Updated 22-05-2023

Boykin Spaniel

Boykin Spaniels are well-known for their hunting abilities, but their intelligence and pleasant confidence make them excellent family pets as well. However, this dog requires a lot of exercise, therefore the family should be active.

These intelligent dogs are inseparable from their human family members, including children. With the right socialisation, they can even get along with other dogs in the house. Apartment dwellers may want to avoid them due to their high level of activity. To keep these dogs happy, they need both physical and cerebral activity. We recommend this breed if you have the stamina to keep up with an energetic dog!

Boykin Spaniel characteristics and information can be found in the table below.


  • When it comes to hunting turkeys and waterfowl in South Carolinians wetlands, the medium-sized brown spaniel is the best of both worlds.
  • Dogs that can flush and retrieve, as well as those that are motivated to work, have appealing drooping ears and a wagging tail.
  • He's a great family dog since he's alert, confident, and smart.
  • When it comes to training, he's as enthusiastic as a duck taking to the water.
  • As a family pet, he effortlessly transitions from hunting partner. In the field, the Boykin is a favourite of hunters because of its stamina and eagerness to please, but at home, it is just as entertaining.
  • He's a natural hunter, but he's also a joy to have around the house. Although early socialisation is encouraged, they are friendly with both adults and children.
  • As a puppy, the Boykin will require a yard to run around in, as well as regular exercise.


Social Appearance 


It's a common misconception that a little dog is better suited to living in a limited space. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to live in an apartment building. An apartment dog's best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. Your dog's personal space in your apartment can be improved by purchasing one of these fantastic dog cages.

Sensitivity Level

Depending on the dog, a strong rebuke can be taken in stride by some, while others regard even the tiniest hint of disapproval as a personal attack. If you have a loud or pushy owner, a chaotic home, or a routine that is unpredictable or variable, your low-sensitivity dog, often known as "easy-going," "tolerant," "resilient," or even "thick-skinned," will be able to handle it better. Do you have young children, host a lot of parties, or have a hectic lifestyle? Choose a dog that isn't overly sensitive.


You can't tell from looking at them whether or not they're hyperactive, but when they do anything, they do it vigorously. They tug at their leashes (unless you teach them not to), they push their way through barriers, and they down their meals in huge, gobbling gulps. A home with young children or an elderly or feeble person may not be the best place for these dynamos to learn proper etiquette. On the other side, a dog with poor vitality adopts a more reserved demeanor.

Potential for Playfulness

The playful nature of certain dogs never fades away, and they're always ready for a game, whereas the reserved and serious tendencies of other dogs develop through time. Think about how many times a day you want to play fetch or tag with your dog, and whether or not you have children or other dogs who can act as substitutes.

Personality Appearance


In the same way as working dogs, such as those that herd sheep, are bred for intelligence and decision-making, working dogs like those who run all day need to exercise their bodies. The two most common activities that a bored pet engages in are digging and chewing, both of which require mental stimulation. There are several ways to keep a dog's brain active, including obedience training, interactive dog toys like tug of war, and dog sports like agility and search and rescue.

Energy Level

Energy-draining dogs are always on the lookout for a new activity. There are several jobs that require a lot of stamina from dogs, such as herding livestock or recovering prey for hunters. Children are more likely to engage in activities such as jumping, playing and exploring new sights and smells as a result of this change in their environment

A low-energy dog is more like a couch potato than a dog that needs a lot of exercise. Think about your level of physical activity and whether or not you find a hyperactive dog irritating before making your final choice.

Easy To Train

Easy to train dogs can more easily form associations between a cue (like "sit"), an action (like sitting), and a reward than dogs that are more difficult to train. Dogs that require more time, patience, and repetition are more difficult to train.

Getting your dog interested about training will require incentives and games because many breeds are intelligent but have a "What's in it for me?" mentality when it comes to learning new things.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Since puppyhood, some breeds remain aloof and independent; others form deep bonds with one individual but are uninterested in the rest of the family; still other types shower their entire family with affection. Canines raised in homes with people tend to be more open to human interaction and develop stronger ties, regardless of their breed or upbringing.


Kids-friendly dogs are calm, strong enough to bear the hefty hugs and pets kids can dish out, and have an unfazed attitude about rushing, scream-inducing children. There are several names you may not expect to see on the list: Fierce-looking Both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are regarded as family dogs (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, which are small, sensitive, and potentially sharp, are not always family-friendly.

