Feist.jpg
Breed Group Group 6: Terrier Breeds
Sub-group 6-A: Large Terriers
Origin Country United States
Weight Males: 0-30 pounds. Females: 0-30 pounds.
Height Males: 10-18 inches. Females: 10-18 inches.
Other Name(s) Fyce
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD
meet the...

Feist

Breed Group Group 6: Terrier Breeds
Sub-group 6-A: Large Terriers
Origin Country United States
Weight Males: 0-30 pounds. Females: 0-30 pounds.
Height Males: 10-18 inches. Females: 10-18 inches.
Other Name(s) Fyce
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Origins

The feists are a family of dogs developed in the Southeastern United States from old-time hunting dogs brought over by German and Irish immigrants. Hunters in their truest form, unspoiled by the gleam of conformation shows or celebrity fad, they are bred and kept by those who still use them for their original purpose: hunting and companionship. The word feist is of German origin from the word fice, or fyst, meaning “to stink,” or “a foul smell.” How these dogs have come to be known as such is believed to be a result of their early name of fisting (or fysting) curres, which meant “stinking dog.”

These little dogs were developed to serve several purposes, including hunting, pest eradication, and companionship. Today, there are several different types (or breeds) of feist. Within each breed there are several strains or bloodlines. Dedicated hunters and breeders keep dogs that are true to the original purpose, and have little regard for appearances, therefore, there can be much variation within a single feist breed.

The feist was used in the development of the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier and the Rat Terrier breeds.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Mesaticephalic skull type, moderate in size, wedge-shaped, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The head is well-muscled, yet not coarse or bulky. The topskull is broad, being approximately as broad (measured across the top in front of the ears) as it is long (from stop to occiput). In profile, the skull may be flat or slightly arched. The head is clean-cut and without excess skin or wrinkle.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to almond in shape, and amber to dark brown in color. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes.
Ears: Little importance is paid to the ears, so long as the dog can hear functionally. Ears may range from small to medium in size, are set high on the skull at the outer edges, and may be erect, semi-erect, drop, rose, or mismatched. The ears are never long, overly large, or broken. Floppy “hound” type ears are neither uncommon nor incorrect, but give more of a cur appearance and therefore, are less desirable. They are also prone to a higher incidence of ear infections and injury. Cropped ears are not correct for feists.
Muzzle: The muzzle is strong, full, deep, and broad. It is tapered from a broad base to a slightly narrower nose. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight or slightly sloped to follow the general taper of the muzzle. Upper and lower jaws are well-developed, approximately equal in length, and have good bone substance, never appearing snipy or weak.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened.
Neck: Moderate length allows for proud head carriage, it is strongly muscled with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows.
Body: The body is agile and strongly muscled, with good substance and moderate bone. It is well-put together, and capable of agility, speed, endurance, and stamina. Compact, solid, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.
Tail: Set either high or low on the croup, always as a natural extension of the topline. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, but never tucked. Tail may be left natural (preferred) or docked short. Natural tails are of a medium to long length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be straight, gently curved, sickle, or circled. Docked tails are cut short, usually between the second and third tail vertebrae.
Movement: The movement should be balanced, springy, lively, tireless, effortless, efficient, and energetic. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: One of the last true hunting dogs, the Feist is heavily instinctual and reliant on sight, sound, and scent. The dogs are energetic and enjoy daily outings where they can exercise their senses and hone their hunting skills. They are notoriously silent once they find a track. If provided enough exercise and sensory stimulation, they also serve as excellent companions. Their high drive, energy, and instincts can make them less than perfect for every family setting, as boredom coupled with high energy will often find an outline in problem behaviors. However in the right situation, they can thrive in such events as agility, fly-ball, and even small dog weight pulling. Unlike terriers, they get along well with other dogs in their “pack” or family, but can become quarrelsome with new dogs. They are also highly predatory towards small animals and pocket pets and it’s not recommended allowing them in a room together unsupervised. They bond strongly with their families and are devoted companions. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
Click Here to View Full Standard

Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 6: Terrier Breeds

Proportions: The body is well put together, with sturdy substance and medium bone. Continental Kennel Club recognizes two size varieties of the Feist breed: the standard and the bench-legged. Standard The standard variety may range from somewhat off-square to slightly rectangular in proportions. With body length (measured from the prosternum to the point of the rump) being slightly greater than the height at the withers. The ideal length-to-height ratio is between 10:9 and 5:4. The body is well put together. Substance is sturdy and medium-boned. Bench-legged The bench-legged variety is rectangular in proportion with the body being somewhat greater in length (measured from the point of the chest to the point of the rump) than in height at the withers. The ideal length-to-height ratio is between 5:3 and 10:7

