The Boykin Spaniel: A Complete Guide

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The Boykin Spaniel was specifically developed to hunt from small boats that have little room for the typical large retriever.

The Boykin Spaniel is one of the smallest retrievers and a water dog par excellence. The typical Boykin Spaniel has a friendly, cheerful, inquisitive personality.

His medium size makes him a good choice for families with children, as long as he is brought up with them and playtime is always supervised.

Like any sporting breed, the Boykin Spaniel needs daily exercise. If you’re not a hunter, a long walk will do, as well as an opportunity to swim.

He’ll love anything that involves getting wet. But you can also channel his energy into dog sports, such as flyball and agility.

Some can have excessive energy levels or a tendency toward aggression. Make sure that they are trained and socialized early to prevent these kinds of behavioral problems.

Boykin Spaniels are smart. They respond well to gentle and consistent training techniques.

For best results, make training fun. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as play, praise and food rewards.

Your Boykin Spaniel needs to live inside the house with you. You will have an unhappy Boykin

Spaniel when you relegate him to the backyard with little or no human companionship.

He’s not much of a watchdog. But if you’re looking for a companion to take hunting, boating, or hiking, the Boykin Spaniel is a terrific choice.

Boykin Spaniel Puppies – Before You Buy…

A brown Boykin Spaniel looking to the side
The Boykin Spaniel is a quite active dog.

What Price are Boykin Spaniel Puppies?

A Boykin Spaniel puppy may range in price, from $800 to $1,500.

How to Find Reputable Boykin Spaniel Breeders?

A reputable breeder will match you with the right puppy and will have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems.

They are more interested in placing puppies in the right homes than making big bucks.

Be wary of breeders who only tell you the good things about the breed, or who promote the dogs as being ‘good with kids’ without any context.

Reputable breeders will welcome your questions about temperament, health, and behavior of the dogs.

They will come right back at you with questions of their own about what you’re looking for in a dog and what kind of life you can provide for him.

A reputable breeder can tell you about the history of the breed and discuss what health problems affect the breed.

They should want to be a resource for you throughout your dog’s life.

Start your search for a good breeder with the national breeder club. They maintain a referral list of breeders. Choose one who is committed to following the club’s code of ethics.

Be aware that the Boykin Spaniel is a rare breed. You may have to wait for several months for a puppy to be available.

Before you decide to buy a Boykin Spaniel puppy, consider if this is a dog that will your lifestyle and your needs.

Puppies are loads of fun, but they require a lot of time and effort before they grow up to become the dog of your dreams.

3 Little-Known Facts About Boykin Spaniel Puppies

  1. This dog is nicknamed “little brown dog” because of the color of his coat, which is usually dark chocolate, brown, or liver.
  2. He’s just the right size to ride in a boat with a hunter and is known as “the little dog that doesn’t rock the boat.”
  3. A typical spaniel, he’s enthusiastic when it comes to flushing and retrieving birds.

Physical Traits of the Boykin Spaniel

A Boykin Spaniel in a forest
The Boykin Spaniel has a tendency to roam.

The Boykin Spaniels has a medium-length coat that can be flat to moderately curly. It can be solid liver or solid chocolate in color, and maybe with a white spot on the chest.

The tail of a Boykin Spaniel can be bobbed.

Its medium-length double coat can be flat to slightly wavy with feathering on the ears, chest, legs, and belly.

Weekly brushing and the occasional bath will keep your Boykin Spaniel’s coat in good shape.

This dog does not shed a lot. Regularly brushing their hair will help control the amount of dog hair on your clothes, floors, and furniture.

The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually once a month. Brush the teeth frequently for good overall health and fresh breath.

Check the ears weekly for dirt, redness, or a bad odor that usually indicates an infection.

If their ears get dirty, wipe them with a damp cotton ball and a gentle ear cleaner that is veterinarian-approved.

How Big is a Full-Grown Boykin Spaniel?

The Boykin Spaniel can grow to 14 to 18 inches at the shoulder and weigh 25 to 40 pounds.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Boykin Spaniel?

