Boykin Spaniel

Canis lupus

Last updated: April 11, 2021
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff

Enthusiastic working dog!

Boykin Spaniel Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Boykin Spaniel Conservation Status

Boykin Spaniel Locations

Boykin Spaniel Locations

Boykin Spaniel Facts

Eager to please, friendly, loving
Should be trained from an early in obedience
Average Litter Size
Common Name
Boykin Spaniel
Enthusiastic working dog!
Gun Dog

Boykin Spaniel Physical Characteristics

  • Brown
  • Dark Brown
  • Chocolate
Skin Type
10 to 15 years

Boykin Spaniel Images

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In addition to making a great companion as a hunting dog, the Boykin Spaniel can also make an excellent family pet. They are very eager to please and loving.

The Boykin Spaniel was bred in the early 1900s in South Carolina. Whit Boykin, a local expert on dogs and breeding, modeled the breed after a small brown spaniel that had been found in Spartanburg, South Carolina. When creating the this Spaniel, Whit Boykin crossed a variety of breeds including Cocker Spaniels, English Springer Spaniels, American Water Spaniels, and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.

Boykin Spaniels are hunting dogs that are used to flush out or retrieve waterfowl. They are very strong swimmers. Their coat is typically one of two colors: dark chocolate brown or reddish brown.

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Owning a Boykin Spaniel: 3 Pros and Cons

Pros! Cons!
Easy to train: These Spaniels are intelligent and eager to please which makes them easy to train. Shedding: Boykin Spaniels are relatively heavy shedders and will leave a good amount of hair around your home if they aren’t brushed regularly.
Family-friendly: This breed is a very family friendly dog. Boykin Spaniels can make a good companion for children. High energy: Boykin Spaniels have a lot of energy and will need a good amount of exercise every day.
Social: Boykin Spaniels are social and are generally friendly with strangers. Not a good watchdog: If you are looking for a watchdog, a Boykin Spaniel will not be a good choice. They are too friendly with strangers to make a good watchdog.
Boykin Spaniel retrieving

Boykin Spaniel Size and Weight

Boykin Spaniels are a medium-sized dog breed. Males typically weight between 30 and 40 pounds and are between 15.5 and 18 inches tall. Females are just a little smaller than males. They weigh between 25 and 35 pounds and are between 14 and 16.5 inches tall.

Male Female
Height 15.5 inches to 18 inches 14 inches to 16.5 inches
Weight 30 pounds to 40 pounds 25 to 35 pounds

Boykin Spaniel Common Health Issues

Before bringing home one of these Spaniels, there are a few health concerns you should be aware of. Not all Boykin Spaniels will develop these problems, but being aware of them will help you to properly care for your dog and seek help from a veterinarian when needed. Many of the health conditions that affect these Spaniels are inherited, so it is important to purchase a Boykin Spaniel from a reputable breeder.

Hip dysplasia is one common concern with these Spaniels. This is an inherited condition in which the thighbone does not connect properly with the hip bone. This causes the two bones to rub together, which can be painful and may cause a dog to begin limping.

Another health concern to be aware is degenerative myelopathy. This is a progressive disease in a Boykin Spaniel’s spinal cord that is comparable to ALS. Dogs typically aren’t affected until they are over seven years old. However, you can determine whether your dog will develop degenerative myelopathy when they get older by having a DNA swab done.

Health and Entertainment for your Boykin Spaniel

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Some of these Spaniels may also suffer from exercise induced collapse. This condition can cause a Boykin Spaniel to suffer from a life threatening collapse of their muscles when they are engaged in strenuous exercise. Dogs that are affected by this condition should not take place in more intense training, but should be able to live a happy life as a pet. There is also a DNA test that can be performed to see if your dog is affected by this disorder.

To sum up, here are three main health concerns that may impact these Spaniels:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Exercise induced collapse

Boykin Spaniel Temperament and Behavior

These Spaniels were bred for hunting, so they are very active dogs. However, in addition to making a great companion out in the field for a hunt, this breed has many personality traits that can also make it a great family dog. They are very friendly and affectionate. They are also very easy to please. Boykin Spaniels love getting attention from their family members.

However, these Spaniels have a high need for activity and mental stimulation. If you aren’t able to meet these needs, they may engage in less-than-desirable behaviors.

