8 Must Know Facts About the Feist Dog Breed
The chances are that a whole chunk of the world’s population has never heard about this particular dog breed. Nevertheless, they are quite real and are even recognized by the United Kennel Club. Like most dogs, they have a very rich history that would serve as interesting to their owners and dog owners in general.
Generally, they are small to medium sized mutts that actually descended from a set of little dogs originally kept by England’s working class, most especially those that worked in fields and mines. Meanwhile, in America, they were considered as sporting companions. This is one among many interesting facts about this loose-knitted breed.
They Are Natural Hunters
There are show dogs, then there are hunting dogs and the Feist definitely falls into the category of hunting dogs. Just being outdoors is not nearly enough for them; in most situations, they end up chasing down small animals for sport. For this reason, they need to be well trained from when they are young or else, they’ll chase after anything and everything.
One unique thing about this breed is that they typically do not look the same; in their case, dogs of the same breed can have vastly different characteristics. Nevertheless, they have a handful of attributes that are similar and one of them is the fact that they all have the urge to hunt. As a result of this, their physical stature is very attuned to hunting, some may call it an all-purpose body type. They are often sturdy, and also equipped with a long and wide muzzle for which to hunt with.
In addition, their eyes are quite slight so as to enable them to seek out their prey. This is accompanied by ears that are quite erect so as to enhance their hearing ability altogether. All this is topped off with strong, athletic and powerful legs which enable them to run fast on all sorts of terrain. Though they may not all look alike, these traits bond them together and can be used to identify them as the superb hunters that they are.
Long Life and Minimal Health Problems
There are tons of breeds who are frequently plagued by all sorts of health issues, you can rest assured that the feist is not one of them. Having a heritage that takes them all the way back to the rural wilderness of southern America does have one or two perks. In this case, it made them as resilient as can be.
Their life span is unmatchable seeing as they can live up to 18 years. Based on this it is fair to say that they do not have a lot of health issues altogether. Regardless of this, you cannot rule out sickness completely, they are quite vulnerable to a few things.
The two most common ailments you can expect if you own a feist are hip dysplasia and allergies. This rarely happens but in the grand scale of things, it is good to know what to watch out for. Just as other dog breeds, feists can experience food allergies and should be given food that is healthy for dogs as a whole. In terms of the hip dysplasia, this is a bit more common for their kind. It is a skeletal dysfunction that manifests itself in the loss of function in the hip joints.
It is a tricky one because it mostly starts when your pet is just a pup but typically manifests towards their advanced years. The good news is that not many feists are riddled with this disease. The downside is that there is currently no treatment available for this condition.
Grooming Them is Easy
They may not all look the same, but one thing is for sure, a healthy feist will always have a short and smooth coat. Based on this fact alone, you will have no issues grooming them, most especially in the case that you do not have adequate time to brush them as frequently as you would like.
This dog breed is literally characterized by ‘coats of many colors’ so, get ready to see some brown, white, red, tan and even black combinations here and there. Though the color of feists everywhere could differ, one thing is sure, they will offer little to no resistance whilst you groom them. Just the same way its generally easier to comb short hair, it is also easier to brush a short coat. Another upside to having a lovely short coat is the fact that they experience little to no shedding. As an owner of this breed, a little brushing now and then is sufficient enough to keep them looking nice and neat at all times.
One thing to consider closely though is the fact that these dogs love the outdoors and they tend to be very active. As such, giving a nice wash now and then is quite beneficial to their general aesthetic. Additionally, their grooming is still quite similar to other dogs. They still need to have their teeth brushed, ears wiped, and nails cut. All in all, they are as low maintenance as they come.
They Love the Great Outdoors
As aforementioned, this particular breed thrives when they are outdoors, so if you are in the market for a good inside dog then rule out feists altogether. Feist owners will often have to take them outside and also engage them in different types of games in order to keep them nice and happy.
The fact that they are outside dogs suits them perfectly, for the most part of it, they know how to comport themselves in public settings. So, you do not have to worry about them causing a scene or angering other dogs. In most cases, they tend to pay attention to whatever it is they are doing with their owners while maintaining a sociable manner towards other people and dogs.
