As the name suggests, Boykin Spaniels belong to the spaniel dog family. Almost all owners of this breed report that these dogs have a unique personality, and have an enthusiastic ability on the field, that are not seen in many other dogs.
This breed is extensively bred by the South Carolina hunters. They were ideal for hunting wild turkeys in the Wateree River Swamp during the 1900s. Since then, the Boykin Spaniels have also adapted themselves to the dove fields, the duck marshes, and the homefires of the modern-day hunters.
They have an exceptionally keen sense of smell, and hence, make excellent companions on a hunting trip. When allowed to roam off the lead, their sense of smell can lead to an excursion. These spaniels also need a lot of exercise as they are working dogs. A brisk walk daily is an absolute must.
As a matter of fact, they have been known to be very destructive when they become bored or when there primal instinct to walk has not been fulfilled. Adequate exercise is very important to burn off all their energy and also exercise their minds.
Boykin Spaniels are larger than Cocker Spaniels, and also have smaller eyes that are higher set and are covered with long wavy hair. The color of their coat varies from the color of liver to chocolate.
They weigh approximately 30 pounds and have more feathering. The tail is docked to about ⅓ of its length. This modification is made to keep its long tail from twitching, which rattles leaves and alerts birds.
These dogs are an intelligent and loyal companion. They are very docile, pleasant, and obedient. Their trademark yellow eyes are always looking for love and affection, and also seem to be asking as to what is expected next from them.
Here are some interesting facts about these dogs:
- The Boykin is the state dog of South Carolina.
- The first dog was found outside a church by Mr. Alexander L. White in 1911. As the dog was looking terribly bedraggled, he was named 'Dumpy'.
Mr. White discovered that Dumpy displayed some qualities that would be very useful in hunting. He took Dumpy to his friend, Mr. Whit Boykin, who was White's hunting partner who bred the dog with another dog named 'Singo'.
The best known accounts available today state that Dumpy was a male dog, and he is therefore the forerunner of all the Boykin Spaniels that have existed since then.
- Originally, these dogs were used to flush and retrieve game.
- As per the legends in the backwoods, the Boykin has a brown coat to help it camouflage, while it lays on the ground waiting for its master to call a turkey in.
- The life expectancy is about 12 to 14 years.
- The size of the litter is 5 to 7.
- The Boykin Spaniel Society was founded during the summer of 1977, after many failed attempts in the thirty years before that. The main objectives of the club are four fold. The first objective is to encourage and promote the breeding of Boykins that are pure breed, and do everything possible to bring the natural abilities of this breed to perfection.
The second objective is to urge all breeders and members of the society to establish standards, using which, a Boykin Spaniel can be judged. The third is to protect and advance the interests of this breed by encouraging good and decent competition in field trials.
Lastly, the fourth objective is to maintain records on all these dogs in order to establish a Boykin Spaniel Registry. The society has been very successful in meeting its objectives so far.
All the important decisions that affect this dog breed are put to vote by the membership. This has ensured that the society has become a definite force that has taken great strides in promoting the Boykin, and has helped the spaniel attain national recognition.