Fun Feist Dog Facts For Kids

Akinwalere Olaleye
Feb 29, 2024 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed
Feist dog facts about the small dog species also known as the squirrel dog.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 9.0 Min

The exact origins of the feist dog, also known as the treeing feist, are undetermined. Feist dogs were popular in the southern states of the USA and their small size helped them track game through the wild and helped them adapt to hunting and catching small animals like rats, mice as well as squirrels. Some hunters used them as companions since they were people-friendly. They are said to have originated from breeding terriers and hunting dogs and hence their temperament is derived from both species of dogs.

Both the National Kennel Club (NKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC) recognize the dog breed. The feist breed was recognized by the United Canine Association in 2002. There are close to 14 types of first dog breeds. Fiest dog's features depend on the type of feist dog you get as you pet. They are excellent companions to all who love dogs and are trainable in nature. This article will take a look at some fun and interesting facts about the feist dog. If you liked this article, check out the border collie and the Shih Tzu.

Feist Dog Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a feist dog?

A feist dog is a type of dog that is smart and lively in nature and is often confused with the Jack Russell terrier.

What class of animal does a feist dog belong to?

Feist dogs belong to the mammal class of species. They originate from breeding terriers and hunting dogs and possess qualities of both.

How many feist dogs are there in the world?

The exact number of feist dogs in the world is not known. There are a total of 14 types of feist dogs all of which belong to the same family however they differ in shape and size.

Where does a feist dog live?

Feist dog breed is derived from terrier as well as hunting dog breeds. This dog breed is fit to live on farms and protect crops from pests like mice or rats. They are also kept as pets in homes. The feist dog breed is a small, scrappy, and popular species of dog that is often adopted by pet owners. They also enjoy climbing trees.

What is a feist dog's habitat?

Apart from homes and as farm dogs, feists are a popular dog breed and kept in pet shops, and shelter homes. Interesting facts about feists include the fact that these dogs should always be kept on a leash when outside else they have the probability to run away or chase animals such as squirrels by climbing up a tree. They tend to run behind any possible sense of smell or movement they see as they are curious beings.

Who do feist dogs live with?

Feist dogs live on their own and fit in perfectly with people, or an individual in an apartment. Interesting facts about the feist dog include that they are accommodative of other pet animals in the house as long as they are given some time to accommodate themselves.

How long does a feist dog live?

The average lifespan of a feist dog is 15 to 18 years. If taken care of properly some feist breeds can live up to 20 years. The oldest dog in the world is a cattle dog called Bluey who died in 1938 at the age of 29 years. Bluey worked as a shepherd dog for 20 years.

How do they reproduce?

They mate just like other species of dogs. A puppy's mother usually gives birth from five to eight puppies in each little. Some species of feist dogs like the mountain feist dogs are found rarely in shelter homes. These dogs are usually bred by breeders where they train mother and father dogs. Once the females give birth to the young ones, they are in most instances taken for adoption.

What is their conservation status?

Feist dog is a dog that is considered as a Not Evaluated species by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature (IUCN) and is a popular choice for adoption as a pet both for experienced owners as well as novices.

Feist Dog Fun Facts

What do feist dogs look like?

They are categorized as squirrel dog species since they have natural abilities to hunt and are feisty in nature like their terrier ancestor.

The feist dog comes in three coat varieties: the smooth coat, the rough coat, and the broken coat. Their coat color varies from black and white, red, tri-color, and fawn and white. The feist dogs have a short, soft, and smooth coat and are suitable for those with low to medium allergies. They are usually small to medium and muscular in appearance. Their high is about 10 to 18 inches tall and they weigh between 15 and 20 pounds. They have small eyes which are dark in color. Their ears range from straight to floppy. The head has a medium length with a slightly rounded skull. Their forelegs are straight and strong with muscular hind legs with slightly bent hocks. Their legs are long and they have a tail set high and carried erect.  

How cute are they?

They are extremely intelligent and cute beings and are usually small to medium-sized dogs looking forward to adventure and fun in their life. They are accommodative of other pet animals and are active beings who love chasing, swimming, digging in the sand, and sleeping.

How do they communicate?

They communicate using growls, bays, and barks. They tend to bark loudly and are protective of their owners. They communicate with owners as well and love to interact with them. They are unique and intelligent pets. Their temperament is high-spirited yet lovable.

How big is a feist dog?

