Timeline: How Boykin Spaniels Grow

So you have just collected your new Boykin spaniel puppy. It is very exciting, and you will have many questions. You may want to know how your spaniel will develop and how fast he will grow. Different breeds of dogs grow and mature at different rates. This growth is often related to the size of the dog, but not always.

Boykin spaniels are medium size dogs that grow to their full height between ten to twelve months. Many factors affect the growth rate. Most of the growth occurs rapidly from birth to six months.  After six months, growth slows down but continues for several months.

This article addresses the development and growth of Boykin spaniels so that you will know what to expect at various ages. There are some critical aspects to consider and monitor during a puppy’s development.


How Boykin Spaniels Grow: Zero To Two Weeks

A Boykin spaniel will weigh between three and a half ounces and seven and a half ounces (100 – 250 grams) when it is born. With good feeding from the mother, growth is rapid. The birth weight is usually doubled within the first week. Puppies are born unable to see, and they are unable to walk.

Puppies of this age wriggle and slowly crawl. They are covered in fur, and the noses and foot pads are often pink. These will darken as the puppy ages. The puppies are blind and deaf and rely on smell and touch to interact with their mother and other puppies. The Boykin spaniel mother feeds her puppies and seldom leaves them during the first two weeks.


How Boykin Spaniels Grow: Two To Three Weeks

The eyes will open around day fifteen to seventeen. The ears open and begin to function between two to three weeks. These milestones can differ from litter to litter and may vary between spaniel puppies in the same litter. Puppies begin to start walking and standing at about two weeks but only master these abilities at three weeks. The puppies are still unsteady on their feet and easily knocked over.

During this stage, puppies are dependent on their mother’s licking to stimulate the elimination of feces and urine. At around three weeks, puppies will begin to vocalize. Vocalization consists mainly of whining and crying. At three to four weeks, puppies will start leaving the bedded or nest area to eliminate.  

Puppies can begin eating softened solids between three and four weeks.


How Boykin Spaniels Grow: Four To Six Weeks

At four weeks, the puppies begin to move around a lot more and start wagging their tails. Vocalizations will begin to include barking and growling as puppies learn to imitate their mother and other adult dogs. Teeth begin erupting between three and

five weeks.  Puppies can eliminate urine and feces without stimulation. Vision develops, and by six weeks, the puppies can see and respond to visual stimulation.

Puppies are still unaware of changes in surfaces when walking. Six weeks is a dangerous age for any breeder that has steps, swimming pools, or ponds. Puppies are still unaware that the surface has changed. They will often fall into water or off steps as their depth perception has also not fully developed.

Puppies play with littermates, and the mother will leave the puppies for more extended periods. At about five to six weeks, most Boykin spaniel mothers will begin to wean their puppies. Young spaniel mothers may start to show irritation with their puppies drinking when they are as young as four weeks.


How Boykin Spaniels Grow: Puppies Seven To Nine Weeks

Puppies at seven to nine weeks show further visual development, and depth perception improves.  By nine weeks, Boykin spaniel puppies are aware of changes in the ground surface. They can negotiate small stairs at nine weeks. They also are more cautious around swimming pools and ponds at nine weeks.

Puppies are usually entirely weaned by eight weeks. House training can begin, although puppies do not have bladder or bowel control. Breeders or owners can begin training by taking puppies outside or to the area where elimination is desired.

When Should Boykin Spaniel Puppies Leave The Litter?

Nine weeks is considered an ideal age to se puppies to their new owners. They have spent a good portion of their time playing with their littermates and mother. They have learned bite inhibition and have a reasonably good grasp on acceptable social behavior.  Puppies will experience a fear stage during weeks eight to nine, and puppies need to have a lot of reassurance and comfort.

Some countries have passed laws that state it is illegal to home a puppy before eight weeks of age. (eg. Australia) Some breeders prefer to wait until the puppy is ten weeks as they feel the puppy is over the first period of fear.