How to Take Care of a Boykin Spaniel

Keep in mind that every dog breed is unique, so caring for these Spaniels will be different from caring for another breed. When planning to care for this breed, keep in mind their health concerns, temperament, nutritional needs, and other unique and important characteristics.

Boykin Spaniel Food and Diet

Whether you are selecting food for an adult Spaniel or a puppy, you should always look for a high-quality and nutritious option from a reputable manufacturer. Making sure your Spaniel receives the nutrients he needs is essential for long term health. These Spaniels should eat food that contains sufficient quantities of fat and protein. Opt for foods that have higher percentages of meat protein rather than plant proteins, since these will be easier to digest.

When choosing a food for a puppy, look for options that include DHA, or Docosahexaenoic acid. This can help foster healthy brain and eye development in the puppies.

Most Boykin Spaniels do best when they are fed about two times each day. You should portion the total recommended amount of food into two equal portions. Puppies have a smaller stomach, and should eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. If you are unsure how much food your dog should be eating, you can look at the feeding guidelines on the bag or check with their veterinarian. The correct amount of food will be different for each dog based on their age, health, activity level, and other factors.

Boykin Spaniel Maintenance and Grooming

These Spaniels are relatively easy to groom and maintain. They have a wavy coat with medium-length hairs that are reddish brown or dark brown colors. If you keep up with brushing their coat about once a week, it will keep the shedding at bay and reduce the amount of hair that they leave around your home. Brushing your Spaniel regularly will also help keep him cleaner by removing dirt from his coat.

In addition to brushing a Boykin Spaniel to control their shedding, you will also need to brush his teeth to prevent plaque and tartar from building up. This dog’s nails should also be trimmed regularly to keep them from getting too long and hurting the dog when he walks.

Boykin Spaniel Training

These Spaniels are easy to train. They are an eager-to-please dog breed and are very intelligent. These two trails will help you teach your dog to follow commands and act appropriately. It is best to begin training them as early as possible. Socializing them from an early age can also help them learn how to interact with other dogs and people.

Boykin Spaniel Exercise

These Spaniels are best suited for active owners. They were bred as a hunting dog, but also enjoy activities such as running or hiking. Boykin Spaniels will also enjoy playing in a large fenced-in backyard with their family. Since they are active and so easy to train, this breed also does well in tracking, agility, and field events.

Boykin Spaniel Puppies

Before buying a Boykin Spaniel from a breeder, it will be important to talk to the breeder to learn more about the puppy. You should ask to see the health histories of the parents to make sure they didn’t have any inheritable conditions that could be passed onto your dog.

Different Boykin Spaniels can have very different personalities. If possible, try to spend some time with some different puppies to see which one seems like the best fit for your family.

Before bringing home your new puppy, be sure to puppy-proof your home. You will also want to purchase puppy food, a crate, a dog bed, a leash and collar, toys, and other supplies your new dog will need. This will make sure you’re completely prepared for their arrival and will help you enjoy your time together.

Boykin Spaniel puppy lying in grass

Boykin Spaniels and Children

Overall, these Spaniels can make excellent family dogs. This breed is very friendly and loving. They also can adapt well to different environments. For best results, socializing a them and training them from an early age will help ensure they engage in appropriate interactions with children.

Even though these Spaniels are good with kids, it is always a good idea to supervise any dog around children to prevent anything from happening to the dog or child.

Dogs similar to Boykin Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniels, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, and American Water Spaniels are three dog breeds that are similar to these Spaniels.

  • English Cocker Spaniel: English Cocker Spaniels are one of the breeds that was mixed to create these Spaniels. Both of these dogs are gun dogs with a feathered coat. They are both around the same size too, with the average weight of a male English Cocker Spaniel being 31 pounds and the average weight of a male Boykin being 32.5 pounds. An English Cocker Spaniel’s coat can be a variety of colors including roan, tan, black, or golden. Boykin Spaniels all have a brown coat.
  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever: Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and Boykin Spaniels are both known for their swimming abilities and for being able to flush out waterfowl when hunting. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are larger than Boykin Spaniels, though. The average weight of a male Chesapeake Bay Retriever is 72.5 pounds compared to the 32.5 pounds that male Boykin weigh on average.
  • American Water Spaniel: American Water Spaniels and Boykin Spaniels are both affectionate and social dogs. They both are friendly even with strangers. Both dogs have a brown coat, but an American Water Spaniel’s coat is curly whereas a Boykin has a feathered coat.

