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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 dog.

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.
Breed Standards

Hollow Creek's Chocolate Mouse

A general description of the Boykin Spaniel would describe an outgoing Spaniel with a chocolate coat.
bullet Average height at the shoulders:
15 1/2 to 18 inches.
bullet Weight:
Dogs, 40 pounds
Bitches, 35 pounds
bullet The coat can range from a short flat coat to a tight curly coat.

Breeds evolve. It's our task to keep them evolving in the right direction.

Hollow Creek's Gus 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 member.

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 Puppy

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 breeders.

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.

Puppy Breath
Puppy Breath...
Find a way to bottle it
and you
could be a millionaire!
Hollow Creek's Sassy

Milk Wagon !!!!!

Buy from a Breeder
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 locating puppies.

bullet 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 certifications.
bullet Check Health Certificates
Make sure the sire and dam have their Health Certificates in order.
This includes:
*Cardiac evaluation
*Patella evaluation
*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.

bullet Be patient
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.
bullet Expect to be Interviewed by the Breeder
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.
bullet Rescue
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 Volunteers.

If you don't want to go through puppy-hood, obtaining an adult dog through rescue is a wonderful option.

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 priceless.

You may also ask a breeder about their retired dogs.
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Boykins Forever
c/o Hollow Creek Kennel
1018 Asbill Court
Leesville, SC 29070
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