The Boykin Spaniel is a medium size and sturdy spaniel. This sporting dog is first and foremost a working dog with proven retrieving and flushing instincts and hunting ability. The breed is characterized by boundless enthusiasm and endurance, and moderate speed and agility, possessing an intelligence and desire to please that makes him easy to train. His amicable disposition makes him an exceptional pet and companion. Love and personal attention improve his desire to hunt. He is a strong swimmer, taking to water easily, and therefore is valuable for water retrieving as well as flushing and retrieving in the field.
The Boykin Spaniel originated from South Carolina in the early 1900s and is named after L. Whitaker Boykin, who developed a small multi-purpose dog that excelled in retrieving from both land and water and was also compact enough to fit in a boat. The Boykin Spaniel is known as the breed that wouldn’t "rock the boat". Boykin crossbred several breeds of hunting dogs including Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Springer Spaniels, Cocker Spaniels, and American Water Spaniels to develop the breed as it is known today. History has it that the father of this breed was a stray, mixed breed spaniel dog called Dumpy, who had been found by a friend of Boykin’s outside a church in Spartanburg. When the dog showed some aptitude at retrieving he was given to Boykin. The Boykin Spaniel is the state dog of South Carolina. In 2007 the Boykin Spaniel Club And Breeders Association of America was recognized by the American Kennel Club as the parent club for the breed. This breed has since been accepted by the American Kennel Club and the Boykin Spaniel is eligible for full recognition on December 2, 2009.