Boykin Spaniel Dog Breed Description

The Boykin Spaniel dog breed is known for its exceptional skill and friendly nature.

  • Dogs have a waterproof coat that may be curly, wavy, or smooth and is either liver or brown.
  • Smaller than the Cocker Spaniel, Boykins have high-set ears that are covered in hair.

Photo taken by Luke Faraone from Flickr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.


  • Boykin Spaniels are obedient, pleasant animals with a docile, intelligent nature. They are loyal companion dogs and their trademark yellow or amber eyes and expectant expression easily wins friends.
  • This breed is excellent in the water and loves to swim. Owners report that dogs from this breed have unique and defined personalities and an enthusiasm for work and play that is not matched by many other breeds.

Height and Weight

  • Adult dogs tend to be 15-18 inches tall and weigh around 25-40 pounds.

Living Conditions and Exercise

  • The Boykin Spaniel dog breed is happy in an apartment, but needs adequate exercise to work off their boundless energy.
  • These are working dogs with a high drive to work and play and a nimble mind; they require lots of daily exercise, including brisk walks, jogs, or off-leash time to run. Without proper exercise, dogs may become destructive.

Life Expectancy

  • Well-cared for dogs can be expected to live 14-16 years.


  • The coat should be brushed every few days. This will help avoid matting of the coat.


  • The Boykin Spaniel dog breed has a unique story. Alexander White of South Carolina found a small stray spaniel puppy near his church around the turn of the 20th century. He took it home and found that the dog was a skilled hunter with exceptional bird sense. He gave the dog to L. Whitaker Boykin – his hunting partner. The breed descends from this one dog. Over time American Water Spaniels, Pointers, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, and Springer Spaniels were added to the bloodline to create a retriever that was hardy and a good companion.
  • Dogs are used to retrieve both water fowl and upland birds. They are most popular in the Southern United States.
  • The Boykin is the official state dog of South Carolina.

Group and Recognition

  • Grouping: Gun Dog
  • Recognition: CKC, ACR, NKC, APRI, FCI, UKC, BSCBAA, BSS