Boykin Spaniel - Dog Breed Info, Temperament & Facts

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The Boykin Spaniel is a dog breed that was specifically bred for hunting wild birds in the wetlands of South Carolina. It was favored by hunters because of its medium size, energy level, and ability to swim. These traits made it easy for hunters to load the dog into a boat along with the retrieved bird. However, the Boykin Spaniel is not just a hunting dog anymore. Its warm and lovable nature makes it a great addition to any household.

The Boykin Spaniel is known for being clever and enthusiastic. While it doesn’t require extensive grooming, regular brushing is necessary to keep its coat in good condition. It’s important to keep this breed mentally and physically stimulated to prevent them from developing bad habits. They need to be engaged and given opportunities to move around and be challenged.

In summary, the Boykin Spaniel is a versatile and affectionate dog that was originally bred for hunting but can now thrive in any home. It requires some maintenance and needs to be kept mentally and physically active to avoid behavioral issues.

Ahead, we look at Boykin Spaniel dog breed, its history, personality, pros and cons of owning an Boykin Spaniel, characteristics, and must-see facts. We will also examine how to care for this breed and more. Prepare for a tail-wagging adventure into the world of Boykin Spaniels!

Dog Breed Boykin Spaniel
Size Medium
Weight 25-35 lbs (average)
Height 14-16″ (average)
Location United States
Ancestry Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Springer, Cocker and American Water Spaniel, Pointer
Date of Origin 1900s
Group Retriever, Companion
Life Expectancy 14-16 years
Price $800 – $1000
Family Canidae
Scientific Name Canis Lupus Familiaris

📖 Breed History

The tale of the Boykin Spaniel began in the early 1900s in the United States, specifically in South Carolina. Hunters in the state were in search of a dog that could retrieve both upland and water fowl. One day, Alexander White of Spartanburg came across a small brown stray dog that had been wandering around a church. The dog had a short and thick build, earning him the name Dumpy. Mr. White gave the dog to his friend, L. Whitaker Boykin, who lived in Camden. Soon after, another dog with a similar appearance was found and mated with Dumpy. Initially thought to be a mix of breeds like the American Water Spaniel, Springer Spaniel, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and Pointer, this little brown dog was bred on Boykin’s Pine Grove plantation over many years. Whit Boykin had a vision of creating a special breed of hunting dog that could efficiently hunt wild turkeys and ducks in the Wateree River swamp. The ideal dog would be small enough to be lifted into a boat with the retrieved bird, possess a joyful temperament, navigate through water and swamps, and also be a loyal family pet.

The popularity of “Mr. Boykin’s Spaniels” grew in South Carolina before World War II, and their popularity expanded even further outside of the state after the war. However, the increased demand for the breed led to a decline in breeding standards, resulting in a decline in the physical condition of the breed. In 1977, Boykin’s relatives consulted with Dr. Peter McKoy, a local veterinarian, and together they established The Boykin Spaniel Society. The purpose of the society was to ensure that breeding standards were upheld and that the quality of the breed was maintained. In 1985, the Boykin Spaniel was officially declared the state dog of South Carolina, as it was a dog bred by South Carolinians for South Carolinians. Finally, in 2009, the breed received official recognition from the American Kennel Club.

🐕 Boykin Spaniel Appearance

One Boykin Spaniels are medium-sized, agile dogs who can swim in any situation and gallop across uneven terrain. They have sloping shoulders, a well-developed chest, and a strong, straight back that is level with the exception of a tiny arch over the loins. They are sturdy but not overly heavy. The spaniel-type head is flat on top, somewhat rounded on the sides, and rather broad. It is appropriately proportioned to the body. The teeth are straight and come together in a bite or scissors shape. With heavier tones of yellow frequently selected, eyes are properly spaced out and shine in hues ranging from yellow to amber to brown. Long, wavy hair, the same waterproof coat that covers the Boykin’s whole body, covers the large ears that can reach the tip of the snout. Although a complete brown coat is the breed standard, they can also have a reddish-brown liver hue or a chocolate brown coat with a little white patch on the chest. On the ears, chest, legs, feet, and belly, there are frequently feathers together with either flat or curly hair. With webbed toes, the Boykin’s paws are ideally suited for swimming. Boykins’ tails are frequently docked.

👀 Eye Color Brown
🐽 Nose Color Brown
🐕 Coat Color Brown

Fun Fact: Boykin Spaniel dogs need for social interaction is average. This breed likes being around people or other animals, but they don’t mind being left alone for a few hours either.

🐶 Traits & Temperament of Boykin Spaniel

Initially favored by hunters for their tenacity in the field, the Boykin Spaniel has grown in popularity as a particularly affectionate indoor family dog. This energetic and bright dog is simple to teach. Boykins, who are calm, energetic, and playful, like pleasing their families. They are generally renowned for being affectionate and friendly, characteristics that make them get along with kids and other dogs. Boykin Spaniels are moderately active dogs, not typically too so. They do require regular exercise, or else boredom-related undesirable behavior could occur. Be careful to give boykins enough attention and cerebral stimulation to keep them engaged because they also have a propensity to wander, a behavioral trait probably carried over from their hunting days. In conclusion, your dog will not only be a fantastic hunting partner but also a beloved buddy.

🤝 Are Boykin Spaniels Friendly or Aggressive?

Boykin Spaniel dogs tend to get along well with other pets and are generally friendly towards strangers. They are also known to be kid-friendly and make a good choice for families with children. While they may have an average level of friendliness towards cats and other dogs, Boykin Spaniels are usually recommended for elderly individuals due to their temperament and adaptability.

