All About the Mountain Feist Dog, its temperament and more!

Mountain Feist DogThe Mountain Feist dog is a sleek, compact canine that has a handsome profile and short coat. The average example of the breed stands 10 to 22 inches tall.

The ears are pointed and can be upright or folded over. As Mountain Feist puppies grow into adults, their muscular shape becomes more prominent.

Healthy dogs will have powerful legs with curved nails that are sharp and ideal for climbing. This quality improves the canine’s ability to chase down elusive small game.

Mountain Feist breeders will offer pups in a wide range of colors, however black, white, and light brown are the most common.


The Mountain Feist breed was first developed in the rural south of North America.

The people in the south wanted a low-maintenance dog that could hunt game and vermin around the property.

This dog breed dates back all the way to the time when Abraham Lincoln was alive. The word Feist is an ancient word that means small and noisy.

This breed is a cross between a hunting hound and a terrier. Sometimes this breed gets mistaken for a rat terrier.

Temperament of a Mountain Feist Dog

Mountain Feist temperament includes curiosity and high energy levels.

This alert breed is well-suited for hunting and companionship, as long as owners are prepared to give their pet the attention and playtime needed to keep the dog happy.

The Mountain Feist dog is a multi-purpose canine that can handle tracking larger game as well as hunting smaller prey such as squirrels and raccoons.

They are also very vocal, usually issuing growls, barks, and the distinctive baying that is often associated with hunting breeds.

Potential owners should note that the Mountain Feist is a pack-oriented animal that shows a strong desire for love and affection.

When Mountain Feist puppies are properly trained, this breed can be very appealing for involved owners who enjoy the company of their four-legged friends.

Mountain Feist DogHeight & Weight

Average Mountain Feist dog height is 10 to 22 inches (26 to 56 cm)
Average Mountain Feist dog weight is 10 to 30 pounds (4.5 to 13.5 kg)

Health Problems of a Mountain Feist Dog

No general health concerns are currently associated with the Mountain Feist dog. They are known to live a very long life.

The average Mountain Feist dog can live for more than 18 years of life. That is a long time in dog years! 

They can, however, get hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is the dislocation of the hip bone, and it can cause swelling and extreme pain.

Before purchasing a dog ask the breeder for a hip score or records on the parents to see if they ever had hip dysplasia. 

The only other concern is this dog breed may get are some mild allergies. This isn’t something to be too worried about as many dog breeds and even people have seasonal allergies. 

Living Conditions

The Mountain Feist dog is an active canine that desires nothing more than hunting.

The dog should be given ample room to exercise and plenty of interaction and playtime.

Homes with more outdoor space are preferred to accommodate the dog’s energy levels. Families with less space should plan to walk and exercise their dog every day.


If the Mountain Feist dog is not going to be utilized as a hunting canine, then owner(s) should plan on walking their pet daily.

The dog needs long walks or jogs to help burn off energy that can accumulate due to inactivity. It is said that this breed needs to be walked about 14 miles a week!

Pent up energy can be applied in negative ways if not properly managed by the owner. Good heeling practice is a must for this breed because it is intelligent with strong hunting instincts.

When walking, owners should always maintain a position of calm dominance by leading the dog rather than the other way around.

Just to give you an estimate of exercise time needed a day by this breed is around sixty minutes. 


The Mountain Feist Dog is extremely active which means your dog will need to replenish all that energy with high-quality dog food. 

Your Mountain Feast dog needs around 400 calories to replenish the calories burned during the day. 

When picking out a dog food look for a food that is grain-free and full of high-quality proteins as the first few ingredients. 

This breed should between one cup and one and a half cups of high quality food a day. 

Break the food up into smaller meals, so it is easy to digest. Depending on the food, this should cost you anywhere between 60 cents and 80 cents a day. 

Life Expectancy of a Mountain Feist Dog

The Mountain Feist dog can live for around thirteen to eighteen years in age. 

When you compare these numbers to other dog breeds, you will quickly find out that this is an amazing amount of time for a dog.

Your dog will be with you for a long time as long as you keep it happy and healthy. 


Mountain Feist dogs are short haired and require minimal grooming. They do shed quite often, but since their hair is so short, it won’t be very much that actually sheds.

If they wind up in a mud puddle or burr bush, most only require an occasional brushing to eliminate shed hairs.

This breed only needs a bathe with absolutely necessary. If you bathe this breed too much, it can do more harm than good.

if your dog is not filing their nails down naturally from play outside make sure you take the time to trim nails when you need to. 


