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The Boykin Spaniel

If you are like me you will always be learning about dogs and the prospect of discovering breeds that you’ve never heard of before can be quite interesting and somewhat fascinating.

Being from the United Kingdom I’m familiar with many of the spaniel breeds, the English Springer Spaniel, the English Cocker Spaniel, the American Cocker Spaniel etc etc.

I’ve recently learned of a spaniel breed called the Boykin Spaniel which was a totally new one to me. I must admit that when I first saw photgraphs of this dog that I thought it was an Englsh Cocker Spaniel due ot it’s size, shape and colour, there are some English Cockers that can be all brown like the Boykin Spaniel.

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What is a Boykin Spaniel?

The Boykin Spaniel is one of the only dogs that has it’s own day. The 1st September is the official Boykin Spaniel Day in South Carolina, USA.

I think that’s great and maybe all spaniels should have their ‘own day’.

The Boykin Spaniel is a similar dog to the English Cocker Spaniel, being of a medium size and having a similar facial lookk about it.

The breed tends to be slightly larger than the Cocker and is wider along the body, providing for a powerful, squat dog.

Boykins tend to be colored liver or brown and often this is a complete, full body color, occasionally flecks of white can be found on the dog’s chest.

What is the Boykin Spaniel known for?

The Boykin Spaniel is a typical working spaniel breed used for the flushing of birds to make them fly during hunting.

The dog is a classic spaniel type, a skilful, powerful and capable hunter, similar in it’s ability and performance to the English Cocker Spaniel and this is reflected in the breeds suitability for pheasant shooting and upland bird flushing such as grouse. Boykins have also been used in the tracking of deer and finding wounded game.

The Boykin Spaniekl is, however, best known for hunting wild turkeys and ducks in the swamps of South Carolina, which forms the basis of its origins and it’s subsequent recognition in the state and it’s ‘state dog day’.

How much exercise does a Boykin Spaniel need?

The Boykin Spaniel is a typical spaniel in that it has masses of energy and is generally a fit and able dog.

Like all gundogs and other high energy dogs, a Boykin requires good levels of exercise which should, whenever possible include free running, swimming, spaniel training and other activities that will challenge and tire both the dog’s body and also it’s mind.

Embarking on a training program for a Boykin Spaniel is a good idea, they are good, working dogs that are responsive to training and they enjoy the challenge and input of spaniel training.

Are Boykin Spaniels easy to train?

The Boykin is an intelligent, eager dog and typical of most of the spaniel breeds this dog loves training and is an easy dog to train.

The breed is calm, friendly , energetic and playful. They are known as being loveable dogs that are easy to get along with and they make ideal pets for an active household, they are great with children.

It has to be remembered that the Boykin is a spaniel, this makes him energetic, and, although the breed is not hyperactive.

For anyone that is unfamiliar with spaniels and is unable to provide the exercise and training challenges, the dog may appear hyper and may be a tricky companion to live with.

Are Boykin Spaniels good pets?

Spaniels, in their own right, are excellent pets. Whether Boykin, Cocker, Springer, Clumber etc the dog known as a spaniel is a great companion.

I’ve never owned a Boykin but, having lived with Cockers and Springers I can vouch for the breeds, they are great pets.

Boykin spaniels are loyal, tough and enthusiastic hunting dogs. Like all of the spaniel breeds they love companionship and the comforts that a human based pack provides.

They are great around children and other dogs, enjoying playing, outdoor adventures and fun.

Being easy to train they are adaptable and intelligent.

What is the life expectancy of the Boykin Spaniel?

Typically most of the spaniel breeds live until 12 to 16 years of age. The Boykin spaniel is no exception to this and a healthy, well cared for dog will enjoy a good, long life.

Do Boykin Spaniels like to swim?

Yes. The Boykin Spaniel has it’s heritage in other spaniel breeds and also retrievers.  Historically these types of dogs are all from working gundog breeds and they possess a very strong instinct to swim.

These qualities have been inherited by the Boykin spaniel which is probably one of the best swimming dogs around.  Originally bred for the watery swamp areas of South Carolina, it could be said that water is in the Boykin’s blood.

Are Boykin Spaniels aggressive?

All dogs possess the ability to be aggressive if mistreated, threatened or challenged inadvertently. If a dog is brought up badly or has a bad experience then it’s always possible for the most sedate and friendly animal to become aggressive.

The Boykin is a friendly dog. Like all spaniels the breed is amenable, friendly and kind. A dog that is eager to please.

Aggression is not normally an issue for the Boykin spaniel.

Do Boykin Spaniels have any health problems?

There are some health problems associated with Boykin spaniels that, predominantly have occurred through poor breeding practices in the past.

Most breeds of dogs do have some heriditary health problems and, although of concern, this should not be a reason for not getting one of these dogs, if care is taken in selecting from a responsible breeder.

Boykin spaniels have been known to suffer from:

  1. Hip dysplasis caused in the main by poor breeding and poor diet and weight.
  2. Heart and eye disease has occured in some dogs.
  3. Problems with condition of coats – but in the main this has been due to poor ownership in dealing with ticks and fleas.
  4. There have also been some instances of exercise induced collapse in the breed indicating perhaps that careful working is needed, particularly when weather is hot and humid

Regardless of breed of dog, whether Boykin or other, it is always wise to check the breeder properly, examine the puppies, their pedigrees, the conditions in which they have been raised, if possible see the mother and father.

A responsible breeder will most likely have bred strong, healthy puppies.

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