A Feist Dog
|Other names||Treeing Feist|
|Country of origin||United States|
Feist refers to a type of small hunting dogs, developed in the rural southern United States. Dog types are broad categories of dogs based on function dog types are not identical to modern ''dog breeds'' but dogs identified primarily by specific For the species known as the African hunting dog Cape hunting dog or painted hunting dog see African Wild Dog A hunting dog refers to any Dog who The Southern United States &mdashcommonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South &mdashconstitutes a large distinctive
Feists generally are small (under 18inches/45cm), short-coated dogs with long legs, usually white with dark spots, a pointed (snipy) nose and with ears set high on the head. Traditionally the tail is docked. Docking is the Amputation of portions of an animal's Tail or Ears While docking and bobbing are more commonly used to refer to removal of the As feists are bred for hunting, not as show dogs, there is little to no consistency in appearance (breed type), and they may be purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dogs. A dog hybrid (also called a designer dog is a new term for an individual Dog with with ancestry in two different purebred Dog breeds traditionally A mixed-breed dog (also called a mutt, mongrel, tyke, cur, bitzer or random-bred dog) is a Dog that has They are identified more by the way they hunt than by their appearance.
Individual dogs can hunt in more than one way, but in general, feists work above ground to chase small prey, especially squirrels. This contrasts with fell terriers, earth dogs that go to ground to kill or drive out the prey, usually rodents, European rabbits, foxes, or badgers. Lurchers are larger dogs that catch the prey when the fell or the hunter drives it from the hole. The lurcher is not a Dog breed, but rather a type of Dog. It is a hardy crossbred Sighthound that is generally a cross between Only the feists were developed in the US.
When hunting, feists, unlike hounds, are silent on track. They "tree" squirrels, keeping them in the tree by barking and circling the tree, in the same manner that coonhounds tree raccoons.
Various named varieties within the feist type have been developed, including the Treeing Feist, Mullins Feist, Denmark Feist, Mountain Feist, Kemmer Feist, and Rat Terrier. A mountain feist is a type of dog Like the Lurcher, it is not a specific breed but a "type" The United Kennel Club recognizes a Treeing Feist breed. The United Kennel Club (or UKC) is the second oldest all-breed registry of Purebred Dog Pedigrees in the United States and
The feist is not a new type. Written accounts of the dogs go back centuries. Abraham Lincoln wrote about them in a poem, "The Bear Hunt" (feist is spelled "fice"). Reference to them is included in the diary of George Washington in 1770 ("A small foist looking yellow cur"), and a feist is also featured in William Faulkner's "Go Down Moses" (a brave "fice" dog is killed by a bear). Claude Shumate, who wrote about the Feist for "Full Cry" magazine, believed that the feist was descended from Native American dogs, mixed with small terriers from Britain, and was kept as early as the 1600s (Full Cry, December, 1987).
Similar dogs are the Smooth Fox Terrier, developed to flush out foxes for hunters in England (but now primarily kept for conformation showing and as a pet), and the Jack Russell Terrier, also used for fox hunting. NIS The Smooth Fox Terrier is a breed of Dog, one of many Terrier breeds In a conformation show, judges familiar with specific Dog breeds evaluate individual Dogs for how well they conform to published Breed standards A pet is an Animal kept for companionship and enjoyment or a househeld animal as opposed to Livestock, Laboratory animals Working animals Fox terriers and feists are often predominantly white so as to be visible to hunters. There are many other variants of this type, such as the Parson Russell Terrier and Rat Terrier, and many locally developed purebred breeds. The Parson Russell Terrier was recognized by the UK Kennel Club in 1990 and the American Kennel Club in 2001 under the name Parson Jack Russell Terrier http//enwikipediaorg/wiki/WikipediaWikiProject_Dog_breeds#Infobox_Dogbreed_template for full explanation The original fox terrier type was documented in England in the 1700s.
Because of similarities in appearance, feists are sometimes mistaken for Jack Russell Terriers, particularly in shelters and pounds. However, certain physical characteristics separate the two, and can be easy to identify if you know what to look for. The coat of a feist is generally softer and smoother than that of a Jack Russell. Its legs are longer and in better proportion to its body, and the tail of a feist is usually shorter than that of a Jack Russell.
Despite overall physical similarities, however, the behavior and temperament of a feist and a Jack Russell are quite different.
Most feists are fairly quiet dogs, and lack the tendency to excessive barking demonstrated by Jack Russells. Because feists were bred to hunt in packs, they enjoy the company of other dogs, whereas Jack Russells tend to be more combative, and may be too aggressive to share space with another dog. Finally, while active, feists do not generally exhibit the frenetic energy of Jack Russells.
There has been considerable crossing of feist dogs, since they are bred primarily for performance as hunting dogs. Feist dogs are the progenitor of what we now call the Rat Terrier. The Rat Terrier is a specific breed within the "feist" umbrella. Because the word "feist" refers to a general type of dog just as "hound" and "terrier" refer to a group of breeds, Rat Terriers are often called "feist". The terriers brought to America in the 1890's from England were crossed with feist dogs already here in addition to some of the Toy breeds (Toy Fox Terrier, Manchester Terrier and Chihuahua) to develop the Rat Terrier we know today.
The word 'feist' is described in Webster's Third New International Dictionary as from the obsolete word "fysting" meaning "beaking wind, in such expressions as fysting dog or fysting hound". "Feist" is defined as "1. chiefly dial: a small dog of uncertain ancestry. . . " Related to the word "feisty". More on the Online Etymological Dictionary  .
"Feist or Fiction?: The Squirrel Dog of the Southern Mountains" by Donald Davis, Jeffrey Stotkit, The Journal of Popular Culture 26 (1992) , pgs 193–201
"Introduction to the Treeing Feist: a squirrel dog breed history" by Marcus B. Gray, Countryside & Small Stock Journal, November/December 2007, pg 48