History of the Breed
There are varying yarns of the history of this wonderful breed. The
one that we in South Carolina like to tell says that a little brown dog
followed a banker home from church in Spartanburg, SC. Then the folks up
North like to refer to the Boykin as an American Water Spaniel with a docked
tail. And then the folks of Sweden will argue that the little brown dog who
followed the banker home was actually a Wachtelhund that most probably had
escaped from cargo on a train in Spartanburg, SC in the 1920's. When you see
pictures of the Wachtelhund it does cause you to pause and say hummm... Their
history relates that this coursing dog was originally bred by monks and priests
and perhaps the church had a familiar feeling to the poor little lost
No one really knows for sure, but we do know that the little brown
dog has been honed into a fine, compact gun dog that loves people. South
Carolina lays claim to the development of the breed and the Boykin became the
South Carolina State Dog in 1985. The Boykin Spaniel is truly the all purpose
dog of the 21st Century.
The Boykin is a dedicated
hunter and companion. This devoted, intelligent dog is as bold as he is
beautiful. He has the ability to think rings around his less knowledgeable
owners. Like all sporting dogs, the Boykin does need a job to do, whether it's
in the field, agility ring or obedience ring. His happy personality and compact
size makes him an outstanding hunting companion and family
There is definite
controversy over the correct size of the Boykin Spaniel. Hopefully, breeders
will make every attempt to keep this all-purpose hunting dog small in
conformation so that it can continue in the niche it was bred to fill... a
retriever that is small enough not to rock the poke boats. Personally, I feel
the larger the Boykin, the less his ability to work swiftly and efficiently in
the field. Those who breed a larger Boykin maintain that correct structure will
assure the Boykin is able to do what is necessary in the field regardless of
size. It's only an opinion and we all have one :-)
Buying the Perfect
There are various ways to obtain a Boykin
Spaniel. If you are looking for a companion, please consider the older dog in
need of re-homing, as well as, puppies available from reputable
Do you really
want a puppy? Remember that the Boykin Spaniel is a sporting dog. He is quite
capable of working in the field all day and does not necessarily make a
very good couch potato. With plenty of exercise, the Boykin does very well in
the house; however, he does need some sort of job to do. Hunting, conformation,
agility, hospital or geriatric therapy are all appropriate outlets for this
spark plug of a dog.
Find a way to bottle it
could be a millionaire!
Buy from a
Never purchase a puppy from a retail outlet, pet store or
raffle. The registries can give you a list of reputable breeders who have
signed a code of ethics with their registry or club. (ex. United Kennel Club,
American Kennel Club Foundation Stock. The Internet can also be a source for
||Check out the Kennel
When possible, go to the breeder's home to see the
housing conditions of the puppies and adults. You should be able to see the dam
of the puppies, but not necessarily the sire. Many good breeders breed out of
their own line. It's not unusual for the sire to live hundreds of miles away.
Do ask to see a photo of him and a copy of his pedigree and health
||Check Health Certificates
Make sure the sire and dam have their Health Certificates in order.
*OFA/ hip x-rays to evaluate hip dysplasia - done at 2 years.
*CERF -Canine Eye Registration Foundation- done at 1 year, for eyes to assure they are clear of congenital juvenile eye cataracts/defects.
*DNA testing to include : Exercise Induced Collapse, Degenerative Myelopathy, and Collie Eye Anomaly
While there is currently no test for epilepsy, do check to see if the breeder's stock is free from this problem. A responsible breeder will use the results of all of these tests to determining whom to breed to whom.
However, if the sire or dam has not been health tested.....OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals)evaluated and CERF tested, Cardiac, Patella and DNA tested... walk away!!!
Only buy from breeders who breed responsibly.
Take your time! Finding a good, healthy Boykin puppy
does not happen overnight. Go to hunt tests and field trials. Contact area
breeders. Visit prospective breeders. Reputable breeders will be happy to give
you all the information you need to make an informed decision. But remember...
quality breeders will have a waiting list for their puppies and it's not
unusual for a buyer to have to wait several months or even a year for one of
these quality puppies. But potential owners don't mind waiting for a Hollow
Creek puppy, because they know that Hollow Creek breeds for quality, not
quantity. Buy with your head and never with your heart.
||Expect to be Interviewed by
A good and caring breeder will have
as many questions for you as you have for her/him. Much time, money and a lot
of hard work will go into a well-bred litter. A quality breeder will be very
concerned where their puppies are placed. Be prepared to answer some personal
questions. If a breeder only cares about selling the pup... walk away. I
believe that if a breeder isn't overly concerned about the pup's future home
and family... then how could they have cared about what they bred? You should
feel as though you are going through an adoption process, just as you would
when adopting a human baby.
Providing a good home for a needy Boykin Spaniel is a great option.
While some of these dogs may have been abused and mistreated, others land in
the caring hands of Boykin Rescue for many other reasons. Divorce,
illness, death and many other misfortunes can land an otherwise healthy dog
into the very capable and loving hands of the Boykin Rescue
If you don't
want to go through puppy-hood, obtaining an adult dog through rescue is a
Generally, these dogs, whether rescued from the pound
or turned into rescue by owners, are immediately evaluated by a veterinarian,
updated on their immunizations, spayed or neutered and placed into a foster
home where their house manners, socialization and general training are
evaluated and worked on, if needed.
The mission of rescue is to
re-home the dog in a permanent situation. The care and well being of the
rescued Boykin is of major importance when a new home is considered. You will
be required to complete an application for adoption and be interviewed
regarding your ability to provide a loving home. Generally a placement requires
a nominal fee. These monies contribute to offset some of the medical and
feeding the dogs require prior to placement. Rescue funding comes from
donations and contributions from caring people. The workers themselves are
volunteers on all levels. No one receives compensation except for loving doggy
kisses and adoring looks from amber eyes. Such rewards are
You may also ask a breeder about their retired dogs.