which they were bred. The Mullin feist and Thornburg feist are also considered to be a part of the feist family.

How to pronounce feist?

The word 'feist' comes from the word 'feisty' that means energetic. Thus, the name of this breed gives justice to their high-spirited nature. It is pronounced 'fye-st'.

Getting your own feist

Feists can make good pets, however, it should be kept in mind that proper training is given in order to tame the over-enthusiastic nature and prevent them from running away. It should also be kept in mind, that feists require a lot of space to work out and burn their energy.

Thus, if you want to own a feist, then get ready to be their full-time companion.

You have to engage yourself in playing with them for long hours and make sure they don't destroy your household items owing to their overactive nature.

Since they love to be outdoors, they can catch several infectious diseases from other animals, and thus a routine checkup to the vet is a mandate for them. Other than these, feists are lovely pets.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Japanese spitz facts and Corgi German shepherd facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable dog coloring pages.

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Written by Georgia Stone

Bachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

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Georgia StoneBachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

Georgia is an experienced Content Manager with a degree in French and Film Studies from King's College London and Bachelors degree from Université Paris-Sorbonne. Her passion for exploring the world and experiencing different cultures was sparked during her childhood in Switzerland and her year abroad in Paris. In her spare time, Georgia enjoys using London's excellent travel connections to explore further afield.

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