The Upland Obsession has done a breed spotlight on the Boykin Spaniel. I hope you can check this article out and head on over to a great website dedicated to upland hunting.
What a great way to start the dove season by talking about a breed that excels in the dove fields! You could say that this southern bred dog was made for September heat and sunflowers, but it actually finds its roots in the swamps of South Carolina.
In the early 1900s, South Carolina’s Wateree River Swamp was the place to go for outstanding duck and turkey hunting. The transportation of the time meant easy access to the general area, but travelers had to be efficient in their supply packing. The answer to the lack of cargo space was a boat that could be assembled and disassembled easily and it’s sections could nest in one another while being towed in a wagon or train car. These sections were also perfect as one man skiffs and there was just enough room for a small retriever to tag along.
The Boykin Spaniel Society explains the rest of the detailed history:
L. W. “Whit” Boykin (1861-1932), a planter, land appraiser and well-known sportsman of the Boykin community just outside Camden, South Carolina, along with his kinsmen the Canteys, experimented with many breeds to resolve the problems posed by their Wateree hunting trips. With selective breeding and a little luck, Boykin developed a small multipurpose retriever now known as the Boykin spaniel.
The first Boykin spaniel, or the precursor of today’s breed, was reportedly a small, stray spaniel type dog that befriended a banker walking from his home to the First Presbyterian Church in Spartanburg, South Carolina around 1905-1910. Alexander L. White (1860-1942) liked the little dog and took it home. After the dog showed some aptitude for retrieving, White sent the dog called “Dumpy” to his longtime friend and hunting partner Whit Boykin. In Boykin’s hands the little stray developed into a superb turkey dog and waterfowl retriever. This dog became the foundation stock for the Boykin spaniel. Other ancestors are reported to be the Chesapeake Bay retriever, springer spaniel, cocker spaniel, and the American water spaniel.
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