Dog Friendly

Dog friendship and human friendship are two entirely different things. The fact that a dog is friendly with humans doesn't mean it's immune to aggression or aggression from other dogs; some canines choose to play rather than fight; others will just run away. The type of animal isn't the only consideration. Dogs who have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother at the age of six to eight weeks are more likely to be socially competent.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

Having a dog in the house means that you'll have to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothing and in the home. It's worth noting, however, that shedding varies widely among breeds. Some dogs shed all year long, while others "blow" just during specific times of the year, and still others don't shed at all. If you're a stickler for cleanliness, you'll need to choose a breed that sheds less or lower your expectations. You can use a de-shedding tool to keep your house a little cleaner.

Drooling Potential

While greeting you, some dogs may cover their arms with ropes of drool and create large, wet patches on your clothing. If you don't mind a little drool, go for it; but if you're a stickler for cleanliness, you may want to look for a dog with a low drool rating.

Easy To Groom

Some breeds of dogs can simply be brushed and left alone, while others require frequent washing, trimming, and other grooming in order to maintain their health and appearance. If you don't have the time or money to take care of a dog that requires a lot of grooming, you may want to look into hiring a professional.

Exercise Needs

Evening walks around the neighbourhood are perfectly acceptable for some breeds. Others, particularly those trained for physically demanding vocations like herding or hunting, require regular, rigorous exercise.

They can gain weight and release their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, including as barking, chewing, and digging, if not given enough exercise. Those looking to train their dog for an energetic canine activity, such as agility, should consider getting a dog that needs a lot of exercise.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


25 to 40 pounds


10 to 12 years


14 to 18 inches tall at the shoulder


Large section boats were utilised by early 1900s hunters in South Carolina to hunt on the Wateree River. Small section boats that could only hold one person and one small dog necessitated the acquisition of a small retrieving dog. An attempt to breed such a dog by L.W. "Whit" Boykin and his family culminated in success with a little brown stray spaniel found in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1905. He became an excellent waterfowl and turkey retriever named Dumpy. Dumpy was bred to another stray brown spaniel, and finally crossbreeds were established with the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Springer Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, and the American Water Spaniel..

For their versatility, these dogs became noted for preserving the flushing characteristics of a spaniel while adding water retrieving, driving, and tracking. Instead of pointing, the breed flushes. They can hunt upland game even in hot weather because of their high stamina. They've been dubbed "the dog that doesn't rock the boat" for their ability to hunt waterfowl.

When it came to hunting and money, Camden was a hub for the breed's population. In the spring, these family would leave their homes with small brown spaniels, scattering the Boykin over the country, but primarily along the eastern seaboard. From a little beginning in 1977, the Boykin Spaniel Society has grown into a global organisation with members from all around. The Boykin Spaniel was officially recognised by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1985, making it the official state dog of South Carolina. In 2010, it became a member of the AKC Sporting Group. The Boykin Spaniel is more popular than its AKC registration numbers suggest, and it has long been a beloved pet in the South.

Personality & Temperament

The Boykin Spaniel is a friendly and sociable dog that is eager to please while out in the open and working. The Boykin Spaniel is an excellent all-around dog, as well as intelligent and curious. Their demeanour should be confident, making them excellent companions for children and other animals. Pet birds and smaller animals should be approached with caution because they are naturally a retrieving breed, and should never be entirely trusted.

Dogs that are easygoing and tolerant of life's ups and downs are ideal for families with a hectic schedule. In addition to being adaptable and easygoing, dogs have a number of other advantages.


It's important to remember that every dog breed is unique, therefore caring for these Spaniels will be different from caring for another type. Keep in mind the health risks, temperament, nutritional needs, and other unique and vital aspects of this breed when planning to care for it.


Breeders that care about their dogs' health will do health screenings on their dogs to look for ailments that are more common in the Boykin Spaniel breed.

Hip Dysplasia

This chronic condition was detected in a large percentage of Boykin Spaniels. Although breeding communities have made a concerted effort to limit the number of animals impacted, the problem persists to this day. When a dog's hips do not form properly, they are susceptible to the illness known as hip dysplasia. As the dog ages, the problem progresses, leading to lameness and discomfort, and it grows worse over time.

Patellar Luxation

Various degrees of disability and pain are associated with this orthopaedic disorder that causes the kneecap to pop in and out of place. In some circumstances, surgery may be necessary.

Otitis Externa

Boykin Spaniels are prone to ear infections for the duration of their lives due to their floppy and fuzzy large ears characteristic of Spaniels. Spending a lot of time in water only serves to exacerbate this problem. To reduce the risk of infection, make sure to examine and dry the ears after each swim.

Exercise Induced Collapse

The Boykin Spaniel was the first dog to have this disease discovered in its DNA in 2010. It's an illness characterised by physical collapse following vigorous effort, as the name implies. As long as they aren't working, animals with the condition can spend pretty normal lives.

Collie Eye Anomaly

The condition is caused by a lack of choroid development in both eyes, which culminates in blindness. The Boykin Spaniel, as well as many other breeds, can be afflicted by this condition, which is most typically observed in Border Collies.

