Our Boykin is a good family dog but he tends to be 'my' dog in that he is intensely loyal to me---in that sense he's an excellent companion. We have to be careful with strangers until he is comfortable. He does act to protect meaning he will bark in a protective way when some one comes to the door....but when you come to the door, it's pure joy. From talking to others I've heard a wide spread of experiences on this aspect of temperament. I don't have young children and so this is of little concern to us.
b_n_wGunner wrote:I have a Boykin. We live in Virginia, but I once lived in PA for a 'few' years. I enjoy him very much. He is a better dog than the labs I have had, with respect to learning and being versatile. He weighs 37lbs and stands 17" at the shoulders. He looks very stocky, but is actually quite lean. He can and will hunt all day, or until he drops from exhaustion, and he is a real pleasure to hunt with.
My biggest complaint is the lack of cold tolerance. It doesn't get nearly as cold in our area as where I lived in PA. I remember many times sending the dog off an ice shelf in the river, busting ice with pry bars, hunting when it was 5 degrees, etc. My Boykin can't handle that kind of stuff. He is a bold, tough dog, but does not have the physical makeup to deal with prolonged cold. Don't get me wrong, he is not afraid of cold, cold water, or ice and will readily work in the conditions. BUT, his body cannot generate enough heat to keep him safe when its truly cold and he is wet and exhausted.
To answer your other questions: Yes he is healthy. He is very energetic, smart and birdy. He will hunt whatever I want him to, he just wants to hunt. I really enjoy him for the uplands, he naturally hunts upland habitat perfectly. His quartering is excellent, he points and flushes on command, all of this with only obedience training to control him. He has taken more work to be a duck dog, but it has not been a difficult process. I trained him like a lab, with a little lighter hand and more positive enforcement. No force fetch was needed, as he is a natural retriever and really lives to retrieve. He is a great family pet, with good manners inside, around others, in the car, etc. I got him from 'private stock', not a breeder. Both parents were registered and titled Boykins from very reputable breeders in NC & SC. I paid $1K, and had 4th pick. They wanted $600 for the female 'runt', who also turned out to be an excellent dog.
I do not think he would be a good waterfowl dog for later season hunting in Pennsylvania. Upland, yes. Throw the wind and cold water in there and its a different story.
cthemfly25 wrote: He's adaptable for field and waterfowl. My dog has an interesting trait sometimes seen with American Water spaniels---he gives voice when he's on a running phez or rabbit---a low woof. However because of that trait he is sometimes hard headed when I need to control him on a runner so as to avoid a long flush because he'll start acting more like a hound on a blood scent and can be gone in an instant in dense cover---we both need continuous reinforcement on this aspect of his hunting.
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