Mountain Feist Dog Breed

  • Other names:
  • Treeing Feist
  • American Treeing Feist
  • Baldwin Feist
  • Denmark Feist
  • Galla Creek Feist
  • Kemmer Feist
  • Lost Creek Feist
  • Sport Bred Feist
  • Thornburg Feist
  • Atomic Feist
  • Fleming Creek Squirrel Dog
  • Hickory Grounds Feist
  • Horse Creek Feist
  • Mullins Feist
  • Riverun Feist
  • Mullins Fiest
  • River Run Feist
  • View all 17...

The Mountain Feist is also known as the (American) Treeing Feist and is thought to have originated in the Southeastern United States a few hundred years ago. Owners and experts agree that this breed may be the premier squirrel treeing breed. They are natural hunters and, besides treeing, have long used their keen senses of vision, smell and hearing to hunt and rid properties of opossum, rabbits, groundhogs, raccoons and other varmint. Members of this breed are adaptable to both indoor and outdoor living (although a fenced yard is ideal), provided they get enough exercise--and love! They are a breed eager to please that bonds closely with the owner; they are said to make especially good companions for children and the elderly, and are not difficult to train. Mountain Feists are very low maintenance in regards to grooming but do need quite a bit of outdoor exercise daily to burn off all their curious energy. This sturdy and hardy breed will typically live 10-15 years with few health concerns.

Mountain Feist Breed Details

Breed Specs
Purebred10-15 yrs.10-18 in.10-30 lbs
  • Friendliness
  • Overall
  • Family Friendly
  • Kid Friendly
  • Pet Friendly
  • Stranger Friendly
  • Maintenance
  • Easy to Groom
  • Energy Level
  • Exercise Needs
  • General Health
  • Shedding Amount
  • Behavior
  • Barks / Howls
  • Easy to Train
  • Guard Dog
  • Playfulness
  • Watch Dog
  • Ownership
  • Apartment Friendly
  • Can Be Alone
  • Good for Busy Owners
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Intelligence
* The more green the stronger the trait.

Below are details and specs for the Mountain Feist dog breed.

Mountain Feist Breed Description

Mountain Feists are small dogs that reach 10-18 inches at the shoulder and weigh 10-30 pounds.

This breed is generally described as alert, energetic, intelligent and a natural hunter. They make excellent companions for kids and the elderly, and even better for hunters specializing in small game such as squirrels. They are loyal and closely bonded pets that will be adequate watchdogs. Other dogs should coexist well with the Mountain Feist but small, non-canine pets may be problematic.

Members of this breed are low maintenance in regards to grooming and, quite often, training. However, they are active, rugged little dogs that require daily outdoor exercise to expend their abundance of energy.

Mountain Feist Breed History

The Mountain Feist was bred in the southern United States for the purposes of hunting small animals, such as squirrel, and ridding properties of varmint such as raccoons, groundhogs, opossum and rabbits. They are said to be crosses of terriers (presumably European) and hounds (presumably the Native American Dogs) used for hunting and are appreciated for being active, extremely alert little dogs that track soundlessly using sight, scent. Despite appearing in the writings of such notable figures as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and William Faulkner, the Mountain Feist doesn't have a very detailed history and many believe they are simply a "type" of dog unrelated to the aforementioned breeds. However, The UKC states that the term "feist" describes a little, noisy dog. Presently, these dogs are still used often for squirrel hunting/treeing. This breed was recognized by the UKC as recently as 2015 and are also recognized by the ACA and, of course, the ATFA (American Treeing Feist Association).

Mountain Feist Appearance

Mountain Feists are small little dogs that are longer than tall, with long legs; overall, they appear active and intensely alert. This breed has a block shaped head (broad, flat skull) with a long muzzle ending in a typically black nose. The v-shaped ears are erect or semi erect but never pendulous and the eyes are typically some shade of brown, from amber to dark brown. The coat of the Mountain Feist is short and smooth with no restrictions on the color or color combinations. Members of this breed carry their natural tails up and curved when alert and straight out otherwise; the tails are sometimes docked.

