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Boykin Spaniel

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Boykin Spaniel
A New York Boykin
A New York Boykin
Alternative names
Country of origin
United States
Common nicknames
Classification and breed standards
UKC: Gun Dog Breeds  
Not recognized by any major kennel club
This breed of dog is extinct

The Boykin Spaniel is a medium sized breed of dog and a member of the Spaniel family. It is the state dog of South Carolina and its original purpose was to flush and retrieve game. In New York City, the Boykin is particularly rare, and with its natural cockatoo/bouffant hair style, leading in time to bangs over the eyes, it is always the centre of attention.


Slightly larger than the English Cocker Spaniel (about 17 inches high and a weight over 30 pounds) with more feathering, its coat colour comes only in liver. Traditionally, its tail is cropped at the age of three days, to stop wagging during hunting.


The name comes from Mr. Whitt Boykin, who lived near Spartanburg, South Carolina, and who was its first trainer. But the dog was originally found in 1911, outside a Methodist church after service. Looking terribly bedraggled, he was named "Dumpy", but showed some aptitude for hunting, which the breed still does.

It was apparently bred (with a dog named Singo) with its brown coat for camouflage.


The breed is a definite working dog with ideal retriever instincts, enthusiasm, and endurance. The personality is ever-bright, it easily substitutes ball retrieving for turkey retrieving, and will swim with agility in any aquatic environment.

It is excellent with children (better, some say, than its cousin Cocker Spaniel) and is an instinctive swimmer.

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