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Boykin Spaniel Profile

Country of Origin:

The Boykin Spaniel originated in the United States in the sate of South Carolina. The Boykin Spaniel is the official state dog of South Carolina, but is also quite popular in many of the other souther states. The breed began with a little spaniel mix named “Dumpy”. This dog was a stray that was rescued by Alexander White. Who, after seeing hunting potential in little Dumpy, gave the dog to his hunting partner L. Whitaker Boykin. Whitaker Boykin, the namesake of the Boykin Spaniel, worked long and hard to create a breed based around this little dog that loved to hunt. The Boykin Spaniel was originated by Dumpy, but several other breeds such as American Water Spaniels, Springer Spaniels, Pointers and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers were involved in the evolution of the breed. The Boykin Spaniel has had their own dedicated registry, the Boykin Spaniel Society, since 1977 and has gained recognition from other well known registries as well as small ones. The Boykin Spaniel became fully recognized and registrable with the American Kennel Club in December 2009.


The Boykin Spaniel male will typically reach heights of 15.5-17 inches and a weight of 30-40 pounds. The female Boykin Spaniel is slightly smaller and will reach heights of 14-16.5 inches and a weight of 25-35 pounds.


The Boykin Spaniel's waterproof coat is typically wavy or curly, however, a smooth coat is acceptable. The coat will appear in shades of brown, typically chocolate or liver. Any white on the chest greater than 60% of the width of the chest or white on the toes is a disqualification for registration with the Boykin Spaniel Society. However, other registries such as the AKC and UKC do not deny registration for conformation issues.


The Boykin Spaniel is a very calm, loving and loyal companion. Their keen sense of smell and high endurance make them excellent hunting dogs. The Boykin Spaniel's love of the water and outstanding ability to swim is a further example of the breed's ability to hunt and retrieve. The Boykin Spaniel is highly energetic and will have the endurance to outlast anyone on the trail. The Boykin Spaniel's strong prey drive may get them into trouble if following a scent in an unsafe area. So be sure to keep your Boykin Spaniel on a leash in unfenced areas.


The Boykin Spaniel is an obedient breed that is eager to please. They do require a consistent and firm pack leader, but will train relatively easily. This breed will always be waiting for their next command. The Boykin Spaniel does very well with and enjoys the company of children.


The Boykin Spaniel needs to be brushed regularly to avoid matting in their curly coat. As stated previously, the Boykin Spaniel is an excellent swimmer however, like other spaniel breeds, they have the propensity to get ear infections so they should be dried very well after a swim. The Boykin Spaniel can do well living in an apartment, but must receive ample exercise.


The Boykin Spaniel has a very obedient nature and are very intelligent, which makes them quite easy to train. They do still require a consistent pack master, as any breed does. It is imperative that when walking your Boykin Spaniel, that they are made to heel beside you. If the dog is allowed to lead the walk, they will likely believe themselves to be in charge.


The Boykin Spaniel is a working dog by nature and will require plenty of daily exercise. They are at their best when they have a job to do. If not given adequate exercise the Boykin Spaniel will find ways to entertain themselves. Most often this turns into destructive behavior.