No one knows exactly when the Mountain Feist dog came to America. Historic records mention the breed and their cousins, the larger curs, as assisting the early pioneers.

The breed‘s name is sometimes spelled “Fyce” or “Fice”. Abraham Lincoln penned a poem mentioning Fice canines prior to the Civil War.

George Washington also discussed his experiences with the breed in a diary.


It is possible to find a Mountain Feist mix, although temperament, appearance, and other factors will be influenced by the breed traits of the non-Feist parent.

Mountain Feist DogWhat Colors Do Mountain Feist Dogs Come In:

The Mountain Feist dog can come in many different colors such as:

  • black
  • brown
  • red
  • grey
  • white
  • brindle

This breed can either have brown or amber eyes and either a black or brown nose.

Cool Traits / Characteristics?

This breed is very active, curious about surroundings, and alert. These traits are passed down from ancestors with their natural hunting skills.

This is a great family dog. The Mountain Feist dog is affectionate, loyal, and all-around a good dog.

They take time to warm up to other animals such as cats and dogs. They are not hypoallergenic as they do shed on occasion. 

You can find this dog breed on the market at a very affordable price. Most often this type of dog is listed for sale for around $500. 

Are Mountain Feist’s Good for First Time Owners? Training?

The Mountain Feist may not be ideal for new dog owners because of its high energy levels and hunting drive.

Potential owners should thoroughly research the canine and speak to reputable Mountain Feist breeders to learn more about training, exercise, and general care.

They are extremely clever so it can make them quite easy to train. They have a natural hunting instinct so that may get in the way when trying to train. 

This breed will work well in both urban and country lifestyles. I wouldn’t suggest owning this dog in a small apartment because of its high energy. 

If they are put up in the house too long they can have a destructive nature and start tearing things up. 

Mountain Feist Dog Puppies

Female Mountain Fesist dogs can have anywhere from five to even eight puppies in one litter. 

This breed is quite rare so it can be hard for some people to find a puppy for purchase. 

You can find a Mountain Feist puppy for about $400 to $600 in price. A lot of them have been mixed with other dogs so just be cautious of that when shopping for a puppy. 

Common Mixes

Golden Retrievers, Jack Russell Terriers, the Mountain Cur, and Labs have all been bred with this canine. There is no Mountain Feist mixed breed pairing that is notably common.

39 thoughts on “All About the Mountain Feist Dog, its temperament and more!”

  1. I have a friend. that has a chawa/mountaion feist or fiest dog when. you go to pick him up he tryes eat you up vary fast what other temper does this dog have he is black with one white spot on him with this dog you have to take your time to pet him with one hand

  2. I have acquired a puppy that was misrepresented as a border collie. She is definitely not and I am sure she is a mountain feist. She has a great personality and is curious, smart, is already trained. She was born around the first of December. Maggie has no papers. She has all her shots. Very active, I cannot keep up with her, I am disabled with long term back issues and my husband has cancer. I do not want to take her to pound or shelter. I feel we are doing her a disservice by not providing her with the right experiences for her breed. Let me know if you have any suggestions or know anyone who may want her.
    Thank you,
    Brenda Shultz

    • If you still have this dog I am interested in it. If so could I please get a photo of the dog and speak with you about it.
      Thank You

      • I have a year and a half female feist that is house broken and fixed I am trying to get rid of her she is a smart and sweet dog but I’m partial to dashound we got her for my mom but she couldn’t handle her

    • Brenda I don’t know if you still have this dog or are looking for another. But I don’t recommend a border collie in your situation either. They also have high energy and require lots of tasks to be happy.

  3. Please dont take yout pup to the pound, there’s many other ways of finding a good home for her. Try Craigslist or eBay Classifieds they’re both free to put an ad in however, you would want to ask a decen fee for yourself. Sometimes But helps find a good home, Interview the people if possible.
    You can put ads on your local newspaper. Or ask your vet to put a notice on board outside in the waiting room, call lots lf veterinarians ask the same
    and there are several other things I’m sure you can ask friends or family.
    Please don’t think I’m criticizing you or anything for your situation I just wanted to try to offer you alternatives and taking your little love one to the pound ! These are just a few suggestions to help.
    I don’t mean any disrespect in any way at all.
    I’m assuming things must be very difficult your situation just come and do the best you can
    I hope you have a happy ending and he/she gets a good home,
    Very Best Regards, in the very best of luck,
    Another Animal Lover.

