Feists are American hunting dogs, bred to hunt small game such as squirrel. The name can refer to the class of dog informally bred for hunting characteristics, or to several pedigreed breeds. The most common is the breed known as the treeing feist, American feist or mountain feist.
Feists are small, short-haired dogs with smooth coats. They have an excitable temperament and a strong hunting instinct. They originate from the rural American South, possibly from crosses between European terriers and native dogs, and have been developed as a breed since colonial times. Although they are often called squirrel dogs, they are also used to hunt game birds such as partridge and animals such as rabbits or hares.