The Boykin Spaniel is slightly larger than the English Cocker Spaniel, and a member of the same family. It stands from 14 to 17 inches tall and weighs 25 to 35 pounds. It is a retrieving breed, and the state dog of South Carolina.
The coat of the Boykin Spaniel is feathered and typically liver or chocolate colored. It traditionally has a docked tail.
The first Boykin Spaniel was found outside the First Presbyterian Church of Spartanburg in 1911. The man who found the dog, Mr. Alexander L. White, took the dog to his friend Mr. Whit Boykin, the breed’s namesake. Boykin bred the dog with an abandoned female dog; in a similar way other hunters later on bred the Boykin Spaniel with various gun dogs, including Springer Spaniels, Pointers, Cocker Spaniels, Setters, Beagles, Labs, and American Water Spaniels.
The Boykin Spaniel Society was formed in the mid 1970’s with a mission to document the breed in a registry and obtain national recognition. The dog did not receive national recognition at the time, but was approved for admission into the Miscellaneous Group of the AKC on January 1, 2008. The breed should move into full registration status by 2013.
There are various health problems linked to the breed such as hip dysplasia, eye problems, cardiac problems, patellar luxation, elbow dysplasia, skin problems and an under bite.
The Boykin Spaniel is an excellent retriever, both of animals and toys, as well as an agile swimmer. The breed requires daily exercise and fairly frequent grooming. It is compatible with children as well, so it makes a wonderful family member. As a hunting dog, the Boykin can often be found on small boats used for duck hunting; because of their size they do not often tip the boat and disturb the water.