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History Near the turn of the 20th century, Alexander White found a small brown spaniel in front of his church in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The dog looked like a stray and Mr. White decided to bring the dog home with him. He then observed the dog and realized that the dog had excellent hunting skills. Mr. White then gave the dog to L. Whitaker Boykin, his hunting partner. Mr. Boykin crossed the dog with Springer Spaniels, American Water Spaniels, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, and Pointers. The result of this is the Boykin Spaniel.
The Boykin Spaniel is used as a retriever of water fowl and upland birds. This breed is popular among bird hunters in the Southern United States. South Carolina has even named the Boykin Spaniel as its official state dog. The American Kennel Club named the Boykin Spaniel Club of Breeders Association as the official parent club of the breed.
Appearance Boykin Spaniels have a compact, muscular frame and a sturdy build. These dogs have a broad skull and a square, medium-length muzzle. Their ears are long and covered with curly hair. Their eyes are amber or golden in colour and hold a wistful, thoughtful expression. The tail of these dogs is usually docked, depending on the preference of the owner. Many people say that Boykin Spaniels look similar to Cocker Spaniels. One big difference between the two breeds, though, is that Boykin Spaniels are larger in size and have smaller ears. Boykin Spaniels also have less hair than Cocker Spaniels. The coat of Boykin Spaniels is waterproof and is wavy or curly.
Colours The coat of these dogs is either brown or liver.
Temperament Boykin Spaniels are obedient, pleasant and docile. As companions, these dogs are loyal to their owners. These dogs are enthusiastic in the field, making them great hunters. They are also excellent swimmers, although they should be dried well after swimming to prevent ear infections. These dogs have good noses and they have a tendency to follow an interesting scent if they are allowed to roam around on their own.
Weight These dogs are 15 to 18 inches high and weigh between 25 and 40 pounds
Problems Boykin Spaniels are susceptible to getting afflicted with hip dysplasia. They may also develop eye problems, heart problems, and skin problems. Lesser known health problems of Boykin Spaniels include elbow dysplasia, under bite jaw, and patellar luxation. It is advisable for owners to have a Boykin Spaniel checked by a veterinarian to know whether any of the abovementioned health conditions are present.
Living Conditions The Boykin Spaniel can be kept inside an apartment provided that it is given adequate exercise. It would be good for dogs of this breed, though, to be provided with at least a small yard where they can run around and do some physical activities.
Requirements Being working dogs, Boykin Spaniels need much exercise. Owners should take these dogs out for long, brisk walks daily. It's important for these dogs to get the physical activity they need, because if they don't, they may become destructive.
Training RequirementsBeing intelligent dogs, Boykin Spaniels are relatively easy to train. Owners of these dogs should give Boykin Spaniels a job to do. These dogs should also be socialized at a young age. When trained properly, these dogs can be obedient and enthusiastic workers. Harsh training methods should not be used on dogs of this breed.
Life Expectancy These dogs are expected to live for approximately 14 to 16 years.
Grooming These dogs should be brushed every two to three days to prevent coat matting. Boykin Spaniels should be dried thoroughly after getting wet. Owners should also check the ears of these dogs regularly for infections.
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