In the case that you do not have space for your feist to run around outside your home then it is vital that you take them for walks and frequent the dog park as well. Dog parks were practically made for this energetic breed since they generally tend to mingle well with other dogs and people alike. An ideal day out would involve them playing with their toys, their owners and other dogs while out in the park. Keep it at the back of your mind that they love to hunt, most of their toys should enable them to mimic a hunting scenario. All in all, a great day out is what your pooch needs to thrive and lead a fulfilling life.
They Are Agile to the Core
Being skilled hunters, it is no surprise that this breed of dogs has a very distinct way of moving. They are very agile and swift in their movement and it is a delight to watch. It is glaring how they often seem to jump nimbly, almost as if they were bouncing endlessly.
In general, feists grow to a very short height while maintaining a medium weight. As a result of this, they have the tendency to be quite muscular. As a result of their interesting genetic cocktail, they have selected skills such as increased speed and stamina through the years. So, it is no surprise that they literally have a bounce in their step and seemingly unparalleled speed. This is directly related to the fact that they mainly make use of their forelegs to move around quite speedily.
The strong muscles within their legs make it easy for them to make the most out of their forelegs in order to achieve faster movement. In addition to this, they are equally equipped with widespread paws and a large breadth between their hind feet when stretched out. This is accountable for their stellar balance and on a broader note, their agility.
Based on this, there are no questions whatsoever, every feist owner should be ready to move very fast on their feet in order to keep up with their mutts.
They Have English Origins
The history of this breed is very interesting as a whole, they were initially bred in Great Britain mainly for working purposes. This is one of the reasons that their appearance was not of great importance, rather the other attributes they had served their owners well. Feists, in general, are a combination of little dogs such as the Fox Terrier and the Jack Russell, nevertheless, there are different crossbreeds of this dog and that is what makes their genetic ancestry quite obscure.
Based on this, there are a number of notions as to where their actual roots lie. So far, the only definite thing is that they are of a highly mixed heritage and may not even be accurately categorized as a dog breed. In fact, to date, the American Kennel Club does not recognize them as a breed, but the United Kennel Club does.
Though they were bred in Britain, they ended up in the US after being transported there by English miners as far back in the 1700’s. Once they arrived there, they were first used as farm dogs and soon after, they were recognized for their stellar hunting skills down in the South. One of the first people recorded to have one of these dogs was George Washington himself. All this enabled them to hone their speed and develop it through the years. Further breeding helped to make them the all-purpose dog they are recognized to be today.
They Are Well Respected in the American South
Though they originated in Britain, this dog breed was no doubt the jewel of the southern region of America. Despite the fact that they were put right to work on their arrival, their efforts and winning personality did not go ignored. During the course of history, they have been a number of references made about this dog breed, both in literature as well as films. Even well-known personalities such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln made mention of this esteemed breed.
Abraham Lincoln himself, having been born and raised in the rural area of Kentucky wrote a poem called ‘The Bear Hunt’ and in it, he referenced the feist, speaking of its small size encumbered by its all-round ferocity as it was displayed during the hunt. In addition to that, another ode to this dog breeds loyalty and tenacity is seen in a handful of Southern classics such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings ‘The Yearling’ and ‘The Bear’ by William Faulkner.
What is most celebrated about them is their unwavering loyalty and bravery when it is most needed. From this, it is quite evident that these dogs were not just regarded as farm dogs and certainly not just hunting dogs either. The level of respect and regard awarded them shows a general appreciation for their ability to thrive even in the harsh conditions of the rural south.
They Are Genuinely an All-Round Dog
Maybe it has something to do with all the crossbreeding, or they are simply just a charming bunch, but the feist has come to be known as an all-around dog. This dog breed practically oozes personality. It can fit into most given scenarios, but you should stay wary if you are on the lookout for a more laid-back dog who enjoys staying indoors. This is the polar opposite of this esteemed breed. As much as they have glowing personalities, they also have what seems to be, unending reserves of energy.
This is a great dog to get if you are looking for a companion cum partner in crime, figuratively speaking. They are also quite great with kids and families in general, the more the merrier would rightfully be their catchphrase if they had one. Additionally, they do equally interact well with people who love to lounge outdoors as well as older folk who are looking to spend their golden years with a bundle of joy and energy. This spirited breed has the ability to get along with just about anyone.