Breed Information

The Boykin Spaniel was first bred by South Carolina hunters during the 1900’s to provide the ideal dog for hunting ducks and wild turkeys in the Wateree River Swamp. Hunters on South Carolina’s Wateree River needed a small rugged dog compactly built for boat travel and able to retrieve on land and water.

This little brown retriever can be found on hunts and in homes across America. Stamina in hot weather and eagerness to please make this dog a favorite in the dove fields, but Boykins have retained their spaniel flushing abilities and readily adapt to a variety of upland game hunting including pheasant, quail and grouse. An aptitude for water retrieving combined with their compact size assures these dogs a place in the duck boats and blinds as well. Boykins have often been described as “the dog that doesn’t rock the boat.” They are even effective in deer driving or in tracking wounded deer. Like many of the sporting breeds, Boykin spaniels make the transition from hunting companion to family pet easily. Boykin spaniels are true dual-purpose hunting dogs.


GENERAL DESCRIPTION – The Boykin Spaniel is medium in size, sturdy and typically spaniel. He is first and foremost a hunting dog with proven retrieving and flushing abilities characterized by boundless enthusiasm and endurance, moderate speed and agility. Being intelligent and possessing a great desire to please make the Boykin easy to train. He is a strong swimmer, taking to water easily and is valuable for water retrieving as well as field retrieving.

TEMPERAMENT – The typical Boykin is friendly and eager to please. As a pet and companion he is exceptional with an amicable disposition. Faults: Hostility towards other dogs or people in normal situations or excessive timidity or hyperactivity is not in keeping with the Boykin’s character.

SIZE AND PROPORTION – The Boykin is built to cover rough ground and swim in all conditions with agility and reasonable speed. His appearance should be a sturdy dog with good but not too heavy bone. He should be kept to medium size — neither too small nor too large and heavy to do the work for which he is intended.

Dog: Height – 15 1/2″ to 18″ Weight – 30 to 40 lbs.

Bitch: Height – 14″ to 16 1/2″ Weight – 25 to 35 lbs.


Source and for more information: The Boykin Spaniel Society at

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