Origin: United States
Dog Breed Group: Gun Dog
Life Span: 14-16 years
Weight: Male: 13-18, Female: 11-16
Height: Male: 15.5-18, Female: 14-16.5
Origin of Name: The Boykin Spaniel is a medium-sized breed of dog.
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The Boykin Spaniel is one of a handful of AKC breeds developed in the 20th century. Boykin is a small South Carolina community, with a population of about 100 souls, the name of a founding resident, Samuel Whitaker "Whit" Boykin. As the Boykin Spaniel originates, around 1900 a man named Alexander White found a little brown spaniel outside the church in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where he attended services. White gave the young male spaniel the unstoppable name Dumpy. A fond sportsman, White took Dumpy out for hunting with his predators, and White's delighted Dumpy showed great zest and penchant for water and kept himself with more birds than him.
White sent Dumpy for training to his hunting partner, the community patron White Boy, who was the region's dominant dog man. Boykin became fascinated with the Brown Spaniel, who was skilled at flushing and retrieving wild turkeys as he was on a duck hunt. Boykin created a new breeding program around Dumpy, using breeds such as the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, the Cocker, the English Springer, and the American Water Spaniels. The result was that the excited Gundog we know today as Boykin Spaniel.
From the start of the breed, players working in the marshland of Carolina were told about the breed's quickness, versatility and simple balanced gait. Boykin's popularity was limited to the immediate area of his birth. Eventually, however, Boykin caught up with bird hunters around the country, especially on the East Coast. The key to the breed's success is its unbridled energy in the region, its ability to work on land or lake, and a sweet, gentle way home.
South Carolinians have made Boykin Spaniel their official dog and celebrate Boykin Spaniel Day on 1 September. The Boykin gained full AKC recognition in 2009 by joining the elite assembly of the AKC's "All-American" dog breeds.