Feist Puppy Dogs - Traits and Characteristics
A feist puppy makes a great pet no matter how you plan to use him/her. As a house pet, hunting dog or a combination of both.
What is a Feist?
A Feist is a small hunting dog that originated in the southern part of the United States.
They were developed from various breeds of terriers and hounds to hunt small game such as squirrels, opossums and rats.
Feists are relatively small with short coats and long legs in proportion to their bodies. Since they were bred primarily as hunting dogs, and not as show dogs, there usually isn't a whole lot of consistency in appearance from one dog to the other.
There are quite a few named varieties of Feist :
- Mullins Feist
- Denmark Feist
- Kemmer Feist
- Mountain Feist
- Rat Terrier
- Treeing Feist - The only breed recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC).
Feists are a relatively quiet breed of dog, and don't bark excessively. They get along well with other dogs. They are playful, but don't get overly excited (which makes them such good hunters).
Picking Out A Feist Puppy
It's best to adopt or purchase a puppy when they're between six and eight weeks old - not before. At this age they have just begun to show some independence, but are still dependent on their mother or master to teach them what they need to know. It's a good time to start bonding with them and training them - it's called Imprinting.
When examining the litter, try to avoid an aggressive puppy, because there's a great chance they'll be this way their whole life. And if you have kids, that's not a good combination. Likewise, a shy puppy will probably remain this way their whole life.
You're looking for a puppy that's not afraid of you and is active and happy. And try to avoid those who nip a lot and bite, unless you're looking for a big challenge as far as discipline goes.
If you observe a puppy in the litter that appears ill, then you should reject the whole litter - they could all be sick (the others just may not be showing signs of the illness yet).
The puppy should not have any discharge or crusting around their eyes, nose or ears.
Make sure the puppy's jaws and teeth appear straight.
Their eyes should be bright, clear and alert. And they should look straight ahead.
Their ears should be free of wax. And if they scratch their ears and shake their head a lot, it could be a sign of ear mites.
Examine the fur and skin for any sores or itching. This could be a sign of fleas, mites or a skin condition such as ringworm.
Also make sure the puppy's legs are straight and that he/she doesn't walk with a limp.