The Breed Standard
GENERAL DESCRIPTION - The Boykin Spaniel is medium in size, sturdy and typically spaniel. He is first and foremost a hunting dog with proven retrieving and flushing abilities characterized by boundless enthusiasm and endurance, moderate speed and agility. Being intelligent and possessing a great desire to please make the Boykin easy to train. He is a strong swimmer, taking to water easily and is valuable for water retrieving as well as field retrieving.
TEMPERAMENT - The typical Boykin is friendly and eager to please. As a pet and companion he is exceptional with an amicable disposition. Faults: Hostility towards other dogs or people in normal situations or excessive timidity or hyperactivity is not in keeping with the Boykin's character.
SIZE AND PROPORTION - The Boykin is built to cover rough ground and swim in all conditions with agility and reasonable speed. His appearance should be a sturdy dog with good but not too heavy bone. He should be kept to medium size -- neither too small nor too large and heavy to do the work for which he is intended.
Dog: Height - 15 1/2" to 18" Weight - 30 to 40 lbs. Bitch: Height - 14" to 16 1/2" Weight - 25 to 35 lbs.
The height at the shoulders should approximately equal the length of the body from the top of the shoulders to the base of the tail. Faults: Over-heavy, large boned specimens. Leggy individuals, too tall for their length and substance. Oversize or undersize specimens (more than 1" over or under the breed ideal).
HEAD - The head, comprising the muzzle and skull, is impressive without being heavy or snipey and is proportionally in balance with the rest of the dog's body. The skull to be of medium length, fairly broad, flat on top, slightly rounded at the sides and back. The muzzle to be approximately the same length as the skull. Viewed from the top, the width of the muzzle is approximately one half the width of the skull. Viewed in profile, the nasal bone is straight with a moderate stop and subtle rise at the junction of the muzzle and skull forming two parallel planes between the top lines of the skull and muzzle. The distance from the tip of the nose to the base of the skull is about the same length as the neck. The forehead is covered with smooth, short hair. The jaws are sufficient length to allow the dog to easily carry game. The nose to be dark liver in color with nostrils well-opened and broad for good scenting power. Faults: Pointed or heavy skull, over heavy muzzle, muzzle too short or narrow.
TEETH - Teeth should be straight and meet in a close scissors bite (the lower teeth touching behind the upper incisors). An even bite (incisors meet each other to edge to edge) is acceptable but not preferred. Faults: Over or undershot jaws.
EYES - The eyes are yellow to brown to harmonize with the coat, set well apart, expression alert, intelligent and trusting. Darker shades of yellow preferred over lighter shades. Faults: A prominent or pop eye.
EARS - The ears are set slightly above the level of the eyeline and reach the tip of the nose when pulled forward. They lie flat and close to the head.
NECK - The neck is moderately long, muscular, slightly arched at the crest and gradually blends into sloping shoulders without being abruptly angled or excessively throaty.
BODY STRUCTURE - The body is sturdily constructed but not too compact. Sloping shoulders, chest well-developed but not barrel, the back is strong, straight, and level except for a slight arch in the loin area. Faults: High hindquarters, roach back (too much arch over the loin extending forward into the middle section), sway back (dip in back).
LEGS AND FEET - The legs are strong, of medium length and well boned, but not too short as to handicap for field work. Legs should be straight when viewed from the front or rear. The feet are found to slightly oval, firm, and well-padded, turning neither in nor out. Faults: Fiddle front (front legs out at elbow, pasterns close, and feet turned out). Cowhocks (hocks on rear legs turning towards each other).
TAIL - The tail should be docked so that at maturity it is 2 1/2 to 3 inches long. (Leave 1/3 of the tail plus 1/4" when pup is 3-5 days old).
COAT - The coat is flat to moderately curly with medium length, fine hair with light feathering acceptable on the legs, feet, ears, chest, and belly. A short straight coat without feathering is acceptable.
COLOR - The color is a solid, rich liver (reddish brown) or dark chocolate allowing for a small, white spot on the chest. No other white markings are allowed.
GAIT - The Boykin spaniel moves freely with good reach in front and strong drive from the rear with no tendency for the feet to cross over or interfere with each other. Viewed from the rear, the hocks should follow on a line with the forelegs, neither too widely nor too closely spaced. As speed increases, the feet converge towards a center line. Because the Boykin spaniel has been bred primarily for hunting and retrieving, it is essential that there be proper balance between the front and rear assemblies for endurance and efficient use of energy in the field.