The life expectancy of the Boykin Spaniel is 10 to 14 years.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Boykin Spaniel

A Boykin Spaniel with a blue collar
The Boykin Spaniel was specifically developed to hunt.

In everything he does, from hunting to playing, the Boykin is enthusiastic and energetic. He’s best suited to an active family who can give him the exercise and attention he needs to thrive.

He likes children if he’s brought up with them and treated well by them. But he’s not the kind of dog who will patiently put up with a clumsy toddler.

Older children who know how to treat or play with dogs will find him to be a great playmate.

Hunters like the Boykin Spaniel’s stamina and biddable nature. Those characteristics translate well to agility, flyball, rally, obedience competitions, and hunt tests.

If you don’t play a lot of sports but want to keep your dog physically fit, you can take him boating, kayaking, or hiking.

He’s made to fit in little boats. He loves to swim and would make a good partner if you enjoy standup paddleboarding or surfing.

If you’re looking for a couch potato kind of dog, move along. The Boykin Spaniel is not for you. The Boykin Spaniel is alert, but he’s so friendly that he’s not much of a watchdog.

He tends to bark only if someone is approaching the home or if he hears an unusual sound. Boykin Spaniels are intelligent. They learn quickly with positive reinforcement techniques.

Be firm and consistent so you don’t confuse him. If you plan to hunt or compete in field trials with him, you’ll want to seek the services of a professional trainer who is familiar with the breed.

The Boykin Spaniel’s Diet

Because Boykin Spaniels are prone to weight gain, it’s important to take care of their food.

Boykin Spaniels do well with a lot of vegetables. Some vegetables that are good for them include celery and peas.

It’s good to feed them fresh meat such as chicken or lamb. Boykin Spaniels also enjoy yogurt and cottage cheese.

It’s important to find food with plenty of nutrients to keep your Boykin Spaniel healthy. Also, consider that they exercise a lot, so protein is an important component of their diet.

Boykin Spaniels have a beautiful coat. But it helps to feed them food rich in fatty acids to keep it healthy and shiny.

It’s also best to avoid foods that are high in calories due to the Boykin Spaniel’s tendency to gain weight.

How Much Exercise Does a Boykin Spaniel Need?

The Boykin Spaniel will always outpace you in any exercise.

As a hunting dog, Boykin Spaniels are always ready to work. Use this natural tendency to help them spend their energies.

Daily walks, runs, and jogs are recommended. They can adapt to an apartment-sized space, as long as they get enough exercise.

It can be quite a task to burn off your Boykin Spaniel’s energy. But if you make sure it gets enough exercise, it will find ways to entertain itself, which can turn out to be destructive.

Boykin Spaniel Health and Conditions

Some common health issues with the Boykin Spaniel include hip dysplasia.

It is quite common in this breed, so owners must take extra care with their Boykin Spaniel. They sometimes have eye problems, the most common of which is a cataract.

Boykin Spaniels are also very sensitive to ear infections.

Many dogs with long coats don’t always get their ears cleaned as often as they should, so it’s important to pay attention to this in their grooming.

They often have sensitive skin problems. Although the good news is that they are often treatable, and most of the time they could just be caused by something in their diet.

This breed is prone to Cushing’s disease. Hypothyroidism is also common.

My Final Thoughts on the Boykin SpanielA Boykin Spaniel sticking its tongue out

While at first the Boykin Spaniel was loved by hunters for its tenaciousness outdoors, the breed has come to be known as a very sweet indoor family dog as well.

This intelligent and eager dog is easy to train. Calm, energetic, and playful, Boykin Spaniels love to please their families.

They are known as being lovable and friendly, traits that help them get along well with children and other dogs.

Boykin Spaniels are quite active dogs, although not generally hyperactive.

They do need consistent exercise, or they might be prone to bad behavior out of boredom.

Boykin Spaniels also tend to roam, a personality quirk possibly leftover from its hunting days.

Be sure to provide enough attention and mental stimulation to keep them occupied.

Overall, your Boykin Spaniel will not only be a wonderful hunting companion but also a lovable and friendly companion.

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