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Boykin Spaniel

Breed Standards for the Boykin Spaniel

General Appearance:

The Boykin Spaniel was developed in the united States as an all-around hunting dog, with a neat, compact body, and a docked tail. The Boykin Spaniel is medium in size, with emphasis placed on his hunting abilities, characterized by flushing and retrieving, with moderate speed and agility. With his pendulous ears, soft gentle expression, sturdily build and friendly wagging tail proclaim him unmistakably part of the ancient family of spaniels.


The typical Boykin is friendly and eager to please, intelligent and easy to train. The Boykin Spaniel thriv3es on human companionship and gets along well with other dogs and children. He shows great eagerness and energy for hunt yet controllable in the field.
Faults: Hostility towards other dogs or people in normal situations or excessive timidity or hyperactivity is not in keeping with the Boykin’s character.

Size, Proportion, Substance:

The Boykin Spaniel is built to cover rough ground in all conditions with agility and reasonable speed. His appearance should be a sturdy dog with good but not too heavy bone. He should be kept to a medium size – neither too small or too large and heavy to do the work for which he is intended. Solidly built, with moderate bone, smooth firm muscles. A well balanced dog somewhat longer than tall. The ration of length to height is approximately 7.6 (Length is measured on a level, from the foremost part of the shoulders to the rearmost point of the buttocks). The ideal height for dogs is 15 ½ – 18 inches at the withers; bitches 14 – 16 ½ inches at the withers. The ideal weight dogs 30 – 40 lbs. bitches 25 – 35 lbs.
Faults: Over heavy, large boned specimens. Leggy individuals too tall for their length and substance.


The head must be in proportion with the size of the dog. Expression is alert, self-confident, attractive and intelligent. Eyes are yellow to brown to harmonize with the coat, set well apart, alert expression, intelligent and trusting. Should not be protruding or bulging. Darker shades of yellow preferred over lighter shades. Ears set slightly above or even with the eye line. The leather of the ear must reach the tip of the nose when pulled forward. They lie flat and close to the head. Skull is medium length fairly broad, flat on top, slightly rounded at the sides and back. The occiput bone is inconspicuous. Moderate stop. When viewed from the side the nasal bone and the top of the skull form two parallel lines. Muzzle to be approximately the same length as the skull, viewed from the top the width of the muzzle is approximately ½ the width of the skull. The distance from the tip of the nose to the base of the skull is about the same length as the neck. The jaws are sufficient length to allow the dog to easily carry game. Nose is to be dark liver in color with well opened nostrils. Lips are close fitting and clean, sufficiently to cover the lower jaw, not snippy or exaggerated. Bite scissors or level but scissors is preferred.
Faults: Over or undershot.

Neck, Topline, Body:

Neck is moderately long, muscular, slightly arched at the crest and gradually blends into sloping shoulders without being abruptly angled or excessively throaty. Topline is straight, strong and well muscled, with no tendency to dip or each. Loin is short, strong and deep with slight tuck up. Body is sturdily constructed but not to compact. Sloping shoulders, chest well developed but not barreled, back is strong, straight, and level. Tail is docked so at maturity it is 2 ½ – 3 inches long. It is set on the body level or slightly below the croup to follow the natural line. Carriage should be nearly or slightly raised when dog is in movement.
Faults: Gay tail or carried in a downward direction when in movement.


Shoulders sloping, clean and muscular. Legs medium in length, straight and well boned but not too short as to handicap for field work or so heavy as to appear clumsy. Pasterns strong with no suggestions of weakness. Toes closely grouped, webbed and well padded. Size of feet harmonizes with dog. Dewclaws should be removed.


Well developed hips and thighs with the whole rear assembly showing strength and drive. The hock joint slightly rounded, should not be small or sharp in contour, moderately angulated. Legs from hock joint to foot pad moderate in length, strong and straight with good bone structure. Hocks Parallel.
Faults: Cow hocked, pasterns close, paddle or fiddle feet.


Coat is flat to moderately wavy with medium length, fine hair with light feathering acceptable on legs, chest, ears, buttocks and belly. Coat may be trimmed to have well groomed appearance. It is legitimate to trim about the head, throat, ears and feet to give a smart, clean appearance.
To be penalized: Rough, curly coat.


Color is solid, rich liver, brown or dark chocolate. Allowing for a small white spot on chest. No other white markings are allowed.


The Boykin Spaniel moves freely with good reach from well laid back shoulders at an angle that permits a long stride and the rear quarters are just as essential to provide the driving power. It should move smooth and effortlessly. Viewed from the rear the hocks should drive well under the body following on a line with the forelegs neither too widely nor too closely spaced. As speed increases it is natural for the legs to fall to a center line of travel. Seen from the side should exhibit a good, long forward stride, without high stepping or wasted motion.
To be penalized: Short choppy stride. Moving with forefeet wide giving roll or swinging to body. Weaving or crossing feet.

Boykin Spaniel