Boykin Spaniel Society History
The story of the Boykin spaniel begins over 100 years ago, when Mr. L. Whitaker Boykin accepted a small brown spaniel dog named Dumpy at his Pine Grove Planation near Camden, SC. Soon afterward, a mate with similar appearances was discovered, and over the course of the next many years, Whit Boykin began developing his own specialty breed of hunting dog. He wanted a compact yet physical dog with a joyful temperament, a devoted family dog with exceptional zeal for work, an enthusiastic retriever on water land and through the swamps, and highly accomplished in the quest and flush of wild turkeys.
The popular recognition of "Mr. Boykin's spaniels" remained fairly localized to the South Carolina area before World War II, but that changed in the post-war decades as American sportsman from the Northern seaboard more easily found their way south. A featured story in South Carolina Wildlife magazine greatly escalated the public demand for Boykin spaniels, but with sad consequences for the breed.
A small group of Whit Boykin's descendants and relatives gathered at the home of Alice and L. Whit Boykin II in 1977, at the request of a well-respected Camden veterinarian. Dr. Peter McKoy recounted to the Boykin heirs his alarming first-hand accounts of the degradation happening to their legacy. "Either act decisively to improve on past accomplishments and ensure the future of the breed, or allow market demands to destroy what precious generation had developed and nurtured". Without a single bit of hesitation, the family and their friends responded to Dr. McKoy's plea.