Famous Boykin Spaniels

There aren’t too many recorded famous Boykin Spaniels. However, famous actor Tom Selleck has one of these Spaniels.

These Spaniels are great pets. Finding the right name for your dog is also important. Read through the list below to find some inspiration for your special pup.

  • Jake
  • Max
  • Buddy
  • Nipper
  • Cody
  • Jett
  • Foxy
  • Sassy
  • Sheba
  • Princess
View all 121 animals that start with B

Boykin Spaniel FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is a Boykin Spaniel?

Boykin spaniels are a relatively new dog breed that was bred in the early 1900s in South Carolina. Whit Boykin crossed Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, English Springer Spaniels, and American Water Spaniels to create this breed. They were bred to flush out and retrieve ducks, turkeys, and other birds. Boykin Spaniels are a medium-sized dog breed. Boykin Spaniels are typically one of two colors: reddish-brown or dark chocolate brown. They also have a white spot on their chest.

How much does Boykin Spaniel cost to own?

Buying a Boykin Spaniel from a breeder may cost anywhere between $800 and $4,000. The puppy’s pedigree as well as the breeder’s reputation can have a huge impact on the cost. Adopting a Boykin Spaniel from a rescue organization or a shelter should only cost about $300 to cover the cost for the application and vaccinations.

You will also need to think about how much it will cost to own a Boykin Spaniel. They will need veterinary care, food, a crate, dog beds, toys, leashes, collars, and many other supplies. Since you will need to purchase all of these supplies, the first year of owning a Boykin Spaniel will typically be the most expensive. You should expect to spend at least $1,000. For subsequent years, you should budget between $500 and $1,000 to cover food and other expenses.

Are Boykin Spaniels good with kids?

Yes, Boykin Spaniels are generally good with kids. This breed is loving and social. They enjoy interacting with children and are generally stable around them.

Do Boykin Spaniels shed a lot?

Boykin Spaniels shed a moderate amount. Brushing their coat about once a week can help remove loose hairs and reduce the amount of hair that will be left around your home.

Are Boykin Spaniels good house dogs?

Yes, Boykin Spaniels can make a good house dog, as long as there is sufficient space for them to run off their energy. Since they are a higher-energy breed, they are not well-suited to living in an apartment.

Are Boykin Spaniels easy to potty-train?

Boykin Spaniels are very eager to please, which can make them easier to train. When potty training your new dog, be very consistent. Having a consistent routine will help your dog learn when it is time to use the bathroom and can help speed up the potty-training process.

What is the life expectancy of a Boykin Spaniel?

The life expectancy of a Boykin Spaniel is between 10 and 15 years.

Are Boykin Spaniels herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

Boykin Spaniels are Omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and other animals.

What Kingdom do Boykin Spaniels belong to?

Boykin Spaniels belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What class do Boykin Spaniels belong to?

Boykin Spaniels belong to the class Mammalia.

What phylum to Boykin Spaniels belong to?

Boykin Spaniels belong to the phylum Chordata.

What family do Boykin Spaniels belong to?

Boykin Spaniels belong to the family Canidae.

What order do Boykin Spaniels belong to?

Boykin Spaniels belong to the order Carnivora.

What genus do Boykin Spaniels belong to?

Boykin Spaniels belong to the genus Canis.

What type of covering do Boykin Spaniels have?

Boykin Spaniels are covered in Hair.

How many babies do Boykin Spaniels have?

The average number of babies a Boykin Spaniel has is 6.

What is an interesting fact about Boykin Spaniels?

Boykin Spaniels are enthusiastic working dogs!

What is the scientific name for the Boykin Spaniel?

The scientific name for the Boykin Spaniel is Canis lupus.

  1. American kennel Club, Available here:
  2. The Boykin Spaniel Society, Available here:
  3. Wikipedia, Available here:
  4. Animal Care Tips, Available here:,to%20adapt%20their%20physical%20functions.
  5. Adopt A Pet, Available here:,anywhere%20from%20%24800%2D%244%2C000.
  6. The Happy Puppy Site, Available here:

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