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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Boykin Spaniel Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Boykin Spaniel Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Boykin Spaniel sitting on leaves

A lively and loving pup, the Boykin Spaniel is a medium-sized sporting dog breed that adores to fetch, roam, and work. An American breed that was originally developed in South Carolina to hunt water fowl, the Boykin Spaniel is an athletic and agile gun dog that’s as loving at home as he is cunning on the trail. A natural water lover, this dog is best suited for an active owner who never sits still.

Breed Overview


14 – 18 inches


25 – 40 pounds


10 – 15 years


Brown, Dark chocolate brown

Suitable for:

Active families, active singles


Loyal & loving, eager to please, friendly

Also known as a Swamp Poodle, the Boykin Spaniel makes a great family pet. But before you run out and scoop this little brown dog up, here’s everything you need to know about caring for a Boykin Spaniel.

Boykin Spaniel Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.


Boykin Spaniel Puppies

boykin spaniel puppy
Image By: Cade Landers, Shutterstock

While the Boykin Spaniel isn’t a super popular breed yet, they still make amazing canine companions. Known for his energy and enthusiastic work ethic, this jaunty little dog needs plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Without large doses of activity every day, the Boykin Spaniel can easily get into mischief. Before you bring a Boykin Spaniel home, it’s important to consider if you have enough time and energy to devote to your new dog.

If you’re looking for a low-energy pooch that loves lounging around all day long, the Boykin Spaniel may not be a great match for you. Moreover, if you have severe allergies, this breed may not be ideal for you. Boykin Spaniels have thick hair and are heavy shedders. If you’re an active individual or an outdoors enthusiast who is seeking a happy-go-lucky dog to accompany you while out and about, the Boykin Spaniel might be a great fit.

boykin spaniel
Image By: Cynthia Davison, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Boykin Spaniel

Before you add a Boykin Spaniel to your family, it’s important to fully understand this breed’s personality and temperament to ensure he’s a good match for your household. While this dog is friendly and smart, he does have endless amounts of energy.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Boykin Spaniel loves kids! Outgoing and playful, this breed loves to spend hours running and roaming with your children in the backyard. To ensure your Boykin Spaniel thrives, it’s important to socialize him with your tots from the get-go. This will guarantee he is a confident and calm dog in the presence of children. As with any animal, it’s vital to keep a watchful eye on your kids when they’re interacting with your Boykin Spaniel. Teach them the proper ways to act around a dog. They should never roughhouse with a Boykin Spaniel or try and steal his food when he’s eating.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Boykin Spaniel makes a great addition to a multi-pet household. This dog enjoys spending time with other canines and will seamlessly become part of the pack. Since he’s a natural hunter, the Boykin Spaniel may try to stalk and chase smaller pets, such as cats or rabbits. To ensure everyone stays safe, never leave this dog unsupervised with your small critters.divider-paw

Things to Know When Owning a Boykin Spaniel:

Now that you’ve established that the Boykin Spaniel is a good fit for your family, here’s everything you need to know about caring for your new pet.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Boykin Spaniel is a medium-sized dog with an extreme amount of energy. As such, he will require high-quality dog food that is specially formulated for his unique needs. Feed your Boykin Spaniel about two to three cups of kibble divided into two meals each day. This breed can be prone to obesity, so never be too generous with the treats. Always ensure your Boykin Spaniel has access to clean, fresh water.

Exercise 🐕

As we said earlier, the Boykin Spaniel requires a lot of exercise. If you’re not an active person or don’t have time, the Boykin Spaniel isn’t a good pet for you. Aim to provide your Boykin Spaniel with at least one to two hours of exercise every day. This time can be divvied up into short sessions throughout the day and include walks, hikes, backyard fetching sessions, training sessions, and more.

The Boykin Spaniel also will need plenty of mental stimulation throughout the day to keep his mind occupied. Puppy puzzles, weekly agility classes, and training sessions all will do the trick.

Training 🎾

The Boykin Spaniel is a very smart dog who will learn quickly with positive reinforcement training methods. This is due to this dog’s high food drive and need to please.

Training and socializing should start from the first day you bring your new puppy home and continue throughout his entire life.

Grooming ✂️

The Boykin Spaniel is not a good pet for people with allergies. This dog has a thick coat and sheds a lot. To reduce the amount of shedding, brush your dog several times per week, especially during the warmer spring and summer months. You should also bathe your Boykin Spaniel monthly and clip his nails as needed.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Minor Conditions
  • Skin conditions
Serious Conditions
  • Heart disease
  • Eye disease
  • Patella luxation
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Cushing’s disease

Though the Boykin Spaniel is an overall healthy dog, he is prone to certain types of health conditions, such as skin issues, cataracts, and hip dysplasia. Routine vet appointments are key to identifying and treating health concerns early on.

Male vs Female

The male Boykin Spaniel will be slightly larger than the female. The two genders are very similar in personality and intelligence.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Boykin Spaniel

1. They Are the Official State Dog of South Carolina

Originally developed as a duck hunter in South Carolina, the Boykin Spaniel soon became the official state dog!

2. Their Nickname is the “Little Brown Dog”

Thanks to the Boykin Spaniel’s distinctive deep chocolate brown coat, one of his nicknames is the “Little Brown Dog.”

3. They Are Very, Very Active

The Boykin Spaniel is not a couch potato. This breed needs several hours of physical activity every day to stay happy and healthy.


Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a great dog that is the ultimate exercise partner, the Boykin Spaniel may be the perfect pooch for you! Lively and loving, the Boykin Spaniel is perfect for active individuals who can properly train and socialize their new dog.

If you’re thinking about adding a Boykin Spaniel to your home, you definitely should!

Related Reads and Breeds:

Featured Image Credit: Zadranka, Shutterstock

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