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Boykin Spaniel
History
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The Boykin Spaniel carries a unique set of credentials that no other breed of canine can honestly claim. He is a dog originally bred by South Carolina hunters. He was developed initially as the ideal dog for hunting wild turkeys in the Wateree River Swamp during the early 1900s and now beautifully adapts to the dove fields, the duck marshes and the homefires of his modern-day masters. Most individual Boykin Spaniels have a special personality and enthusiastic field ability that no other dog can match.

The much circulated story of where the first Boykin Spaniel came from is simple and without frills. It says that some time shortly after the turn of the century, a small dog was found wandering near a Methodist church in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and one of the people attending services there, a Mr. Alexander L. White, took the dog home as a pet.

The dog apparently displayed some aptitude that might be useful in hunting, so Mr. White then sent the dog by train to his hunting partner, Mr. L. Whitaker Boykin of the Boykin community just outside Camden, South Carolina. With the training know-how of Mr. Boykin, this little stray soon developed into a superb turkey dog and waterfowl retreiver.

According to best accounts, the dog was a male, the forerunner of all the Boykin Spaniels in existence today. Other early ancestors of the Boykin are reported to be the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Springer Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, and the American Water Spaniel.

The fertile crescent of Boykin Spaniel breeding must be recorded as the rural communities near Camden, Sumter and, of course, Boykin, South Carolina. These spaniels can be found today throughout the United States with a higher concentration on the Atlantic Seaboard.

Camden, South Carolina, was a winter resort for many years and the winter residents recognized the unique characteristics of the Boykin breed. The spread of the Boykin Spaniel to other states, in many instances, can be attributed to Camden’s winter visitors who appreciated this breed’s attributes as a hunter and a special friend of man.





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