The feist dog is 10inch-18inch (25.4cm-45.7cm) tall which is 20 times bigger than the tiniest dog breed in the world, the Chihuahua who is six to nine inches on average as an adult.

How fast can a feist dog run?

Fiest dogs are excellent squirrel dogs and have the ability to instantly detect a squirrel if they are put to it. They love to be outdoors more than stay indoors however, they are fit to live in an apartment as well. They are known to be peaceful dogs when hunting.

How much does a feist dog weigh?

They are solid, healthy little dogs for the most part but can gain weight if not taken care of. They weigh approximately 15-20lb (6.8-9.07kg). They require a lot of exercise and enjoy being chased through the house. A minimum amount of exercise is at least 30 minutes per day.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male dogs are referred to as dogs while female dogs are referred to as a bitches. Both males and females of the species are equally intelligent. The primary way to identify the difference is to inspect their private parts or consult a professional to identify their gender correctly.

What would you call a baby feist dog?

A baby feist is referred to as a puppy. In the initial few days, they are born with closed eyes and with sensitive skin. They rely completely on parents or breeders during their first few weeks. Once the puppy grows up they develop short coats with different variant colors. If you are set on making a feist puppy your very own, you are in for a full-time companion.

What do they eat?

Dietary requirements include feeding them at least twice a day with food that contains a nutritional value and is of good quality. They do not need to eat lots of food but appropriate proportions, consulting a professional about this is advisable to keep them in the best possible health. Their diet should consist of good amounts of proteins and other nutrients like calcium, fat, and carbohydrates in appropriate amounts. Fatty foods should be kept at a minimum as if fed too much it can create problems. They can also be fed kibble food but ensure that they have a substitute liquid to drink along with it since they are innately active dogs and require enough energy to be their best selves.

Are they slobbery?

Physical characteristics that these dogs tend to have are their tendency to drool and slobber. Hence if you dislike dogs that are slobbery in nature you might want to consider other breeds of dogs while adopting.

Would they make a good pet?

They are easy to train as long as you have enough patience to control their energetic personality. They also get along with young children and other animals. They are protective of their owners and can be mean if they are put in a position of threat. Their temperament is high-spirited yet lovable. They do not shed much, however, timely grooming is essential to keep this dog healthy and safe. They are accommodative of not just humans but also other pets and animals like dogs and cats. If given some time they adapt easily to other species and become friendly towards them. This devoted canine can be needy if they are left alone for a long period of time. If you live in an area infected by a rat they will soon make it go away. They are known to have health problems as well like hip dysplasia and other complications. Regular health checkups will help ensure adequate precautionary measures in case any health problems arise.

Did you know...

George Washington mentioned the dogs in his diary in 1770. He was the first person to ever record them. Other notable figures like Abraham Lincoln too made mention of them in a poem he wrote. These dogs have also made appearances in films and other forms of media.

The breed was popularised by Teddy Roosevelt who frequently hunted with a feist named Skip. William Faulkner too was influential in popularising these dogs. These dogs are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Roosevelt terriers are the only type that is recognized by the AKC. Other breeds that can be considered part of the feist family include Mullins feist, Thornburg feist, and a Rat terrier.  

Do Feist dogs get along with cats?

They are accommodating towards other pet animals and have temperaments that can be controlled as long as they are given enough time to adapt to the other species. Not just with cats, they are also accommodative towards other dogs. They tend to chase away small rodents like mice and rats away. Feists have a lot of energy and it needs to be matched to keep them healthy and in shape. Feists also get along with children especially young children as well as older people.

What is a Mountain Feist breed of dog?

The mountain feist breed of dog is one of the rare dog species in the family of feists. There is no main distinction between the mountain feist and the treeing feist. They are energetic dogs and were first seen in the Ozark mountains. They are rarely aggressive and are a popular species of feists. They have a tricolor coat and are easy to groom like other species of feists. They are often compared and confused with Jack Russell terriers but they are different and have softer coats as compared to the terriers.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including armadillos or reindeer.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Feist dog coloring pages.

Feist Dog Facts

What Did They Prey On?


What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

5-8 puppies

How Much Did They Weigh?

15-20lbs (6.8-9.07kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

pet shops, and shelter homes

Where Do They Live?

missouri, arkansas, and oklahoma

How Long Were They?


How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Canis Lupus Familiaris

What Do They Look Like?

Black and white, red, tri-color, and fawn and white

Skin Type

Short Hair

What Are Their Main Threats?


What is their Conservation Status?

Not evaluated
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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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