The Boykin spaniel is a breed of small spaniel classed as a gun dog. They are the only breed specifically bred in the United States for hunting and retrieving ducks and other waterfowl. Boykins were first bred in the early 1900s by hunters in South Carolina. Who wanted a dog that could navigate through the state’s swampy regions. The Boykin spaniel is an intelligent breed that is easily trained. They are also known for being good with children and other animals.
Boykin spaniel: All about this breed
The Boykin spaniel has a friendly, intelligent and energetic character. This dog of American origin appeared at the beginning of the last century as a retriever. Today it is a highly prized pet. We invite you to learn more about this breed!
Within the group of spaniels we find the wonderful boykin spaniel breed. Of American origin, this dog has become a retriever since its development, highly valued for its energy and size. To this day, it is considered an exemplary pet due to its good character.
Ideal for living with families with children, this dog needs a good dose of daily exercise to maintain health. There is much more to highlight about this breed. So we invite you to discover everything about the boykin spaniel and its origins.
The origin of the boykin spaniel
The first decade of the twentieth century was when this breed first began to appear. At the time, the hunters in South Carolina (USA) needed a retriever of a smaller size than those available at the time in the area.
This was because when they went out in their boats to hunt waterfowl. They were loaded down with tools and provisions, and there was no room for large dogs. It is believed that the Boykin Spaniel, named after one of its first breeders. Lemuel Whitaker Boykin, emerged from a cross between the Cocker Spaniel, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever and the American Water Spaniel.
This dog has been recognized by the American Kennel Club since 2009. However, to this day, the International Cynological Federation does not recognize it as its own established breed.
The characteristics of the boykin spaniel
Boykin spaniels are considered medium-sized dogs. With males measuring between 39.4 and 43.2 centimeters and females between 35 and 42 centimeters in height at the withers. The weight is between 13.5 and 18 kilograms for males and 11.4 and 15.9 kilograms for bitches. Due to these characteristics, they have a compact body with a robust appearance.
The legs are muscular, the head is broad and it has a powerful jaw. Further to the face, the eyes are oval, brown or dark yellow. Also, their flat ears fall to the sides and are “glued” to the head.
One of the most distinctive aspects of this animal is its coat of wavy, thick, reddish brown or chocolate brown fur. It has an inner and an outer layer, the latter of medium length. The hair is usually somewhat thinner in the area around the ears, belly, chest and legs.
Character and behavior
What really stood out from the start was this dog’s intelligence, good work ethic and eagerness to please. These are characteristics that continue to this day in the boykin spaniel.
Now they are also recognized as great pets because they are loving, docile and noble dogs. They love to be with the family, they are sociable, get along well with children and other dogs and they have great adaptability.
In order to maintain the loving and balanced character. It must of course also be remembered that they are very energetic and active animals. Therefore, in addition to their physical health, they require long daily walks and exercise. In order not to accumulate energy and end up negatively affecting their character.
This is also important because they are dogs that can easily live in different environments. Regardless of whether they are in the country or in the city. The most important thing for them is to be able to run freely in an open space every day.
Boykin Spaniel Care
In addition to high-intensity exercise, the boykin spaniel requires other care. Among them, you must ensure that they have balanced quality food that contains the necessary nutrients for a dog with high physical activity.
Brushing the teeth, clipping the claws and checking the ears are other important aspects of care for this dog. As for the ears, it is important that you check them often, because since they are long and droopy, it is usually not easy to see any problems.
On the other hand, maintaining a clean exterior will also help not only keep your dog looking good, but also protect its health. For this, a minimum of 2 brushing times a week is recommended. This is the only way to remove knots from your dog’s hair, as well as surface dirt.
Bathing of boykin spaniel
Despite being a dog that needs to spend a lot of time outside and exercising. Its coat can be kept clean by brushing, baths can be given on a monthly basis. It must be remembered that in dogs it is generally not advisable to do it more often, as this will remove the natural protective layer that their skin makes.
For the baths, you should always use a specific shampoo for dogs. Which will be the only one able to protect the coat without affecting the dermis. You can also use a conditioner for dogs to make the coat look shinier and the subsequent brushing will be much easier.
When the bath is finished, you must dry the dog well with a towel. It is important to carefully clean the inside of the ears as well, as the accumulation of moisture can lead to fungus and infections.
Finally, if you are going to use a hair dryer. You should never point it at your face or inside your ears. In addition, it is advisable to use medium force and keep a safe distance from the animal’s body to avoid burning them.
Since they have a docile and intelligent character, training these dogs is not complicated. They tend to obey easily, especially if you start the training when they are puppies. Of course, you should remember that at this early stage socialization must also take place. This is important to avoid behavior problems in the future.
To this day, many of these dogs are still trained to hunt, especially in the aquatic environment. This is because they are extremely good at swimming. Therefore, if your boykin spaniel is given the opportunity to exercise by swimming, he will thank you for it!
Health and illness
As experts indicate, these dogs are generally quite healthy. Nevertheless, regular checks by both the owner and the veterinarian are very important to detect any pathologies in them. As for the boykin spaniel, it can have some hereditary and breed-related diseases. Among them are the following:
hip dysplasia – this may require traumatic surgery
patellar luxation – in this condition the kneecap loosens, causing lameness and extreme pain for the animal
pulmonary stenosis – this is an abnormality of the heart caused by very strenuous activity
Otitis externa – because their ears are low and close to their faces, the ear canal is not properly ventilated and infections can occur
This breed has a high life expectancy, between 14 and 16 years.
Of course, to reach this age, it will require the care and attention that we have mentioned in this article, as well as a lot of love from the owners.
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Vogue Health Team