The Mountain Feist was created in the southern portion of North America. It is a good hunting dog, and a good companion dog. It is usually mistaken for a rat terrier or a Jack Russell terrier. Mainly used as a squirrel dog, the Mountain Feist is also good at hunting raccoons and tracking larger game.
The ancestral homeland of the Mountain Feist is the Southern Appalachian and Ozark Mountains. The Mountain Feist is also known interchangeably by many as the Treeing Feist.
The Mountain Feist may not be widely known, but it is not a new dog. Written accounts of the dogs go back centuries to a poem by Abraham Lincoln ("The Bear Hunt") and George Washington's diary. A feist dog is also featured in William Faulkner's "Go Down Moses".
Feist dogs are believed to be the progenitors of what we now call the rat terrier. The terriers brought from England to America in the 1890s 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 Feist dogs are bred primarily for performance as hunting dogs.
Mountain Feists are visually appealing dogs. They stand about 15 inches high. They have a variety of colors. They have long pointy ears that stand upwards and sideways.They often have short tails.
Mountain Feists have a very interesting personality. They are curious about everything, and extremely intelligent! Although they are lap dogs, they are absolutely intent on playing and expending energy. When they decide that it is time to sleep, they definitely will do so, curling up on an owner's lap and sleeping soundly. They are very protective around the people they know best. Be prepared for an energetic yet controllable dog with a devoted and loving personality.