Mountain Feist Coloring

The UKC states that there are no definite color/combination requirements, and the NKC suggests black, red, tan, white and yellow in varying degrees are all acceptable.

Mountain Feist Size

Males and females are quite similar in size. These small dogs stand 10-18 inches and weigh up to 30 pounds.

Average Adult Height

10-18 in
*Height is measured in inches from the front paws to the top of the shoulder while the dog is standing on all four legs.

Average Adult Weight

10-30 lbs

Mountain Feist Temperament

Mountain Feists should possess true hunting spirits. They are energetic, active, and remarkably alert. They are also loving companions to their owners who sometimes also describe them as "aggressive and tough". They are naturally adept at hunting and treeing squirrels as well as ridding properties of varmint such as opossum, raccoons, rabbits, groundhogs, etc. They have even been known to excel in working with cattle and hogs, being a die-hard watchdog and, of course, a closely bonded companion.

Feists are adaptable and eager to please. They can live indoors or out provided they receive an ample amount of love and exercise. Members of this breed are also very trainable if the owner is capable of being firm and consistent with their commands and assertion of themselves as the authority.

Mountain Feist and Children

Mountain Feists are loving companions to children. They are playful, active and friendly towards them and yet can remain calm and gentle when need be. The most assured way to form this bond is to raise and socialize your pet with children from an early age.

Mountain Feist and Other Pets

Members of this breed can get along with other dogs, and as hunters by nature, can thrive in small packs or alone. These natural instincts also may make coexisting with small pets problematic. They were bred to exterminate varmint and hunt squirrels, raccoons and rabbits, so they should be raised around tiny creatures from puppyhood.

Mountain Feist and Strangers

These guys will likely excel as watchdogs due to their love of family and extremely alert personality. The term "feist" is usually used to denote a little, noisy dog and, although silent while on the hunt, are not averse to be vocal at other times. Some owners even maintain that they are "protective little dogs that will fight to the death" for those they love.

Mountain Feist Photos

Below are pictures and images of the Mountain Feist.

White & Tan Mountain Feist

Mountain Feist Maintenance

These dogs are known for being low maintenance, hardy little dogs. They rarely need grooming for their short coats. Training will also be fairly easy as they are eager to please whom they are bonded to-- just be sure to firmly make it clear you are the pack leader and that your commands are consistent. Lastly, these guys need daily outdoor exercise in the form of long walks (leashed), jogs, hikes and hunting activities; if you have a fenced yard they will keep it free of pests and intruders.

Grooming Requirements

Members of this breed require minimal grooming. The short, smooth coat should be brushed every once in a while to reduce shed. Other than that, bathe as necessary and monitor the nails for trimming and the teeth and ears for cleaning.

Exercise Requirements

These dogs are energetic, active and alert; they are natural born hunters. Obviously, not every owner will be a hunter, and that's just fine-- but they do need daily outdoor exercise to burn off the excess of energy. A long daily walk, jog, or outdoor playtime will do, however, make sure to leash them when outside of an enclosed area; you may turn around to find they are one hundred yards down with your neighbor's cat treed. Feists that are put to work hunting small game or ridding the property of varmint will be happy and well exercised.

Living Requirements

Mountain Feists are small dogs that are adaptable to most living environments; ideally, they will have a nice, large yard to patrol. Note they are a closely bonding breed, so owner should be prepared to spend time with them daily. They are very active, energetic little dogs, so if kept inside it will make your life much easier to ensure they receive daily outdoor exercise.

Temperature Range

No temperature restrictions are documented for this breed, however, they have origins in the southern United States. This area is seasonal but due to the dog's short coat, they will likely be uncomfortable in extremely cold temperatures.

Mountain Feist Health

The Mountain Feist is a sturdy, hardy little breed. As such, major health issues are not well documented and it is typical for them to live 10-15 years. Regular veterinary checkups are a great way to detect and prevent future health issues.