Boykin Spaniel Puppies for Sale: Hunting Dogs or Companions?
Like anything, Boykin Spaniel hunting appeals to some and is off-putting to others. However, the breed’s charm as a family companion and engaged partner in your activities is undeniable. While Boykin Spaniels do not require much in the way of grooming or food, they need a serious time and exercise commitment. They are great with children and other dogs and nonthreatening to guests.
The Boykin Spaniel originated in the 1900s in South Carolina in the United States. It began with a stray spaniel of unknown heritage, Dumpy, and the introduction of various breeds by Whit Boykin. Boykin utilized the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, English and American Cocker Spaniels, and other American Water Spaniels to achieve the goal of a versatile sporting dog small enough to take on boats, trains, and wagons. Boykins were also invaluable for being able to navigate the swampland around the Wateree River. They specialized in flushing turkeys and ducks, but they could also retrieve. Hunters without space constraints often use Boykins to flush game along with a traditional retrieving dog like a Labrador or Chesapeake. The Boykin Spaniel became the state dog of South Carolina in 1984. It was accepted into the American Kennel Club in 2009, although it had been eligible for AKC Spaniel Hunt Trials since 2006.
Breed Standard of Boykin Spaniel for Sale
Different dogs are expected to look and behave in a specific way put forth by major breed registries. These breed standards originate with founders or clubs that play major roles in the origin or development of a type of dog. A dog’s looks can enhance its original purpose, but in many cases, a breed’s performance loses relevance in the show ring. Dogs that adhere most closely to the breed standard become show champions while pets often deviate to varying degrees. The Boykin Spaniel, however, is one breed that is new enough not to have lost its function as a hunting dog.
Boykin Spaniel Size
A Boykin is compact with a body length that slightly exceeds the dog’s height. Boykin Spaniels are 14 to 18 inches tall with the females standing 0.5 to 1.5 inches shorter than males. Both genders weigh 24 to 30 pounds. Hunting dogs are 25 to 40 pounds. You will be hard-pressed to find teacup Boykin Spaniel puppies. Although there are always individuals that fall outside of the size standard, most Boykin breeders do not go out of their way to produce runts. First, they take pride in ethical breeding practices and are traditionally selective about people who acquire their dogs. Second, the Boykin remains an important gundog, and downsizing it would ruin its unique skill set. However, some hybrids can qualify as Teacup Boykins. The most common of these is the Boykin Spaniel x Teacup Poodle cross.
Your first impression of a Boykin Spaniel should be one of a small and hard-muscled sporting dog with medium substance. The head is flat across the top and rounded on the sides. Boykins have well-spaced, round or oval eyes that are light brown, yellow, or amber. The ears are thin and hang against the face. A Boykin Spaniel has a moderate stop, and the muzzle is the same length as the back skull. The neck is long and arched, and the shoulders are sloping. A Boykin Spaniel’s hindquarters should reflect well-defined musculature. The chest is moderately deep without being either narrow or broad. These spaniels have a strong and level back and a docked tail that they carry aligned with the topline or slightly upward.
Boykins are typically single-coated dogs with fur that is flat and straight, wavy, or curly. They have light feathering on the legs, chest, abdomen, and legs. Many have a topknot and a few individuals have a thin undercoat. Boykin Spaniels can be acclimated to cold weather but do not do well in extremes.
Boykin Spaniel Colors
A Boykin Spaniel for sale will be one color which is liver. Each Boykin will show several shades of deep chocolate within its coat. Individuals that are active in the field may experience bleaching of their fur which appears redder than normal. Boykin Spaniels may have a small white marking on their chest.
Boykin Spaniel puppies for sale are typically little bundles of energy, and that liveliness carries over to adults. A Boykin is marked by classic spaniel traits such as an outgoing and friendly nature, companionability, a willingness to please, intelligence, high trainability, and enthusiasm. Boykin Spaniels are very adaptable with the ability to go from a loving pet to a field dog to the show ring on the same day. If not properly socialized, Boykins can be more aggressive than other spaniels. These medium-small dogs are sociable with children and other dogs. They have enough energy to be the perfect playmate for the right kid. Small children may find Boykins too overwhelming. Boykin Spaniels will also befriend cats if introduced at a young age.