How Boykin Spaniels Grow: Ten To Twelve Weeks

Puppies begin to form bonds with people during this stage. At twelve weeks, puppies start to determine dominance and submission. The weeks from three to twelve are critical for the puppy. He or she should be exposed to as many new experiences as possible. Exposure to other dogs, cats, birds, etc., is valuable to produce a balanced dog.

Puppies should also learn to travel in a car, have a bath, and be groomed. He or she should learn to accept being examined and touched all over the body. The puppy should be taught to wear a collar or harness, and lead work can begin. Basic obedience, such as sit and come, can be taught. House training should continue until the puppy is reliably eliminating outside.


How Boykin Spaniels Grow: Three To Four Months  

Puppies start to grow rapidly and lose their chubby puppy look. Their legs often seem too long for the body. Boykin spaniel puppies begin to resemble an adult dog. This stage is a peak time to do basic obedience training. The spaniel puppy should continue socializing with other dogs and people. Exposure is vital to prevent later unwanted behavior such as excessive barking, separation anxiety, and destructive behavior.

Adult teeth begin to erupt sometime between three and six months. Puppies are notorious for chewing everything at this stage— place valuables and anything that could harm your puppy well out of reach. If you have precious furniture, limit your puppy’s access to those rooms. Be alert for mushrooms and poisonous plants growing in the garden. Your puppy will try to taste them.


How Boykin Spaniels Grow: Five To Six Months

Your Boykin spaniel puppy will be at about two-thirds of his or her adult size. It may be tempting to start running with your puppy as they have so much energy at this age. It is not advisable as growth plates are still soft, and injuries occur quickly. Injuries to growth plates result in developmental issues causing limbs to become deformed and joints to develop abnormally. Keep exercise sessions short.

Retrieval games can be played for ten to fifteen minutes. Obedience training and intellectual problem-solving games can help keep the energetic puppy busy. Puppies can also be taught to back up, circle, sidestep and balance on a board. These exercises will not stress joints and bones and will provide a combination of intellectual and physical stimulation.


How Boykin Spaniels Grow: Seven To Twelve Months

Your puppy is officially a teenager at this stage. Your obedient, sweet puppy may suddenly begin to challenge you. During this phase, your Boykin spaniel will be testing boundaries and figuring out dominance. There may be scuffles and wild play if you have a multidog household, which all help dogs determine pack order.

It is fairly common for dogs to relapse in house training during this phase and begin urinating or defecating in the house. Male unneutered Boykin spaniels may also start to mark territory by urinating ( cocking his leg) in the house.

The Boykin spaniel will complete his or her physical growth during this time. It is important not to involve your young spaniel in too much high-impact exercise. The tibia is the last growth plate to fuse at around twelve to thirteen months and should not be stressed. Individual variation amy be seen in the tibia growth plate fusion.

Staircases and jumping off higher surfaces should be discouraged as much as possible. After thirteen months, the risk of injury decreases dramatically. Once growth is completed, ligaments and tendons become tighter and protect joints more effectively.


How Boykin Spaniels Grow: Adult Boykin Spaniels

Adult Boykin spaniels can safely engage in any exercise and begin to settle down into their place in the pack and home. If you run or ride a bicycle for exercise, you can safely start taking your Boykin spaniel with you. Remember to build your spaniel’s stamina slowly, just as you would with any athlete.

Training for hunting can begin in earnest. If you have done obedience training and established a strong recall during the spaniel’s early years hunting skills will progress quickly. The adult Boykin will put on muscle and some weight to become a heavier dog as it matures. Be careful, though, that your Boykin spaniel does not become obese. Dietary adjustments made early are better than having to try and shed pounds off your spaniel.


Sexual Maturity Affects Growth

Most Boykin spaniels will become sexually mature between six and nine months of age. This changes the growth patterns and the behavior of the dog. Males often become more dominant, and females will undergo a heat cycle. It is crucial not to sterilize your Boykin spaniel too early as this can affect growth and result in many health issues.

