Boykin Spaniel

Boykin Spaniel is a gorgeous medium-sized dog mostly know for his rich brown coat, and that coat is a hallmark of this breed. These dogs are good-natured, friendly, and loyal. Although they were bred for working purposes, today they fill the role of great companions and family dogs. Boykin Spaniels are flushing and retrieving dogs that were used for hunting waterfowls and wild turkeys. They are also known as Swamp Poodles and the Little Brown Dogs.

FUN FACT: This is an official dog of South Carolina since 1985.

Boykin Spaniel


14-18 in (36-46 cm)

Boykin Spaniel


25-40 lb (11-18 kg)

Boykin Spaniel



Boykin Spaniel

Life Expectancy:

10-15 years

Breed History

The history of Boykin Spaniels began around the 1900s when Alexander White found a little brown dog and named him Dumpy. Since the man was regularly went hunting, he took his new dog with him along with the other retriever dogs. The little brown dog showed great enthusiasm. Alexander sent this dog to a hunting training program to a man named Whit Boykin. Whit was fascinated with the skills that this dog had in terms of flushing and retrieving. At that point, Mr. Boyking started the breeding process around a little small dog with the American Water Spaniels, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, English Springers, and the Cockers, and the result was the ultimate gundog that is known today as a Boykin Spaniel.

FUN FACT: September 1st is an official Boykin Spaniel Day in South Carolina.

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health

Boykin Spaniel grooming

Boykin Spaniels have a medium-long coat that consists of a flat and slightly wavy outercoat, and a dense undercoat. These dogs require weekly brushing to keep the hair under control and to keep Boykin Spaniel looks at his best. If you skip brushing sessions, hair can start to tangle and that can be a problem.

An occasional bath will be enough to keep this dog clean and without a bad odor. The rest is a basic care for these dogs: trim their nails if you hear them clicking on the floor, brush their teeth regularly to prevent gum diseases and bad breath. Because they have floppy ears the air can't circulate so it is advised to weekly check their ears for any sign of bad odor, redness, or wax build-up which can indicate an infection.


Boykin Spaniels are active dogs that require a proper amount of daily activities in order to be happy and healthy. Long walks, bike rides, jogging, hiking can all do the trick. These dogs will do be with an active person who regularly exercises. You can also take your dog to the dog park so he can play with other canine friends.

Because they are active dogs Boykin Spaniels enjoys participating in canine sports such as tracking, agility, rally, and obedience.

Training and socialization

Since these dogs are very energetic you will have to devote your time to training. They are wonderful dogs that will listen to your commands and will try to please you, and because of that, training them is generally easy. During training always use positive training reinforcement methods such as praises and treats.

Boykin Spaniels thrive on companionship – human and animal. Although they are good-natured dogs proper socialization is advised from a young age in order that your dog learns how to properly react in many different situations he may find himself into later in life.

Boykin Spaniel and kids

Boykin Spaniel is an excellent choice for families with kids. Since they are energetic dogs they can play with children for hours without getting tired. However, no matter how good your dog is, you should always supervise them play so any unwanted behavior wouldn't emerge. It is also important that you teach your kids how to properly play and interact with the dog.

Boykin Spaniela and other animals

These dogs get along excellent with other animals especially if they are raised together in the same household. Boykin Spaniels will not any problems with other dogs. Since they were used for hunting you should only be careful around birds.

Health problems

This is a breed with a life expectancy of 10-15 years, and Boykin Spaniels are generally healthy dogs. However, there are some health problems that you should be aware of if you are thinking about this dog breed. This breed is prone to hip dysplasia, eye diseases, patellar luxation, and heart diseases. Rarely you can see problems such as elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and Cushing disease.

Boykin Spaniel breeders

If you are thinking about getting this dog we advise you to only buy him from a responsible and official dog breeder. Responsible breeders regularly check the health of their breeding dogs as well as their puppies to secure that their dogs are healthy. When talking to Boykin Spaniel breeders always ask them to show you health certificates and also if possible request to see mother and puppies in person.

This is still a fairly rare breed so don't be attempted to buy a dog from a bad or puppy mill breeder if a good breeder has put you on a waiting list. If you want a dog immediately we would suggest that you search your local animal shelters because there is a chance that you will find Boykin Spaniel there.

Boykin spaniels are great family dogs with whom you will enjoy every minute of the day. With proper socialization, you will not have any problems with your dog.

World Dog Finder team


Updated at18.05.2021.