Activities For Treeing Feists

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Introduction

The Treeing Feist, also known as the American Feist, is often called "the ultimate squirrel dog," and the breed truly is a hunter at heart. As a result, the breed is always alert. They are also agile and quick. The Treeing Feist needs a great deal of exercise in order to be happy and healthy. Furthermore, this daily activity will keep your canine companion from becoming bored and getting into mischief. If the Treeing Feist is going to be kept indoors, particularly in an apartment, you will need to train the Treeing Feist so that behavior does not become an issue.

Lure Coursing

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
60 min
Items needed
water
leash and collar
exercise pen
bandana (of a unique color to distinguish your dog)
slip lead
Activity description
Dogs naturally have a strong nose, but some breeds are driven by smell. Others often hunt visually, and these dogs are known as sighthounds. Lure coursing is an event in which dogs chase a mechanized lure. Often, this "prey" is dressed up in artificial fur to simulate actual prey. This way, dogs who were developed to hunt can work out those innate desires without any harm coming to another animal. There are several clubs which sponsor lure coursing events, and it's best to seek them out and observe. Lure coursing is an activity for the outdoors, and fees for participation will vary by location.
Step
1
Train
You'll need to teach your dog how to complete this activity. Many experts recommend bringing your pooch to an event so that they can observe before participation. The next step in training Fido for lure coursing is by getting them to chase a flirt pole. According to experts, if the dog enjoys chasing the flirt pole, they are apt to enjoy the lure course.
Step
2
Practice often
Once your dog has the hang of this fun activity, you'll need to practice as much as possible. You can visit your local club, or you can practice with the flirt pole. It is recommended that you allow the dog to "catch" their prey from time to time so that they don't become bored. Practice sessions should be twenty to thirty minutes or less.
Step
3
Practice commands
As you introduce the game and practice lure coursing with your dog, you'll need to introduce and become consistent using the same commands. You want to ensure that your dog will behave once they are at an event surrounded by other dogs. It's noisy, and even the best behaved dog can become distracted. Your dog should already know "stop" and "no." You will want to encourage the activity by telling them to "chase it" when you release the lure.
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Basic Training

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Any Day
Free
Normal
15 min
Items needed
treats as a reward
Activity description
When living with a Treeing Feist, you will want to teach them a routine and commands so that both of you can be happy. While the breed is regarded as highly adaptable, owners cannot forget that this breed was initially developed to have great stamina while out on the hunt. This means that a Treeing Feist as a house dog might have a good bit of pent-up energy that can cause them to become destructive and unruly. Furthermore, the Treeing Feist is highly intelligent, so incorporating activities which teach them commands or tricks will be beneficial for both of you. You can teach commands indoors or out, and other than the cost of treats, the activity is free.
Step
1
Command "come"
Does your Treeing Feist often pull against the leash? Do you worry that they might break free? Then, in an enclosed area, begin teaching "come." Place the dog's leash on their collar. Get on your knees (think about putting yourself at their eye-level), and say "come" while gently tugging the leash to you. When the dog successfully comes to you, reward them with a treat and praise.
Step
2
Down
The command "down" is often one of the more difficult ones for a dog to master. In order for a dog to fulfill this command, they must become submissive, which is often difficult for an independent dog such as the Treeing Feist. However, when participating in lure coursing or simply visiting the dog park, this command is rather important. Place a smelly treat in your hand. Be sure Fido knows it is there. Lower your hand to the floor, making sure Fido's head follows. Move your hand across the floor in such a way that the dog's body will lie flat, following their head. Say "down" as you do this. When they lie down, allow them the treat and say "good."
Step
3
Stay
It is important that your pup has learned to "sit" before teaching "stay." Have your dog sit. You might even encourage them by saying "good" when they take a seat. Next, hold your hand open with your palm facing the dog and say "stay." Walk a few steps back. Holding your palm in the same position, say again, "stay." If the dog remains seated, give them a reward and praise. Take another few steps backward. Repeat the praise and reward for each time Fido stays in a seated position.
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Earthdog Event

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
60 min
Items needed
sand
treats
Activity description
The Earthdog activity is a great game for dogs with an especially great sense of smell. Earthdog tests as an event is an American Kennel Club-sanctioned event. Going to ground, as the practice is called, is great for dogs who were developed to hunt, such as the Treeing Feist. In Earthdog competitions, the dog is placed in tunnels of varying sizes. Each tunnel has a number of right angles (or turns), at the end of which the dog will find rats protected from harm by a screen. The dog can see and smell the rats but cannot hurt them during the frenzy of a hunt. Dogs who have a tendency to dig will also enjoy "tunneling" toward their prey. This event typically takes place outdoors and costs will vary by location.
Step
1
Introduction to the quarry
Called the IQ test, two levels of Earthdog require the dog's introduction to the quarry. During this portion of the IQ test, the dog will have their propensity for "going to ground" and scenting out prey determined. The first level of IQ testing involves a tunnel that is ten feet in length with one right turn leading to the "prey." The next level involves a thirty foot tunnel. with three right angle turns. The top level of Earthdog involves a dark thirty foot tunnel, which requires the dog to rely on their nose to find the prey.
Step
2
Junior (level) Earthdog
This is the first thirty foot tunnel that a dog participating in an Earthdog test must traverse. Again, there are three right turns in the tunnel. The dog must reach their prey within thirty seconds. In addition, the dog must "work" the quarry - which means scratching at the screen separating them from the rats, barking and digging at an attempt to get to the quarry. The dog must continue to "work" for a minimum of sixty seconds. The dog must do this successfully for two different judges.
Step
3
Senior Earthdog
The title of senior Earthdog is one that is highly coveted and rather difficult to obtain. First, the dog must traverse a twenty foot tunnel to an unseen entrance. The unseen entrance leads to a thirty foot dark tunnel which contains three right turns leading to the rats. During this trial, the dog must not be distracted by dead ends in the tunnel or a false entrance set up as part of the course. Finally, once the dog reaches their quarry, the dog must "work" them for a total of ninety seconds. The dog must complete this successfully twice.
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More Fun Ideas...

Meet and Greet

The Treeing Feist is always happy to take a stroll with their owner, whether it is in the neighborhood, around the farm, or at the dog park. Doing so will enable your dog to practice socialization skills.

Hiking

Are there some fun trails in the park? Go hiking with your Treeing Feist! Do you live in an area with some gnarly hills or even a mountain range? Go hiking with your Treeing Feist!

Conclusion

The Treeing Feist is a delightful, highly intelligent dog breed. Although they were developed to hunt, the Treeing Feist is rather adaptable, and, with the right amount of daily exercise, can be a happy house dog. This breed needs between forty-five minutes and one hour of daily movement to remain happy and healthy.