The Boykin Spaniel is a breed that originated in the United States and was bred to be a hunting dog. They also can adapt easily to being a companion as long as they are able to partake in plenty of exercise to tire them out. Expect to spend a lot of time with your Boykin Spaniel, letting them burn off all their energy. Long walks do not necessarily work for a Boykin Spaniel; they need a job to do to keep them from becoming overly bored and destructive. They do well in many dog sports such as dock diving, agility, obedience, tracking, and even conformation.
It is exciting to watch a dog race down a dock and hurl their body through the air, landing with a splash into the water. Dock diving is gaining popularity and while it is fun to watch on television, it is exhilarating to see in person. Dogs have been jumping off docks for ages and when it was turned into a sport; people jumped on board and started vigorously training their dog to jump the farthest. The Boykin Spaniel is a high energy, water loving dog and dock diving just makes sense. This activity will keep your dog physically fit and wear them out so they do not have restless energy while at home. The price for dock diving is moderate. You will need to purchase a canine life vest, toys, and most likely a membership to a dog club that offers dock diving training.
Boykin Spaniel is a natural-born swimmer; however, they may be a bit cautious
when first introduced to water. A little encouragement goes a long way in
getting your Boykin Spaniel into the water. While a life vest is optional, it
is best to fit your dog with one that has a handle or a D-ring for a leash so
you can help your dog while swimming. Once your dog learns to swim, they will
do all they can to get back in the water for some fun time. If you have your
own pool, swimming with your dog is cheap and a lot of fun. Do not let your dog
become overtired in the water, keep swim time short and make sure you never
leave them unattended in the water.
The Boykin Spaniel was originally bred in the 1900s by hunters in South Carolina that needed a small, compact dog that could retrieve on land and in the water. They were mainly used to hunt wild turkey and duck in the Wateree River Swamp. Most Boykin Spaniels will have a higher prey drive and learn how to hunt and retrieve fowl easily. They will need to learn restraint so they do not mutilate the fowl when retrieving it and hunters will need patience when training a new hunting dog. Being a part of a hunting club is a good way to have more experienced hunters help you train your Boykin Spaniel if this is your first hunting dog. Be patient with your dog and be sure to praise and reward their efforts in the field.
Agility is a great way to burn energy and have fun with your dog. You will work with your dog, guiding them through an obstacle course. Agility can be done just for fun or in competition. It can be costly to train for agility because of the cost of the obstacles or dog club memberships. Agility can be performed indoors or outdoors; when the course is outdoors, the weather can play a factor and most clubs will cancel agility events in the event of rain since dogs some of the obstacles can become slippery when wet.
Rally obedience is a more laid back version to competition obedience. Dogs must complete a number commands during their time in the ring. Rally dogs perform their commands while on leash until they advance into the Rally Excellent ring. Handlers are allowed to talk to and encourage their dogs while in the ring, but your dog must still be able to complete the required commands within a specified amount of time. Your dog can earn titles when doing rally obedience.
When you have a Boykin Spaniel in your home, be prepared to spend a significant amount of time with them. The Boykin Spaniel is a higher energy dog that does need a task to perform. A bored Boykin can become obnoxious and destructive. Take some time to research the various dog activities in your area and decide which ones would be best for you and your dog.