The Boykin Spaniel

Quick Facts

- Good for novice dog owners
- Good with children
- Good with other animals
- Medium size
- Medium exercise needs
- Medium shedding
- Low guard dog abilities
- High ease of training

The Boykin Spaniel was developed in the United States, in the Wateree River Swamp of South Carolina. The father of the breed was a stray spaniel type dog named “Dumpy” who possessed extraordinary hunting skills. The dog was given to L. Whitaker Boykin, who was an avid hunter. He developed the breed by breeding Dumpy to a variety of hunting dogs ranging from Springer Spaniels, Pointers, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and American Water Spaniels.

The Boykin Spaniel received official recognition by the American Kennel Club in 2008. Boykin Spaniels are very popular hunting dogs in the Southern United States and is the State dog of South Carolina.

Boykin Spaniels are versatile hunting dogs that both flush and retrieve wild birds. They are excellent water retrievers and are able to work long hours in hot weather. They have been used to hunt wild turkeys, doves and pheasant. They have also successfully been used to track wounded game and flush deer.

Boykin Spaniels are good natured, friendly, cheerful dogs. They are intelligent, obedient, easy to train and eager to please. They can be a little sensitive and should never be treated harshly; positive reward focused training techniques work best. They require early and thorough socialization with different people, situations and noises to help ensure they grow into confident well-balanced adults. They are an excellent choice for the novice dog owner.

The Boykin Spaniel is a very easygoing stable dog. They are good with other animals and excellent with children of all ages. They are energetic playful dogs that never tire of romping around playing with children. Boykins are very outgoing social dogs that are friendly with almost everyone they meet. They are too sweet natured to be good guard dogs.

Boykin Spaniels are adaptable dogs that fit well into almost any environment. They are happy living in the country or in the city and make fine apartment dogs provided they receive adequate daily exercise. Boykin Spaniels require at least an hour or two of exercise each day to keep them fit and happy. When ill exercised they can be prone to destructive and hyperactive behaviour. Boykins love to swim and make excellent fishing and boating companions. They are excellent dogs for outdoor enthusiasts as they make superb jogging, bicycling, hunting, camping and hiking companions. They usually enjoy participating in many of the various dog sports like obedience, tracking, field and agility trials, flyball and conformation shows. They also make excellent therapy dogs and can be trained to do search and rescue work. Care should be taken when allowing them off lead as they have an exceptional sense of smell and enjoying following interesting trails. A reliable recall is extremely important for them.

Appearance and Grooming:
The Boykin Spaniel is medium sized dog that measures 15-18 inches at their withers and weighs 25-40 pounds when full grown. They are slightly larger than Cocker Spaniels. They have medium length coats that are either slightly wavy or flat and come in liver or brown. To keep them neat and tidy they require grooming twice a week. They are average shedders. Where legal, their tails are usually docked.

The Boykin Spaniel is a fairly hardy breed; however, they are prone to several hereditary health problems. Owners should watch for hip dysplasia, cataracts, heart problems, skin allergies, PRA and ear infections. To help prevent hip dysplasia and PRA, perspective owners are best to buy from a breeder who offers puppies from parents that are OFA and CERF registered. Their average life span is around 15 years.


Located in: Sporting