|Country of Origin: The United States |
Breed Status: Although recognized by the United Kennel Club as a strain of Treeing Feist, the DenMark Feist does have it's own breed club and should probably be considered a breed itself.
Distribution: The DenMark Feist is largely restricted to the southern and midwestern portions of the United States.
Etymology: The name DenMark Feist comes from the first names of its creator's, Dennis Willis (Den) and Mark Slade (Mark).
Other Names: DenMark Treeing Feist
Breed History: The DenMark Feist has its earliest beginnings in 1917, when the Slade family of Chatham, Virginia purchased a small feist from a traveling salesman. This feist and its descendants stayed within the Slade family until 1984 when Mark Slade and Dennis Willis of Danville, Virginia introduced the breed as the DenMark Feist. In 1986, the DenMark Treeing Feist Association was formed to help promote the breed.
Although the DenMark Treeing Feist Association was formed in 1986 to promote and establish the breed, it wasn't until November 1, 1998 that the DenMark Feist was first recognized as a breed by the United Kennel Club (UKC). However, this was not to last. On January 1, 2004, the UKC decided to no longer recognize the DenMark Feist as a separate breed, but to instead register it as a strain of Treeing Feist.
Appearance: The DenMark Feist is an agile, medium sized breed. The height ranges from 15 to 18 inches (38.1 to 45.75 cm) tall with the smaller size being preferable. The weight ranges from 25 to 35 pounds (11.3 to 15.9 kg). The skull is flat and moderately broad. The DenMark Feist has a definite stop. The head tapers slightly towards the muzzle, which is still broad and slightly shorter than the head. The DenMark Feist has a scissors bite. The nose is black. The eyes are dark in color. Short drop ears are preferred but tipped ears are also allowed. The neck is of moderate length, tight, and muscular. The body is slightly longer than it is tall. The chest is moderately wide and deep. The back is moderate and length and level. The feet are tight, round, and well arched. The dewclaws may be removed. Seventy percent of DenMark Feist puppies are born bobtailed but a natural tail is just as acceptable. A natural tail is thick at the base, gradually tapering to the tip. When excited, the tail is carried in an upward curve, at all other times the tail is carried straight out behind. The coat is rough, short, and dense. The DenMark Feist may be either solid yellow, solid red, or red and white spotted.
Personality and Uses: The DenMark Feist was selectively bred to produce an excellent tree dog with the ability to trail silently. It is for this purpose that the breed is still most commonly used. The DenMark Feist is mainly used to tree squirrels, but is also used to hunt raccoons and bobcats as well. The breed is also used occasionally to hunt wild boar. The DenMark Feist is a fearless guardian and hunter, but with its family it is friendly and loyal.