The Boykin Spaniel is named after the Boykin community near Camden, South Carolina, where it was developed for flushing and retrieving wild turkeys in the Wateree River swamp region. The breed was created by crossing a small stray brown spaniel called "Dumpy" with the Cocker Spaniel, the English Springer Spaniel, the American Water Spaniel and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. The Boykin has a high tolerance for hot conditions, making him a suitable dog for the dove fields. The Boykin Spaniel Society was formed in 1977 to promote the breed. In 1979 the society started a registry to keep accurate records of all existing Boykin Spaniels. The Boykin Spaniel is the official State Dog of South Carolina.
At first, hunting with attractive new type of spaniel was confined to the rural districts of Camden, Sumter and Boykin, but it later became popular across much of the United States. In addition to its turkey-work, it was widely used for both dove-hunt and duck-hunt. His tail is traditionally docked, not for esthetic reasons but because, if left undocked, the long tail was wagged so furiously when the dog scented the turkey that it rustled the leaves and alerted the quarry too soon.
Other Names: Boykin
Country of Origin: USA
Utilization: Gun dog, flusher and retriever
AKC Classification: FSS; UKC
Size: Medium (14-18 inches at shoulders)
Photo courtesy of Brandywine Creek Boykin Spaniels
Coat and Colors: The coat is of medium length. It can be flat or slightly curly with or without feathering on the legs, feet, ears, chest, and belly. Liver (reddish brown) or dark chocolate colors. A small white spot on the chest is acceptable.
Litter Size: 6-8
Life Span: 10-12 years
Grooming Requirements: Brush weekly
Personality: Cheerful, energetic, enthusiastic
Suitability for Children: Because of his cheerful and gentle nature, this breed has gained the reputation of a good family dog that is exceptionally good with children.
Exercise Needs: Moderate. Fenced yard is a must.
Train Ability: Responds well to gentle and consistent training. The Boykins are at their best when they are encouraged and when training is made fun and like a game.
Health & Behavioral Issues: Hip dysplasia, cataracts, skin allergies, hyperactivity and aggressiveness have been seen in some bloodlines.