Looking for a dog breed that can make you the star of your neighborhood? Well, why not adopt the Boykin Spaniel dog breed? These dogs look no less than a diva, and their temperament is what you will fall for!

But before you bring these furry buddies into your home, learn everything you need to know about them, from their personality to their daily needs!


Height14-18 inches
Weight25-40 lbs
Life span14-16 years
Exercise needs1-2 hours daily
TemperamentPleasers, Energetic, Adaptable
GroomingHigh maintenance
OriginSouth Carolina, USA

Origin of the Boykin Spaniel

The Boykin Spaniel dog breed originated in the early 20th century and has their roots in the state of South Carolina, USA. Now, if you are wondering where they got their name, then that can be traced back to the efforts of Whit Boykin, who aimed to create an adept hunting dog suitable for the local terrain. Congratulations to them for their efforts because this breed with mixed ancestry has gained popularity among the masses today for its very features.

As they were bred for hunting, there was a combination of several breeds, including Cocker Spaniels, Springer Spaniels, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, and potentially other water and hunting breeds that helped to develop them. The Boykin Spaniels are excellent dogs when it comes to their versatility and skills, as they are not only great hunters but also swimmers and retrievers. 

Sooner or later, these spaniels were recognized by the big dog clubs and organizations, which led to a rise in popularity among dog enthusiasts. In fact, today, they are loved for their distinctive appearance and are called “the little brown dog” as its nickname. 

Appearance of the Boykin Spaniel

This “little brown dog” has a set of physical characteristics and features that sets it apart from other dog breeds; let’s have a look at them:

1. Body and size

Don’t go by the size of this medium-sized dog because they are robust and have muscles to fight off! If we talk about their well-proportioned build, they are about 14-18 inches tall and weigh around 25-40 pounds, where males are generally bigger than females. Besides, such a build provides the agility and endurance essential for their hunting roles. 

2. Coat

Time to gossip about one of the Boykin Spaniel’s most admired characteristics—their coat. These dogs have a curly, water-resistant coat that helps them to swim and hunt their favorite prey. Also, you would often find them in colors like rich liver or chocolate brown, contributing to their distinctive appearance. 

3. Other features

Besides their shiny brown eyes, the Boykin Spaniel is admired for the super luxurious curly fur on their floppy ears. Also, not to forget that these dogs have the most amazing Webbed feet for efficient swimming!

Personality and Temperament

1. Outgoing

The Boykin Spaniel dog breed is known for its friendly and extroverted personality that genuinely helps them to make bonds with humans. They are super welcoming to strangers and, if trained well, can make excellent companions and get along well with other dogs. 

2. Hooman pleasers

Another surprising personality trait about this mountain dog, Boykin Spaniel dog breed is that they are intelligent and sharp, yet are eager to please their owners all the time! They walk the extra mile to impress their owners by obeying the commands, which also makes them highly trainable. So well, good for you!

3. Energetic

As they come from a hunting background, Boykin Spaniels are very energetic, and you will barely find them sitting in one place. This is one of the reasons why they might not be an excellent match for first-time dog owners, as they require a lot of outdoor training. 

4. Adaptable

Lastly, the Boykin Spaniel dog breed is one of the breeds that thrive in various living conditions. It means that they are adaptable and flexible to life, whether in a suburban home or a rural setting!

Boykin Spaniel dog splashing through a big puddle

Grooming Needs of the Boykin Spaniel

The Boykin Spaniel dog breed is indeed a high-maintenance breed that can make first-time owners go crazy! As they are not hypoallergenic, they have pretty strict grooming needs, such as:

1. Brushing

It would be best to brush Boykin Spaniels at least two to three times a week to ensure their curls are all lustrous. It is because these dogs can get tangled hair and even shed a lot! So, brushing them with a grooming mitt or a soft brush would prevent shedding and tangling.

2. Bathing

As for the bathing, you only need to bath the Boykin Spaniels once a month, or if they look or smell bad. However, you should use dog supplies, such as dog-friendly shampoo, soaps, and conditioner, that will take good care of your dog’s coat. 

3. Cleaning and hygiene

Moreover, maintaining overall hygiene is also essential for dogs for their overall well-being. This includes brushing their teeth, cleaning eye boogers, ear wax, and debris, and also keeping an eye on fleas and ticks. 

Exercise and Training Needs

Coming to the part where we train the Boykin Spaniel dog breed! First, you should know that these dogs need 1-2 hours of training daily to stay fit. Here is what you can include in their training routine:

  1. Always take Boykin Spaniels to meet and greet other people and pets. This will encourage them to express themselves well and not be scared of social settings or socializing in general. 
  1. Remember to take your pooch on everyday walking sessions, as dog walking is not only beneficial to dogs but also for your health! (study)
  1. Last but not least, as these dogs thrive on their intelligence, you will need to stimulate them mentally as well. For this, you can organize interactive games and puzzles for Boykin Spaniels. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, we can say that this mountain dog is best suited for experienced dog owners or dog trainers. It is mainly because the Boykin Spaniel dog breed is high maintenance in terms of grooming, and also, making 2 hours a day for training can be a hustle for newbies. This is why it is best to adopt them if you know about dogs, their behaviors, and their nutritional needs, so it is easier for Boykin Spaniels to adapt as well!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Boykin Spaniel a good family dog?

Absolutely, yes! The Boykin Spaniel dog breed is an excellent family dog because of its calm, friendly, and extroverted personality. Also, they are very patient and tolerant with children, which makes them excellent companions.

What two breeds make a Boykin Spaniel?

Majorly, Cocker spaniels and English Springer Spaniels were crossed to develop this hunting dog we know today as the Boykin Spaniel dog breed. However, there are also other names that come into the picture, such as Chesapeake Bay Retrievers or a few water breeds.

What are the behavior problems with Boykin Spaniels?

Some of the behavioral problems that you can witness in Boykin Spaniels are excessive barking, digging, separation anxiety, chasing, jumping over everything, or drooling.

Is a Boykin Spaniel hypoallergenic?

Unfortunately, No! The Boykin Spaniel dog breed is not considered to be a hypoallergenic dog breed. They have loose hair that often sheds and does not suit people or pets with allergies.

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