The Boykin Spaniel!

The Boykin Spaniel is recognized as the state dog of South Carolina. It is an excellent hunting and retrieving dog. Sporting a spaniel-like head and a typically waterproof curly coat, the Boykin spaniel has curly ears set high on its head and dark brown eyes that are shaped well-apart.

Some Quick Facts:

Life Expectancy:
14-16 years

Energy Level:
Gentle in the home..

Living Conditions:
Apartment is fine, though not ideal.


Exercise Needs:
Daily walk and outdoor work/play.

Breed Group:


14-18 inches

25-40 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
Dark brown (chocolate), liver

National breed club:
The Boykin Spaniel Club & Breeders Association of America

Boykin Spaniel Skills

Originally bred by South Carolina hunters in the early 1900s to retrieve waterfowl such as wild turkey and ducks, the Boykin spaniel was regarded as the perfect hunting partner during excursions to the Wateree River Swamp because of its size and its skill in hunting. Whit Boykin, a well-known member of that South Carolina community, successfully bred the Boykin spaniel and helped solve the problem besetting many Wateree hunters. Reported precursors of the breed include the cocker spaniel, the English springer spaniel, and the American water spaniel. Today, the Boykin spaniel fits right in both the home and the hunt, retaining many of its original hunting skills and can even be used to hunt other game such as pheasant and track larger game such as deer.

Boykin Spaniel Personality

The Boykin spaniel can be considered a dual-purpose dog, both for hunting and for companionship. It is a perfect pet for the family due to its eagerness to please. Gentle, loyal, and obedient, the Boykin spaniel is also an intelligent breed that does not need need to be told twice on what to do. They exhibit exceptional skill in swimming and known for their sense of smell.

Exercise Needs

The Boykin spaniel was bred as a hunting dog; therefore, it is important that it gets daily activity such as long walks with its owners and playing with children. As a whole the breed is known for its moderate to high levels of energy. If not attended to, the Boykin spaniel will find and think of ways to entertain itself; make sure that it is not left unattended to frequently.

Living Conditions

An apartment will do for the Boykin spaniel so long as they get enough exercise. It is accustomed to working and therefore should get a lot daily activity.

Grooming Requirements

The Boykin spaniel has no special grooming requirements. Brushing its coat from time to time will help prevent it from developing matting.

Health Issues

The Boykin spaniel has common health issues such as elbow and hip dysplasia, heart issues, skin disorders, hypothyroidism, luxating patellas, and eye problems.

If you liked this dog…

...look for other dual-purpose dogs that serve the home and the hunt well. The Labrador Retriever will fit in well with these requirements; it is dependable and loyal.

boykin spaniel


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