The Boykin Spaniel is a versatile hunting dog having a very interesting history and origin. This intelligent breed was developed by one Mr. Alec White when a stray followed him home. White named the dog Dumpy and trained him to be his hunting partner along with canine expert trainer Whit Boykin. Dumpy soon became an accomplished waterfowl dog and hunter. Later on, Mr. Boykin crossed Dumpy with a small spaniel-type dog to create the ‘State dog of South Carolina’ or the Boykin Spaniel. Let us study some cool and interesting facts about the Boykin.
Fun facts about Boykin Spaniels
- This is a relatively new breed dating from the turn of the twentieth century.
- South Carolina is filled with small rivers and lakes. Avid hunters needed small dogs to take along on their hunting expeditions; a dog that could easily fit in the boats and not capsize it and was also smart enough to retrieve waterfowl. Boykin Spaniels fit this bill perfectly and soon became the preferred bird dogs for this terrain.
- They are often referred to as the little brown dog or the ‘dog that doesn’t rock the boat.
- By 1985, the Boykin Spaniel became the State dog of South Carolina.
- In 2006, the American Kennel Club allowed Boykin Spaniels to participate in field contesting events.
- Boykin Spaniels are known for their great stamina and water endurance.
- Breeds that could be the ancestors of the Boykin include the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, the Cocker Spaniel, and the American Water Spaniel.
- The Boykin is a medium, sturdy, muscular and compact dog breed. They usually have a rich brown coat or liver color coat with white markings. It may be flat, wavy, or curly with light feathering and very curly ears.
- Weight of the Boykin is between 25-50 lb (about 11.3-22 kg). Height is between 16-20 inches.
- Their eyes are yellow-brown in color.
Where to find a Boykin Spaniel
South Carolina is the place to find these dogs, but you can also find good Boykin Spaniel breeders almost everywhere these days. Check out the official website of the Club of Boykin Spaniels in America. Here you will find registered breeders of the Boykin. Registered breeders adhere to a standard code of conduct and are more likely to be concerned about the breed’s welfare rather than just financial interests.
It is important that you check out several breeders of the Boykin before buying your puppy. This way; you can talk to each one and find out the reasons behind their breeding programs. Good breeders are most likely to only keep one or two breeds and they won’t raise too many litters annually. They are also likely to ask you several questions about your household in order to ensure that you can and will take good care of the puppy. The average cost of Boykin Spaniel puppies can range between $1000 and $1500 depending on the bloodlines, the breeder, and your location.
Boykin Spaniel temperament
Boykin Spaniels are intelligent, lively, alert, and active dogs. They love it best when they are given a job to do and that job should entail swimming and retrieving. Like all spaniels, they are easy to train provided they have a firm owner. They usually get attached to one person in the household. Like any dog breed, the temperament of your Boykin depends on several factors: your pet’s environment, its dam/parents, and also its early training and socialization. Always ask to meet one or both the parents of the Boykin. If the dam or mother is of good temperament, then it is likely that the puppy would be too. There have been several issues of poorly bred Boykin Spaniels showing temperament and behavior issues like aggression, shyness, or timidity. That is why finding a reputed breeder is crucial.
Boykins love kids and they get along well with them. Naturally, you must always supervise your dog around toddlers and young infants. Most Boykins also get along well with other dogs and household pets. But early socialization is the key here; you must make sure that your Boykin meets several dogs and people early on in his puppyhood. This can prevent many issues later such as jumping, barking at strangers, and so on. In general, you will find your Boykin to be good-natured, affectionate, and with great endurance and versatility.
Boykins do well around water bodies and are best suited for people living in rural areas and those having active lifestyles. They love the water and would want to go on daily swimming or boating trips! Unfortunately, they make for lousy watchdogs; so don’t expect your pet to bark should a stranger come around your house.
This is an active breed and they need daily exercise. Your pet will get bored if you do not adequately stimulate him mentally and physically. So make sure you walk your dog for an hour daily. He will also love to swim, hike, and play fetch with you. While they are suited for apartments, Boykins do best in a rural environment with water bodies nearby. A fenced yard is also great to allow your dog to have a romp around it, a couple of times during the day.
Advanced training of working Boykin Spaniels needs a trainer with a great deal of experience. If you want your Boykin to retrieve waterfowl, it is best to work with an expert in the field. For basic house training, it is important that you start from day one itself- that is the day your puppy comes home.
You can start with crate training which goes hand in hand with house training. Show your pet where you want him to eliminate. Use the same command each time and use plenty of praise and reward when your pet obeys. Crate training helps your pet understand that the crate is its secure den; a place to settle down for the night. It can set the tone for other basic house training. Like all spaniels, the Boykin Spaniel is easy to train and intelligent. However, they tend to have an independent streak which can cause them to disobey from time to time. So a firm owner who knows dog training is the best for this breed.
As your pet grows up, you can teach him basic commands like Come, Fetch, Sit, or Stay. All training should ideally begin by the time your pet is 3 months old.
Like most spaniel breeds, Boykins shed once or twice annually and they need regular grooming. Make sure you brush your pet weekly to remove the stray and loose hairs; this way, you will have fewer hairs on your furniture and clothes. Bathe your pet once a month. After swimming or getting wet, dry your pet’s coat thoroughly to prevent fungal skin issues. Check your pet’s ears from time to time. If you notice a foul odor, get him examined by the vet. The breed is prone to ear infections.
Common, inherited diseases include skin allergies, hip dysplasia, cataracts, and other eye issues. They also have a tendency to put on weight, so daily exercise and good food is a must to prevent obesity. The lifespan of the Boykin Spaniel is 13-15 years.