As the state dog for South Carolina, the Boykin Spaniel has prided itself for being the only breed that has been originally developed in South Carolina. The ancestry of this breed is uncertain, but it can be said that this is a modern dog.

Boykin Spaniel in the mountain

The foundations of the Boykin Spaniel started in the 1900s when Alexander L. White found a stray dog on his way home from his church and decided to keep it.

The dog, that he named Dumpy, showed promise and skills in retrieving.

White sent his dog to his hunting partner, L.W. Boykin, for training. In Boykin’s hands, Dumpy developed into a great turkey dog and waterfowl retriever.

Dumpy would then become the foundation of the modern Boykin Spaniel, which got its name from its developer.

During this time, Americans in the south had access to games near the water areas.

However, the small boats can’t hold the larger Retriever to aid them in hunting. It was then that the Boykin Spaniel was bred to meet the needs of the people due to their small stature and great hunting skill.

What was once originally an American dog, the Boykin Spaniel became popular throughout the world, including Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.

Pet Care and Diseases

Boykin Spaniels are energetic dogs and therefore should need exercise to be healthy and happy. However, they can be satisfied with daily walks and are perfect as a family pet.

Boykin Spaniel blue background

Grooming Boykin Spaniels can become quite meticulous, depending on the environment. Their soft fur is a magnet for cockleburs, foxtails, and spurs.

Since they love to swim and waddle in the water, they are often wet. The ears, paws, and other folds should be dried thoroughly to prevent irritation and infection.

The dog’s hair should also be trimmed regularly, especially around the paws and ears. Brushing should also be done regularly to remove tangles and matting.

Bathing however should only be done not more than once or twice a month, so as not to remove the natural protection in the dog’s coat.

The Boykin Spaniel can live up to 14 years under optimum conditions. Due to their diverse genetic pool, this breed suffers health problems typical in a spaniel. A common problem is Hip dysplasia, which may affect 37% of the puppies born.

In a study done by the University of Minnesota in the year 2010, Boykin Spaniels proved to be commonly seen with Exercise Induced Collapse. Additional studies are being done regarding the matter. Other health problems include Cardiovascular problems, skeletal problems, and eye problems.


Boykin Spaniel looking up

This medium-sized dog has a neat and compact body that is neither too small nor too big. The average male stands at about 15.5 to 18 inches tall and weighs around 30 to 40 pounds, with the females generally smaller.

Boykin Spaniels have muscular arms and legs connected to a curved and round body. The paws are webbed which enables them to paddle powerfully in the water.

The head is broad, flat at the top, and rounded at the side. The liver-colored nose is broad, with wide nostrils that are ideal for sensing scents.

The jaws are long enough to carry the hunted game. They have straight teeth that meet in a close scissor bite.

The coats of Boykin Spaniels vary because of the different breeds behind their development. Some have short, flat coats similar to a Labrador Retriever, while others have curly hairs like the American Water Spaniel.

They come in a solid, dark chocolate color, or rich, reddish liver color. Others may have white spots on the chest.

General Information

The breed is expected to live for 14-16 years. A litter may consist of 5-7 puppies. Boykin, Swamp Poodle, LBD (Little Brown Dog) are among its few other names.

Breed Club

Visit this dog club website dedicated to Boykin Spaniels. Click this link: http://theboykinspanielclub.com/