Degenerative Myelopathy

This disease has been reported in the Boykin Spaniel as well as the German Shepherd. This is an illness that begins with weakness in the legs and paws and progresses to lameness and eventually paralysis.

Juvenile Cataracts

When the lens loses its clarity, a condition known as a juvenile cataract develops. However, not every dog who develops cataracts will go blind as a result. Surgeons may be able to help some people with poor vision.

Pulmonic Stenosis

This is a cardiac abnormality that is present from birth and can lead to heart failure due to poor blood flow. A veterinary cardiologist can use a 'balloon' to widen the narrowed heart valve in some circumstances to treat them.

Recommended Health Test

  1. Patella Evaluation
  2. Hip Evaluation
  3. Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  4. EIC DNA Test
  5. Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) DNA Test


The Boykin Spaniel should be fine on a high-quality dog food, either commercially produced or prepared at home with the supervision of your veterinarian. The dog's age should be considered while selecting a diet (puppy, adult, or senior).

Keep a watch on your dog's calorie consumption and weight, as some breeds are more prone to obesity. Too much feeding of treats could contribute to obesity in dogs. What canines can eat from humans and what they can't is deciphered. Consult your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about your dog's weight or food. Water should be available at all times, and should be clean and fresh.

Consume between 1 and 1.5 cups of high-quality dry food every day in two meals.

Boykins, like other dogs, thrives on a high-quality, high-protein food that is rich in nutrients. Avoid overfeeding your pets in order to keep their lean and athletic physiques. When it comes to rewards, you can generally get away with it because Boykin Spaniels should be getting regular activity. If you see your Boykin gaining weight, consult your veterinarian to come up with a dietary plan that is tailored to his or her specific requirements and dietary requirements.


Grooming your Boykin Spaniel is simple because to its medium-length hair that doesn't mat or tangle easily. The importance of good oral hygiene, including regular brushing and bathing, cannot be overstated. This breed's ears have a lot of hair, so give them a little more care when you clean them. Check for ticks after a walk in the woods and comb your dog's coat.


Sporting dogs, in general, aren't content with a daily walk around the block. Due to their high energy level, Boykin Spaniels make wonderful canine companions for active dog owners who enjoy activities such as hiking, swimming, biking, and running. Boykins also like to engage in mentally engaging activities such as nose work and agility sports.


These dogs have a natural aptitude for training. Dogs of this breed are quick learners who may quickly pick up new skills and tricks. Your Boykin is unlikely to put up much of a fight when it comes to training because they want to impress their parents. From the age of eight weeks, you may teach this dog to be a well-behaved companion with the use of rewards and positive reinforcement.

Children and Other Pets

These canines appreciate spending time with all of the members of the household, even the youngest members. They can even get along with the other dogs in the house if they receive the correct socialisation. Apartment dwellers, on the other hand, may not be able to handle their high levels of energy. These bright and active dogs need a lot of physical and mental activity in order to remain content. For those who can keep up with an energetic puppy, this is the perfect breed for them.


Talk to the breeder before purchasing a Boykin Spaniel puppy from a breeder so that you may learn more about the puppy. The parents' health histories should be examined to ensure that your dog does not inherit any inheritable diseases from them.

The personalities of different Boykin Spaniels can vary greatly. In order to find the right puppy for your family, it's a good idea to spend some time with several different puppies.

You should thoroughly clean and prepare your house for your new puppy before bringing him or her home. Additionally, you'll need to buy puppy food, dog bedding, a leash and a collar, as well as other essentials for your new dog. Make sure you're prepared for their arrival and have a great time with them by following these tips!

Dog breeds similar to Boykin Spaniel

Dog breeds including the English Cocker Spaniel, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and the American Water Spaniel share many characteristics with these Spaniels.

English Cocker Spaniel 

These Spaniels were developed through the crossing of many breeds, including the English Cocker Spaniel. Both of these canines have a feathered coat and are intended for hunting. In terms of weight, a male English Cocker Spaniel weighs an average of 31 pounds, whereas a male Boykin weighs an average of 32.5 pounds. The coat colour of an English Cocker Spaniel can range from roan to tan to black to golden. Boykin Spaniels are distinguished by their brown fur.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Boykin Spaniels and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are well-known for their swimming prowess and ability to flush out ducks during hunting. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is larger than the Boykin Spaniel, yet they are both Retriever breeds. Compared to the average weight of a male Boykin, a male Chesapeake Bay Retriever weighs 72.5 pounds.

American Water Spaniel

Spaniels, including American Water Spaniels and Boykins, are gregarious, loving canines. They're both open and kind to everyone, strangers included. There is a noticeable difference between the coats of the American Water Spaniel and the Boykin Spaniel.