Boykin Spaniel

July 20, 2020 // 6 minute read

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Boykin Spaniels are medium-sized dogs known for their beautiful, medium-length coats that come in various brown shades. The Boykin Spaniel has large, feathery ears that hang close to their cheeks. Combine this with their soulful eyes, and you got yourself a dog that will turn heads.

Boykins are a little larger than the Cocker Spaniels. They have sturdy bodies and stand at the height of 18 inches. They make excellent family companions and are known to adapt to any living conditions. This is an easy to care dog and can be an excellent fit for inexperienced owners.

If you’re looking for a beautiful, loving companion who can also be a great playmate for your kids, the Boykin Spaniel is a great dog choice.

Boykin Spaniel

Boykin Spaniel Breed Statistics

Dog Breed GroupSporting
Breed SizeMedium
Height15.5-18 inches (male); 14-16.5 inches (female)
Weight30-40 pounds (male); 25-35 pounds (female)
Lifespan10-15 years

Boykin Spaniel Breed Ratings

Energy level
Exercise needs
Requires attention
Friendly with family
Friendly with kids
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other dogs
Prey Drive

Boykin Spaniel History

Boykin Spaniels are among the first few dog breeds developed in the 20th century. As their name implies, they originated from a South Carolina community named Boykin, founded by Lemuel Whitaker Boykin.

As the story goes, around 1900, a sportsman named Alexander White found a brown spaniel outside a church in South Carolina. White then cared for the dog and brought it hunting with him, where he noticed how good it is in water retrieving.

Being aware of the dog’s skills, White brought the dog to Boykin, his hunting partner. Upon seeing the dog’s fascinating hunting skills, Boykin decided to start a breeding program around the little brown spaniel. He crossed the dog with a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Cocker, English Springer, and American Water Spaniels.

This resulted in a dog small enough to fit into the huntsmen small boats while hunting in South Carolina’s Wateree River. Due to the breed’s popularity, South Carolina made it its official state dog and even celebrated September 1st as a Boykin Spaniel Day.

By 2009, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the dog breed. Today, it ranks 100th as the most popular dog breed in the US and makes excellent hunting and family companions.

Boykin Spaniel Temperament

Boykin Spaniels are generally friendly, eager, and lovable dogs. Like any other hunting dogs, they are athletic and full of energy. They are the best fit for active families who can cope up with his everyday activities.

These dogs are affectionate towards their family. They will also make great playmates for older children and if you have other pets.

These dogs are not aggressive and may not be excellent watchdogs because of their friendliness, even towards strangers. There are instances when he will bark if someone suspicious approaches or if he hears a strange sound, but they are easy to calm down.

Early socialization is highly encouraged to make your Boykin Spaniel more well-rounded. This will also help control any bad behaviors, especially towards new persons or animals.

Training wouldn’t be much of a problem to this breed. They are intelligent and fast-learners, but make sure not to treat them harshly. Instead, shower them with positive reinforcements to encourage them to do good.

Boykin Spaniel Care Requirements

  • Nutrition: Boykin Spaniels don’t have special dietary requirements. Provide them a high-quality and well-balanced meal to support their daily energy needs. One meal should consist of a balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. You should also make sure that you only purchase high-quality ingredients. If you’re serving dog food, then buy the premium quality ones free from fillers and additives that can be harmful to your dog. If your dog is allergic to anything, take note of this and make sure to stay away from those ingredients. Pay attention to the number of calories you feed them, too, so they won’t get overweight.
  • Grooming: Boykin Spaniels have medium-long, wavy coats that shed seasonally. These coats about 2-3 times a week of brushing to keep it healthy. If the shedding season arrives, you might need to do this daily. Brushing will help remove dirt, loose hair, and keep the hair free from mats and tangles. To keep your Boykin looking clean, give him an occasional bath. Don’t forget to regularly clean their ears and trim their nails, so they stay happy always.
  • Exercise: As hunting dog breeds, Boykin Spaniels are naturally active dogs that need lots of exercise. If you’re an active person, they can be your companion in hiking, biking, running, or swimming. However, if you’re not, you can take them to daily long walks or allow them to run around a secured fence. You can create some activities that will help stimulate his mind too. And you can even participate in canine sports where he can showcase his skills. In other words, play with him to keep him happy and healthy.
  • Health: Purebred dogs always have the potential to develop health problems. The same goes for the Boykin Spaniels. As a dog owner, you must be aware of these health conditions, so you know what to do if your dog suffers in one. Some health conditions that you should be concerned about include heart conditions, hemophilia A, and eye problems. These are usually genetically inherited, so it’s highly advisable to meet at least one of your dog’s parents.
  • Lifespan: The life expectancy of Boykin Spaniels is 10-15 years.

Famous Boykin Spaniels

  • Dumpy: The foundation of all Boykin Spaniels

Fun Facts about Boykin Spaniels

  • Boykin Spaniels are one of the first dog breeds developed in the 20th century.
  • These dogs were developed in South Carolina in 1900.
  • They were developed to hunt wild turkeys; they also work in dove fields, duck marshes, and rescue people in home fires.
  • They are well-known for their solid brown coat and floppy ears (common to the spaniel dog breed).
  • They are South Carolina’s official state dog.
  • September 1st is Boykin Spaniel Day in South Carolina.
  • They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2009.

Check Out Other Sporting Dog Breeds:
American Water Spaniel, Brittany, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Clumber Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Curly-Coated Retriever, English Cocker Spaniel, English Setter, English Springer Spaniel, Field Spaniel, Flat-Coated Retriever, German Shorthaired Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, Golden Retriever, Gordon Setter, Irish Red and White Setter, Irish Setter, Irish Water Spaniel, Kooikerhondje, Labrador Retriever, Lagotti Romagnoli, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Pointer, Spinoni Italiani, Sussex Spaniel, Vizsla, Weimaraner, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Wirehaired Vizslas

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