Boykin Spaniel Puppies for Sale Near Me
Like any other pup you would consider, it is paramount that you investigate any litters in which you have interest if they are local. Important goals are to see one of the parents and to ask questions about the health history of the puppies and the parents. See whether the puppies have had their first check-ups and vaccinations. Ask if the parents have had any testing for breed-specific issues. The recommended tests for Boykins illustrate the wide variety of breeds in its background.
- Collie eye anomaly – mostly checking for carriers
- Ophthalmological exam by specialist
- Evaluations of knees and hips
- Cardiac exam
- DNA test for exercise-induced collapse
Boykin Spaniel Lifespan
The Boykin Spaniel is a healthy breed that can live a staggering 14 to 16 years. More commonly, the range is closer to 12 to 14 years.
Boykin Spaniel Care
Boykin Spaniel shedding is moderate the entire year. Single-coated dogs will shed less than those with dual hair, but the breed is not hypoallergenic. However, it has a low-maintenance coat which is easy to clean and brush. You can brush the fur once or twice weekly except in the spring when shedding increases a little. You should bathe your dog every four to six weeks, although you may have to add additional tub sessions if your pet soils itself in the field. Another part of your routine will include the following:
- Brush teeth or offer dental chews multiple times a week
- Check the ears for redness, a foul odor, or an abnormal discharge
- Swab the ears of excess wax every two weeks or as needed
- Wipe the face and clean around the eyes daily or every other day
- Trim the nails just before you bathe your Boykin
Your Boykin Spaniel for sale might have been advertised as a family pet, but it is still a working hunting dog. Even if you are not a hunter, you will need to provide your dog with sufficient mental and physical exercise to make her feel like she has a life purpose. Therefore, Boykin Spaniels require 60 to 90 minutes of daily exercise, which is higher than you would expect for a dog of its size. Boykins are moderately fast and athletic, so you can offer your dog plenty of activities to foster your bond and also provide mental enrichment and a satisfactory workout.
- RALLY – obedience competition with instructional signs that form a course
- Field trials
- Accompaniment for joggers or cyclists
- Bird hunting
- Canoeing or kayaking
Hunting Boykin Spaniel
Boykin Spaniels are a little different than other spaniels in that they forge ahead of their owners rather than quarter (stay within a short perimeter) to flush birds. Some hunters say Boykins also learn better flushing techniques and discipline if you teach them to retrieve first. They are most sought for their compact portability because they can travel easily on boats. Boykin Spaniels are also adept at moving through the swamp and under low vegetation.
Boykin Spaniels need 850 to 1200 calories per day depending on weight and activity levels. Puppies require two to three times as many calories as an adult and seniors 20% to 30% fewer calories than a mature dog at its peak. Boykin Spaniel puppies for sale should eat three or four meals a day once you take one home. If you feed a fresh or raw diet, aim for 0.4 to 0.9 pounds of food. Dog food needs to consist of a majority of meat along with fats with or without carbohydrates. Whether to add carbs to a dog’s diet and in what amounts remains open for debate. Speak to your veterinarian about the potential role of berries, greens and other veggies, and sweet potatoes in your dog’s meals.
Boykin Spaniel puppies for sale are usually ready for their new homes between eight and ten weeks old. If you work diligently, your pup should have most of its basic training finished by about six months old. Advanced training in hunting will take an additional three to six months. However, do your research because Boykins represent a specialized niche. Everyone has their favorite hunting breed. Many cite larger dogs like Pointers and Labrador Retrievers as more trainable and effective than Boykin Spaniel hunting. A Boykin puppy needs training from the time you bring it home. Luckily, Boykin Spaniels are relatively easy to train because they are intelligent, can remain focused, and are happy to please you. Since they rely on your approval, harsh training methods will backfire on you.