    • This is Billy Townsend and my first dog when i was in the first grade in school was a mountain fiest and i have been looking for one for years and never could find one i could afford. If anyone has a young one that needs a good home with an acre and half fenced in, has room to run and not ever be tied up, please give me a call or text me. Phone number is 606 356 7252. Thanks in advance.

  4. I’m looking for a small Feist 10lbs. Or less, tan with a blaze. I live on 1 1/2 acres so there is plenty of playroom. ALTHOUGH the dog would be mainly a house dog. I pet sit and have fallen in love with this breed.

    • I have rescued a mountain fiest dog, she is a little older and has been chained all her life (no quality of life) Her ears are frost bitten at the tips, but
      I believe they are healing. I cannot keep her because I rent and already have a small dog. She need attention and some training. She is so sweet and is affectionate. I walked her around the property on a leash and she does not leave the property unleashed. Please never chain this dog. She needs a family with lots of love. She now knows what it is like to be in a home, sleep on a bed (my bed) and be comfortable and not hungry or thirsty.

      Please let me know if you are interested or can vouch for someone who would. I would love to keep her, but I am only allowed one dog. It would be easier if you respond to my email:

      Thank you,

      • Hi! We have a Mountain Feist who is in need of a home. He is a great dog but needs lots of exercise and we just don’t have time or a place for him to get what he needs. He is house trained and has been kept up to date on all of his shots and has been fixed. Please let me know if you are interested and I’ll send you a picture.
        Thank you!

  5. These are great dogs. I have a Mountain Feist, two years old. Mine is not aggressive toward humans — not any. She is very smart and can run like the wind (very agile on her feet). I live in a rural setting; she runs in the forest all day and sleeps indoors at night. Indoors, she is quiet as a mouse. She likes to run deer, sometimes catches squirrels. She weighs a little over 30 lbs, is white with black spots, tan and black face like the pictures.

  6. I love my Mountain Fiest. I got her in March of this year. She is a rare color a fawn yellow. She is very loving, smart, and very energetic. I have never heard of a Mountain Fiest until I got Jada. I have no regrets. She is a fantastic animal.

  7. We adopted a Mountain Feist from a shelter in April. He was 1 year old at the time. He is such a wonderful dog! Three months later, we can not imagine life without him.
    He is very social and is great with kids and other dogs. He loves to play and loves attention and play time. He enjoys long walks through the neighborhood and playing tug of war and fetch. He stays outdoors in the day time and sleeps inside at night. He never makes a sound all night long.
    If other dogs in this breed are like him, I would highly recommend this energetic, sweet and loving dog like ours.

  8. Bought this puppy off a woman who said she was a tea cup chihuahua. Definitely not. I’ve done my research and come to find out she’s a feist. She’s definitely too talk to be a chihuahua. She’s about a year or so old and I’m just now finding this out. I wanna train her to hunt is she too old to train?

    • We have 2 Mountain Feists and in my opinion they’re never too old to be trained for hunting…it’s their nature to hunt and tree. Ours was never out of town and we took them on a trip with us to the country and they impressed everyone with their skills.

  9. I live in Florida. (Gulf County) our treeing Fiest dog died an we are looking for another one. Can someone please help me find one . Treeing Fiest or mountain Fiest . Thank you so much my name is Teresa Peak

    • Hi Teresa,
      3 months ago we adopted a rescue who is a Feist. He’s now 6 mos. old. He’s a fabulous dog, so smart & quick to learn. He also listens very well. He has 2 brothers from the litter that are still looking for homes. contact Cat Tails & More in Bonita Springs for more info.

      • Adopted a Mountain Feist earlier this year. She is awesome in every way, doesn’t show mental problems left over from by having been in shelter a good while. Sweet, loving, super intelligent, minds well, just all things good from her. No doubt she could be an amazing hunter as can be seen by her demeanor but she is our spoiled baby and will never have to hunt except what fun she has taking animals to task who come onto our place. We take her on trips to parks, etc., so she can get out and run about. She rides in back seat, loves seeing the miles fly by. Best dog ever. She is 3 years old, I’m 63, husband is 70. Seems good number of years for her and me and hubby to enjoy for some time for this little peach of a dog (about 20 lbs). Love her to pieces. She is friendly, strangers come up to pet her and she loves that and humans love her back. What a sweetie.

