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Boykin Spaniel

Tags: Sporting, Adaptable to apartment life, Kid-friendly, Requires firm, dedicated training, Calm temperament

Waterfowl hunters call us "the dog that doesn't rock the boat" because we're small (15 to 18 inches at the shoulder) well behaved, and light enough that a hunter can easily lift a Boykin Spaniel (and the duck she brings back) into the canoe. We're also great upland hunters (dove, pheasant and such) but not much help with pointing. Developed in South Carolina, where we're now the official state dog, we trace our ancestry back to a bedraggled stray named "Dumpy" who wandered into Spartanburg one Sunday morning and was found by a gentleman named Mr. Alexander White in the churchyard. Mr. White took Dumpy home, cleaned him up a bit, and thought he saw the diamond-in-the-rough makings of splendid waterfowl retriever. His hunting partner, Mr. L. Whitaker Boykin, agreed, breeding Dumpy to one of his own. The result was a line of superb waterfowl retrievers and "turkey dogs" with legendary hot-weather stamina and a sideline of driving deer and tracking wounded game.

Rave review

  • Adaptable to apartment life -- with ample exercise
  • Affectionate, devoted family friend
  • Agile and active
  • Always alert
  • Born to run, happy to walk
  • Busy is better than bored
  • Calm as a clam
  • Coat needs regular care
  • Confident and self-assured
  • Even-tempered, good-natured

Report card

  • Hardy hunter
  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Lives to work
  • Loves kids and vice-versa
  • Outdoor enthusiast
  • Pleased to please
  • Caters to the country, tolerates town
  • Training must be firm, patient, consistent

What to expect

Please study the story of Dumpy. Then let me run through the fields and thickets and paddle through the rivers and bogs from dawn to dusk. At the end of the day, please run a brush through my bedraggled fur. Clean out the burrs and mud. And as Mr. White is my witness, I'll never be Dumpy again.

Watch for

Possible hip dysplasia and hereditary eye disorders. Also watch for allergies, elbow dysplasia and patellar luxation.

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