Information on the Boykin Spaniel Breed provided by the BSCBAA
The Boykin Spaniel Breed Standard
The Boykin Spaniel was developed in the United States, specifically in the South Carolina region, as an all-around hunting dog. The Boykin Spaniel is a neat, compact dog of medium size. The breed’s use has placed much emphasis on his hunting abilities, characterized as a flushing and retrieving spaniel with moderate speed and agility. Size and weight were essential in development of the breed as these hunting companions needed to be lighter and smaller than their larger sporting dog cousins to fit in the compact section boats used by hunting guides of the time period (around late 1880’s and early 1900’s). The Boykin Spaniel as a result, came to be known as “the little brown dog that doesn’t rock the boat”.
Key points of the Boykin Spaniel:
Medium and compact in size and sound for the hunt
Well-balanced with sturdy build
Alert and willing
The first impression is a balanced, solid sporting dog with soundness of structure; a dog that can physically endure a day’s hunt in difficult terrain.
Size, Proportion, Substance:
A well balanced, medium size dog. Size and substance are important; Dog Height: 15 ½ ” – 18”; Bitch Height: 14” – 16 ½ “. His proportion should be compact, balanced and somewhat longer than tall; the ratio of length to height is approximately 7:6. His substance should be solidly built, firm muscles and moderate bone.
The head must be proportionate with the size of the dog’s body. The head must be broad enough to do its job, which includes retrieving larger birds on land and in water. His expression should be alert, trusting, confident and intelligent.
The Eyes should be medium in size, set apart, oval shaped with varying shades of amber, brown or yellow. The eyes can get darker with age of the dog. They should not be protruding or bulging.
The Bite should be a correct scissors or level bite. This is essential for the dog's working ability.
The Ears are set on or slightly above the line of the eye. The dog’s level of the ears can change due alertness and the dog’s job at hand. They are moderately long and wide and should almost reach the tip of the nose. They should lie close to the head flat with moderate fringe.
The Boykin Spaniel has a friendly disposition and temperament. Expression is one of intelligence, easy to train and willingness to please with a touch of humor. The Boykin thrives on human approval and a desire to please. He is willing to work and has plenty of energy for the hunt, agility or a game of fetch yet calmness for therapy or service work.
Legs straight, medium in length and well boned, not too short as to handicap for field work. The feet should not be turned in nor out, but should be forward and medium in size.
The Boykin Spaniel is solid in color; rich liver, brown or dark chocolate. A small amount of white on the chest is permitted. Boykin Spaniels were formed from a complex variety of gun dogs, resulting in a varied coat length, thickness, degree of straightness or waviness and shades of brown. These differences are all correct.
This is a low maintenance breed so trimming and scissoring should be kept to a minimum. Simply a wash and wear coat. One may strip some trappings on the head, neck, body, and legs. However, for the safety and wellbeing of the dog, a sufficient amount of body coat should be left to protect against underbrush and weather. Some hair may appear with lighter shading or “sun-bleaching” on the ears.
The gait should present a picture of efficiency, effortless movement and endurance; good reach, a long forward stride and strong drive. The Boykin Spaniel should move with energy, confidence, high spirits, as if ready to confidently take on any job.