Are Boykin Spaniels High Maintenance?

Bred initially in the early 1900s in South Carolina as a hunting dog, Boykin Spaniels are an all-American breed of dogs of a medium stature known for their intelligence, loyalty, and playful nature. So are Boykin Spaniels high-maintenance dogs?

boyken spaniel training
A pretty girl and her boykin spaniel dog look out onto the ocean and watch the big ships go by

Boykin Spaniels are not high-maintenance dogs, making them the perfect dog breed for most people. However, their medium-length coat needs weekly brushing, some health risks require regular checkups, and their exercise routines should incorporate stimulating games and socializing.

Although Boykin Spaniels are not high-maintenance dogs, they still need to be cared for, loved, and properly trained. Let’s explore how to care for your Boykin Spaniel in greater detail below:

Are Boykin Spaniels Difficult To Train?

Boykin spaniel getting trained
Dawn at a Duck Lake with Boykin Spaniel

Because Boykin Spaniels were originally bred as hunting dogs, they are intelligent, eager, and excitable dogs that are inquisitive and respond well to positive reinforcement.

Consequently, Boykin Spaniels respond well to training with their owners or professional trainers, provided the training involves rewards-based outcomes, games, and affection. Boykin Spaniels do not respond well to scolding and can become rebellious/restless if treated poorly.

In conclusion, Boykin Spaniels are easy to train, provide their owners and/or trainers respect their intelligence, and mirror their inquisitive nature/energy levels.

Are Boykin Spaniels Difficult To Groom?

boykin spaniel in a car with protective covers on seats
Spaniel smiling in a Jeep after a fresh haircut. Tie dye bandana around his neck.

While Boykin Spaniels’ coats may look like high maintenance, their medium-length wavy coats only require minimal maintenance compared to dog breeds with similar coats. However, Boykin Spaniels that are not cared for will shed a lot and become uncomfortable with their mattered coats.

Generally speaking, Boykin Spaniels should be lightly groomed a few times a week to remove excessive dirt, allow their coat to grow evenly, and reduce the buildup of shed hair. Furthermore, Boykin Spaniels should have an occasional bath to keep them clean, smelling fresh, happy, and healthy.

Finally, Boykin Spaniels need to have their nails regularly trimmed.

Are Boykin Spaniels Tidy Dogs?

Boykin Spaniels are respectful, well-behaved dogs that are quick at learning how to behave and conduct themselves in a home environment. Consequently, they are unlikely to make a mess, chew furniture and destroy furniture, or defecate in your home with proper training.

However, because Boykin Spaniels are energetic and curious dogs, they need ample stimulation, exercise, and social interaction. Therefore, they should have toys, company, and outdoor space to explore in your absence while being given affection, attention, and exercise when you are at home.

Finally, Boykin Spaniels are clean dogs that seldom drool and whose coat responds well to regular care.

Are Boykin Spaniels Healthy Dogs?

Although Boykin Spaniels are healthy, active, energetic, and curious dogs; they can be prone to some health complications such as:

  • Hip dysplasia,
  • Patellar luxation,
  • Heart disease,
  • Eye problems,
  • Ear problems,
  • Skin problems.

It is the responsibility of owners to look out for any signs of distress or discomfort in their Boykin Spaniels. Consequently, your Boykin Spaniel should go to the vet for regular checkups and undertake the necessary health checks:

  • Hip evaluation,
  • Patella evaluation,
  • Ophthalmologist evaluation,
  • EIC DNA test,
  • Collie eye anomaly DNA test.

Boykin Spaniels generally live between ten and twelve years, so it is your responsibility as an owner to understand the lengthy commitment and duty of care you woe your Boykin Spaniel before adopting them.

Boykin Spaniels should not be purchased from pet stores, as this means you are likely to adopt a poorly socialized animal with behavioral and physical issues. The reason is that many pet stores derive their puppies from cruel and unregulated high-volume puppy mills.

Instead, you must only adopt Boykin Spaniels from animal rescue organizations or reputable breeders that can provide legitimate health screening certificates.

Therefore, you should source a breeder from the Boykin Spaniel Club and Breeders Association of America that adheres to the BSCBAA’s Code of Ethics.

Finally, Boykin Spaniels are medium-sized dogs where the males are slightly heavier than the females at between 30 and 40 pounds (as opposed to the females that are between 25 and 35 pounds.)

Although Boykin Spaniels are not prone to overeating, they may be tempted to overeat if they are not stimulated, exercised, or given attention by their owners. Consequently, owners must carefully monitor their Boykin Spaniel’s weight and eating habits to ensure they are mentally and physically healthy.

Consequently, you should limit the number of treats given to your dog and invest in high-quality pet food and reasonable quantities for every stage of your Boykin Spaniel’s development.

Do Boykin Spaniels Need Lots Of Exercise?

Boykin Spaniels are energetic, enthusiastic, and curious dogs that need between one and two hours of moderate exercise a day. Although walking/running is an ideal exercise for Boykin Spaniels, they are social, playful, and intelligent dogs.

Therefore, it is recommended that you introduce games and attention into exercise routines to keep your Boykin Spaniel happy and engaged. Thus games like Frisbee, light wrestling, and belly rubs are encouraged.

Alternatively, Boykin Spaniels are excellent hunting dogs and enjoy assisting hunters, provided they are correctly trained and slowly introduced to hunting/hunting training at a young age.

Finally, Boykin Spaniels should be introduced to new environments to explore and meet new people and dogs (such as a dog park or the beach.)

Are Boykin Spaniels Friendly?

Originally trained to be hunting dogs, Boykin Spaniels have developed a reputation for being affectionate, loving dogs perfect for families, young children, elderly people, and other pets. Furthermore, they are usually comfortable with strangers and other animals in public settings.

Boykin Spaniels are adaptable, curious dogs that enjoy exploring and interacting with other animals and people. Therefore, you mustn’t leave your Boykin Spaniel alone for long periods and consider another dog to keep them company.

However, while Boykin Spaniels are very friendly, they can be overly protective or vocal. While this is seldom an issue, you should train your dogs to relax and introduce them to new people. Do not train Boykin Spaniels by scalding them, which will make them weary and fearful of others.


In conclusion, Boykin Spaniels are not very high-maintenance dogs. Instead, they are intelligent, friendly, clean, and enthusiastic dogs that will make a welcome addition to any family!


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