Many veterinarians are recommending sterilization only once puberty has been reached. However, it is essential to ensure your female Boykin spaniel does not become pregnant with an unplanned litter during her first season. Pregnancy will affect her growth at this age, and there is a higher risk of complications in a young mother. It is also irresponsible to breed without extensive research and planning.


Does Neutering Affect A Boykin Spaniel’s Growth?

Early neutering at ten to twelve weeks affects your spaniel’s growth. Unfortunately, it involves various bones differently. This could mean that one of the leg bones grows too quickly or too long, and there is a discrepancy with other leg bones and structures, causing deformities.

For many years veterinarians recommended neutering at six months, but the latest research shows that this practice can also lead to growth issues, behavioral problems, and autoimmune diseases. The current trend is to wait until after the Boykin spaniel has reached puberty to sterilize him or her.


How Fast Do Boykin Spaniels Grow?

The speed with which a Boykin spaniel grows will depend on several factors. Generally, however, your Boykin spaniel should have grown to its full height by ten to twelve months.  Genetics will play a role. Some Boykin spaniels may grow a little faster than others due to inherited traits, but these differences will be minor. Diet is critical in considering growth.

The Boykin spaniel puppy needs a well-balanced diet for optimal growth. The diet should be age and breed-appropriate.  Commercial dog foods give guidelines on how much to feed the growing dog. These guidelines should be followed but not blindly. The owner should assess whether the dog is getting enough food.


Assessing Boykin Spaniel Body Condition For Growth

A reliable method is to use one of the many dog body conditioning scores easily obtainable on the internet. In general, the dog, when viewed from above, should have a noticeable waist just in front of the hip area. When feeling the ribs, they should be easily detected. If the ribs are very prominent to the touch or are apparent on visual inspection, the dog is too thin. If it is difficult to feel the ribs, then the dog is probably overweight.

A dog that is overweight, especially during the growing years, is problematic. Many growth disorders and skeletal abnormalities arise from obesity. Obese puppies put a severe strain on joints and unfused growth plates.


Choose The Right Food For Boykin Spaniel Growth

It is vital to choose the appropriate food to feed your Boykin Spaniel. If you are providing commercial dog food, choose one that is appropriate for medium-sized dogs. Feeding food that is designed for small or toy breeds will cause problems. Toy or small breed food composition is intended to allow these breeds to grow quickly. This will not be helpful for a Boykin spaniel.

If the spaniel grows too fast, developmental skeletal issues will arise. If you are feeding a home-cooked or raw diet, find a reputable veterinarian or dog nutritionist to advise you. Certain minerals and vitamins may need to be added as supplements.


How Big Do Boykin Spaniels Get?

Male Boykin spaniels will grow to heights between fifteen and a half inches to eighteen inches. Their weight will range between thirty and forty pounds. Female Boykin spaniels are smaller than males. Their height range is fourteen to sixteen and a half inches. Their weight is twenty-five to thirty -five pounds. These are the official breed standards, but there are always outliers to these statistics.

You may have a Boykin spaniel who is bigger or smaller. The size difference does not disqualify them from registration or participating in sporting events. Breed purists will, however, not breed with any Boykin spaniel that does not conform to the height standards.  Bigger or smaller Boykin spaniels will also be penalized in a show ring.


Conclusion

Boykin spaniels start life blind, deaf, and helpless. In a matter of a few weeks, they are moving around and can see and hear. Maximum height is reached at around one year. Your Boykin spaniel has much to learn during the first year of his life, and you have the privilege of being his life coach and trainer. You need to consider all aspects to produce a healthy, well-adjusted dog that is a pleasure to work with and is a reliable companion. A Boykin Spaniel should not be an impulse buy. You should investigate the breed thoroughly before making your purchase to prepare for what is required of you.


References

https://boykinspaniel.org/pages/the-boykin-spaniel-breed/breed-standard

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333118590_Musculoskeletal_Development_of_the_Puppy_Birth_to_Twelve_Months

http://www.readytogovetrehab.com/news/2018/1/20/lets-talk-about-puppies

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