This breed is known for being:

  • Energetic
  • Intelligent
  • Friendly
  • Trainable
  • Eager
  • Companionable

🐩 Boykin Spaniel Care & Maintenance

The Boykin Spaniel’s wavy coat must be brushed often to keep the lengthy hair from matting. Regular brushing need to be done once to twice a week, particularly in the springtime when shedding takes place. Your Spaniel will stay odor-free and clean with the help of an occasional bath. However, if your Boykin’s ears start to smell, it likely has an ear infection. The likelihood of an infection can be reduced by cleaning your dog’s ears once a week with a quality ear cleaner, especially after swimming, playing in the water, or taking a bath. To avoid any splitting or cracking, keep the nails trimmed, and wash your Spaniel’s teeth twice a week. The Boykin Spaniel is an energetic breed that requires a lot of daily activity to prevent destructive habits. The Boykin can live fairly nicely in an apartment despite being bred as an outdoor dog, so long as you give them enough activity to keep them from becoming bored. Make sure to feed your dog a high-quality food for medium-sized dogs due to the risk that your dog may have skin allergies. These active dogs may consume roughly two cups of food every day on average.

Boykin Spaniel dogs have a moderate amount of shedding, which is a normal part of their hair growth cycle. Regular brushing can help minimize the amount of hair they shed. The level of shedding can also vary based on the dog’s overall health and the specific breed characteristics. Additionally, these dogs typically require a bath every 6 to 8 weeks.

🍖 Food: We recommend 2.5 cups daily, costing you about $1.75 – $2.25 daily, or approximately $52.50 – $67.50 a month.

🐾 Exercise: Boykin Spaniel dogs need a lot of exercises. Long walks should be on a daily schedule. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.

This dog breed requires to be walked for roughly 8 miles per week, which equates to about 60 minutes of physical activity daily. This consistent moderate exercise regimen will help maintain their physical wellness and significantly contribute to their mental stimulation. Consciously setting aside this time for your furry friend can dramatically enhance their life quality, helping them stay energetic, healthy, and mentally alert.

Did you know: Boykin Spaniel dogs are high-energy dogs. An active lifestyle makes them happy.

❤️‍🩹 Boykin Spaniel Health & Issues

Some of the major concerns for Boykin Spaniel Dog Breed can be:

  • Patellar Luxation
  • Distichiasis
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Exercise Induced Collapse

While minor concerns include:

  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Cataracts
  • Corneal Opacities
  • Collie Eye Anomaly
  • Persistent Pupillary Membrane

🤧 Important: Is Boykin Spaniel hypoallergenic? No.

Bonus: Check out cool, creative, and funny names for Boykin Spaniel.

⚡ Boykin Spaniel Dog Breed Facts

What makes the Boykin Spaniel a great choice for families with young children?
The Boykin Spaniel’s friendly and lovable disposition makes them a great choice for families with young children. They are known to get along well with children and are generally very patient and tolerant.

Is the Boykin Spaniel breed considered a suitable breed for apartment living?
The Boykin Spaniel breed is not considered a suitable breed for apartment living due to their medium size and energetic nature. They require ample space to exercise and roam around.

How much exercise does a Boykin Spaniel require compared to other breeds?
Boykin Spaniels require a good amount of exercise compared to some other breeds. They are quite active dogs and need consistent exercise to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

Is the Boykin Spaniel breed known for being good with other pets?
Boykin Spaniels are known for being good with other pets, including dogs. They have a friendly and amicable nature that helps them get along well with other animals.

What are other low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Boykin Spaniel?
Some low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Boykin Spaniel include the Labrador Retriever and the Golden Retriever. These breeds also have friendly and lovable dispositions and require minimal grooming.

What are the common health issues that Boykin Spaniels are prone to?
Common health issues that Boykin Spaniels are prone to include hip dysplasia, eye problems, and allergies. Regular vet check-ups and proper care can help prevent or manage these issues.

Are Boykin Spaniels known to be easy to train compared to other breeds?
Boykin Spaniels are generally considered easy to train compared to some other breeds. They are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them quick learners.

Are Boykin Spaniels more prone to separation anxiety compared to other breeds?
Boykin Spaniels can be prone to separation anxiety, especially if they are not provided with enough attention and mental stimulation. Proper training and socialization can help alleviate this issue.

Are there any dog breeds similar to the Boykin Spaniel that are suitable for people with allergies?
Some dog breeds similar to the Boykin Spaniel that are suitable for people with allergies include the Bichon Frise, the Portuguese Water Dog, and the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. These breeds have hair instead of fur, which reduces the amount of allergens they produce.

What sizes of dogs similar to the Boykin Spaniel are best for individuals or families with limited space?
Smaller sizes of dogs similar to the Boykin Spaniel, such as the Cocker Spaniel or the English Springer Spaniel, are best for individuals or families with limited space. These breeds have similar temperaments and exercise needs but are more suitable for smaller living spaces.

Is the Boykin Spaniel breed known to be good with children with special needs?
Boykin Spaniels are known to be good with children in general, but their suitability for children with special needs would depend on the specific needs and temperament of the child. It is important to carefully introduce any dog to a child with special needs and provide proper supervision.

How does the grooming and shedding needs of the Boykin Spaniel?
The grooming and shedding needs of the Boykin Spaniel are moderate. They have a thick, wavy coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting. They do shed, but not excessively compared to some other breeds.


We use reliable and publicly available data and resources such as AKC and American Canine Registry to ensure that Boykin Spaniel dog breed information is accurate and up to date. If you spot an error, please don’t hesitate to bring it to our attention.

Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy is a seasoned writer and an enthusiast of dog breed expertise. Having dedicated over 5 years to studying the intricacies of different dog breeds and their unique characteristics. His profound insights and love for our four-legged friends have made him an invaluable part of our DogsInsights.com team.

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