  10. we found what we thought was a 4 legged bed warmer about 2.5 years ago, she was running loose for approx. 5 months( thrown out as a puppy) & once she was fed & bathed
    she is unbelievable. we just found out she was a fiest
    she kept me company thru 2 rounds of chemo, very loving & affectionate, but does she love to run

    • Nancy, I so hope you are well and loving your pup. She sounds amazing, as do you to realize you and she were good companions after both of you came through those trials and tribulations.

  11. I have gotten a puppy from a lady that said he was a Chihuahua and he has gotten to be big I was going to bred him with my chorkie but if he is going to he bigger then my chorkie then I don’t want to bc my chorkie is only 6 lbs any advice will help

  12. Two weeks ago I rescued Max. I had never heard of a Mountain Feist. This baby is the perfect pup. He is so fun to play with and such a cuddler. I would highly suggest this type of dog. I love this little guy like crazy!

    • They really are amazing, aren’t they? Got mine from shelter and fell in love with her. Smart, funny, loving, friendly. Wouldn’t trade her for any dog .

  13. Oh, my, where to start?!? My first Mountain Fiest was Ruby Carnelian, named for the stones on the breastplate of the High Priest in the Tabernacle, and because he was a little red dog. The came to my husband and me from a rescue, who got him as a stray. Later we discovered that he was terrified of loud noises (gunshot, fireworks, thunder) and had to be medicated to remain calm. Ruby C began doing something I had never seen before — when my husband (a diabetic with congestive heart failure) or I (fibromyalgia, psoriatric arthritis and prone to severe migraines) would notice Ruby C acting strange it was always just before something was ready to act up for one of us medically. Once we recognized the pattern, we paid attention and when Ruby C acted up, we stopped, took a personal look at ourselves and headed to our meds. Both of us had definate improvement in our health. Even our physicians were impressed.

    My husband died in 2004 so it was just me and Ruby C. He never let me down until the day he had his fatal stroke and died. Me, I think he just missed his Daddy too much. The evening I buried Ruby C, I came home and went to online. And I asked Ruby C, if there was somebody he wanted me to see, to show me. About 5 listings down, I saw “this face” — he could have been Ruby C’s littermate, or at least a cousin. Long story shortened somewhat, I contacted the dog’s foster, and began the process. 2 weeks later, MacTaggart came into my life. For the record — those rescues are awesome. If they figure you really need and want that dog and will treatnit well, they will move heaven and earth to get the dog to you.

    Doing some research, what both of my Fiests were doing is called “alerting”. There are many different types of Service Dogs. Some pull wheelchairs, some open doors or pick up dropped object, and some warn their person of medical challenges. From what I understand, it is very difficult to train a dog to do this. Some dogs seem to do it instinctively. Both of my Fiests have been Medical Alert Service Dogs. They do it because they bond very tightly with their person.

    My dog essentially goes to the vet once a year for a good physical, lots of bloodwork and immunizations. Yes, I believe in shots, not only the rabies my city requires for a license, but also all the other alphabet soup that my vet recommends. Yes, even for Lyme Disease. His bloodwork is sent off to a human lab every year for a full screening panel — if those change we know to look at heart, liver, kidneys, etc — just like people. My vet tells me he is extroidinarily strong and healthy. He does get a premium high protein, grain free kibble. In the miserable cold winter, we stay inside and snuggle. Once the weather eases up, MacTaggart goes to my city’s dog park, both to socialize with the other dogs and for exercise. I call it his physical therapy.

    I know this has been a long post but I wanted to spell out just how extraordinary these dogs are. From my two, they are very trainable, very friendly and very loveable. From my two, they are great with kids — as long as they are treated gently. Hit a Fiest or hurt him and he will never forget. MacT sleeps under the covers with me, thank you very much, snuggled up next to my knee. Unless my hips are hurting, then he knows to snuggle up there. He’s better than a hot water bottle! And YES, he will wake me up when I need meds, even before I am aware of it.

    Most of my adult life, I have been a poodle person. Now that I have experienced a Fiest, they are my preferred breed. These little dogs love to run, yes, they do. But they are also very smart. They have a unique problem solving ability that other dogs, even my formerly beloved poodles, just don’t have. They are so very protective — the postal carrier, the FedEx guy, the UPS guy, all look twice when he is outside on his timeout cable. Police and fire personnel, he recognizes the uniforms and tries to get petted. I take him walkies 3 to 4 times a day and use a dog puddle pad in the kitchen at night. He knows to use that and never soils anywhere else. Frankly, he is better tempermented and more civilized than a lot of human people I know.