Head

General Appearance: Mesaticephalic skull type, moderate in size, wedge-shaped, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The head is well-muscled, yet not coarse or bulky. The topskull is broad, being approximately as broad (measured across the top in front of the ears) as it is long (from stop to occiput). In profile, the skull may be flat or slightly arched. The head is clean-cut and without excess skin or wrinkle.
Expression: Alert, watchful, intelligent, intense, and fiery.
Stop: The stop may range from slight to definite.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio may range from 3:2 to 1:1, with the topskull being just longer than, or equal to the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis may be parallel or slightly convergent.
Muzzle: The muzzle is strong, full, deep, and broad. It is tapered from a broad base to a slightly narrower nose. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight or slightly sloped to follow the general taper of the muzzle. Upper and lower jaws are well-developed, approximately equal in length, and have good bone substance, never appearing snipy or weak.
Lips or Flews: Lips are clean and fit tightly over the teeth and jaws. They are never excessively loose or with pendulous flews.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened.
Cheeks: The cheeks may range from smoothly muscled to well-developed and well-muscled.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level, scissor, or reverse-scissor. Contact must be made between the top and bottom incisors. Missing or broken teeth as a result of routine work is not to be penalized.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to almond in shape, and amber to dark brown in color. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes.
Ears: Little importance is paid to the ears, so long as the dog can hear functionally. Ears may range from small to medium in size, are set high on the skull at the outer edges, and may be erect, semi-erect, drop, rose, or mismatched. The ears are never long, overly large, or broken. Floppy “hound” type ears are neither uncommon nor incorrect, but give more of a cur appearance and therefore, are less desirable. They are also prone to a higher incidence of ear infections and injury. Cropped ears are not correct for feists.

Body and Tail

General Description: The body is agile and strongly muscled, with good substance and moderate bone. It is well-put together, and capable of agility, speed, endurance, and stamina. Compact, solid, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Neck: Moderate length allows for proud head carriage, it is strongly muscled with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Topline: Level from slightly prominent withers to croup. The back is broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is taut, flat and level, or slightly arched, yet supportive. The back is never swayed or roached.
Croup: Flat and level with the back, or gently sloped.
Underline: Slight tuck-up present. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Tail: Set either high or low on the croup, always as a natural extension of the topline. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, but never tucked. Tail may be left natural (preferred) or docked short. Natural tails are of a medium to long length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be straight, gently curved, sickle, or circled. Docked tails are cut short, usually between the second and third tail vertebrae.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well-angulated with well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The distance from the withers to the brisket may be equal to, or just greater than, the distance from the elbows to the ground.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, moderate bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are equal in length, strong, sturdy, of moderate bone, and well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: The Feist comes in three coat varieties: the smooth coat, the rough-coat, and the broken coat.
Smooth coat variety: Short, close, smooth, dense, weather-resistant outer coat. Soft, protective, dense undercoat may or may not be present. The coat should be no more than one inch in length. The coat is short, smooth, close to the body throughout. The texture is soft and glossy, with or without undercoat. If undercoat is present, coat will be slightly longer on neck, forming a light ruff, and on the tail. No fringe or feather permissible.
Rough-coat variety: The coat is uniformly harsh, dense, and wiry. It is never soft or silky.
Broken-coat variety: The coat length is intermediate in length and texture between the rough and the smooth. The body coat may be somewhat smooth with a harsher texture, and the head may have rough furnishings. A slight ridge of rough hair may be present on the back.
Coat Color or Pattern: All coat colors and patterns are equally permissible. Large patches or amounts of white indicating homogenous merle genotype/phenotype are undesirable.

Movement

The movement should be balanced, springy, lively, tireless, effortless, efficient, and energetic. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

One of the last true hunting dogs, the Feist is heavily instinctual and reliant on sight, sound, and scent. The dogs are energetic and enjoy daily outings where they can exercise their senses and hone their hunting skills. They are notoriously silent once they find a track. If provided enough exercise and sensory stimulation, they also serve as excellent companions. Their high drive, energy, and instincts can make them less than perfect for every family setting, as boredom coupled with high energy will often find an outline in problem behaviors. However in the right situation, they can thrive in such events as agility, fly-ball, and even small dog weight pulling. Unlike terriers, they get along well with other dogs in their “pack” or family, but can become quarrelsome with new dogs. They are also highly predatory towards small animals and pocket pets and it’s not recommended allowing them in a room together unsupervised. They bond strongly with their families and are devoted companions. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.