    Bottom line — do not hesitate. Bring a Fiest into your home and family. You will never find a better companion and family member. Once you do, you will wonder why you didn’t do it years before!

    Best wishes and warm hugs and woofs to all,
    Maggie & MacTaggart
    Me & my Service Dog

    • Please forgive first instead of f i e s t. The auto correct changes it before it sends! All I can tell you is I LOVE MY F I E S T!! And you will love them too. If you want a stupid dog, these are not for you. Me, I like a smart dog who figures thing out and learns quickly. It takes him usually a few seconds to learn something new. I cannot image living without him.

      More hugs & woofs,
      Maggie & MacTaggart

  14. We took in two Feists (brother and sister) several moths ago, after our beloved 10-year-old poodle passed away. The family who had them before us, also had a “house pig” who did not appreciate the puppies and began chasing and biting them! They are beautiful pups, full of energy and very loving! The problem is, I work a lot so I have to crate them and I know they would much rather be with a family with some land who enjoy hunting! They are great at keeping moles away and flushing out squirrels! If you know of a great hunting family who would adopt both (they are so tightly bonded and do not know what to do when the other is out of their sight) please contact me! We are located in Pawleys Island, South Carolina.

  15. I have a mountain first/jack mix have had him for going on seven years now. I had no intentions of getting a dog let alone a puppy but a friend of mine brought them to work one day I went to see them and this one little puppy kept following me where ever I went they were five weeks old at the time, but no matter where we put him down at and where I moved around to he came right back to me, needless to say he came home with me.
    I don’t walk well now so can’t take him out on walks like I should but I do have a two story house and we play hide a seek with each other, if I start down stairs he races down before me and I will quickly go hide somewhere and he runs back up and finds me.
    I have never had a problem with training him he was house broke within two weeks, and to this day has never been crated, he sleeps with me under the covers and stays up in my bed whenever I have to leave and comes running when he hears me walk in the door.
    I only have one issue and that is he likes to lick a person to death, lol which is not a really big problem we usually just have to tell him enough and he quits for a little bit anyways.
    I love my Bolt and don’t know what I would ever do without him.

  16. I have so enjoyed reading everyone’s comments. I suppose it’s because my experience with my little rescue Feist, Odie, is so similar. From the start he squirmed under the covers to sleep. It’s fun to see how many others have the same experience. Do you wonder as I do, how they can breath all night? LOL! (I also had a previous rescue that I now believe was a Feist mix. She showed many characteristics of the breed, and was the sweetest thing!) If I had known about this type of dog I would never have had another kind! Odie came to me in Minnesota from a shelter in Ky. He clearly had been abused, and he’d been running the streets for 2 weeks before being caught and sheltered. I planned to be just a temporary foster for him until a permanent foster or adopter was found because he would have been euthanized otherwise, and but I already had/have a dog (thru the same rescue). Well, after a few weeks with us, I couldn’t let him go, and I adopted him. He is such a little love bug! And though he was terrified of everything at first, with proper love, training, a great example in his foster brother, he very quickly blossomed to type – a happy, sweet, playful, brave and cuddly companion. He happily approaches others to say “hi”, and seems to love children. Also, I am disabled with Fibromyalgia, R.A., back injuries, etc. I take my fur-pals out for 2 long walks a day alongside my electric wheelchair, plus 2 short walks on my feet. I thought he was too young (1-1 1/2 yrs) & small (15 lb) to keep up with the bigger/older dog (3 yrs/ 38 lb), and thought he would need to ride in my lap part of the way. I was so wrong about that! He keeps up well, and would probably keep going. And tho he is energetic, he is calm indoors for our apartment life. I look forward to the further responsible development of this type/breed of dog, and more recognition for it, because I think it’s the best for companionship.

  17. I have a 8 month old female feist shes white with brown spots, pretty pink nose and hazel eyes. Her name is Ruger Jade and she is so protective! Any small noise she hears outside she up and barking. She looooves to play and generally listens when told to stop or go lay down. She’s also very lean and can jump pretty high too. One of the smartest dogs iv’e ever had. My only issue is she’s very defensive when it comes to strangers and hasn’t done well with other dogs. I tried introducing her to other dogs and if they try and play with her she runs away. She barks at strangers from a distance and takes some time before she gets close and trusts you. But once she does she wont leave you alone 🙂 I love her.

  18. I have a walker/blue heeler (mother) mountain feist (father) puppy who wants to bite every time you pick her up. She also chews on everything she gets her paws on, could she be teething she is 2 month old


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