Boykin Dogs in PA

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Boykin Dogs in PA

Postby bvaz8503 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:53 am

Hey Everyone,
I originally posted here: http://www.duckhuntingchat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=414617&p=4093713#p4093713 but am looking for anyone in PA who has a Boykin Spaniel. Where did you get it, what was the cost, how was the breeder and how is the dog's ability and health. As my first hunting dog, I did a lot of research and decided on the Boykin as it fits what I'm looking for it to do - Upland and Waterfowl among other considerations.

Thanks for any help.
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Re: Boykin Dogs in PA

Postby Spunky » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:33 am

Good luck in your search. From what I researched it's more prevalent in the Carolinas than PA. Your going to have to do some traveling to get one. They are a very tight group of breeders. They are very selective to whom they sell them to. When I was looking they were running between $500 and up for a pup.
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Re: Boykin Dogs in PA

Postby b_n_wGunner » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:37 am

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.
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Re: Boykin Dogs in PA

Postby WoodsSWPA » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:58 pm

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Re: Boykin Dogs in PA

Postby cthemfly25 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:25 am

I too live in Va but not far from Pa traveling I-81. I got my boykin 4 years ago from a private breeding in Pa. I recall having gone through the yankee boykin spaniel club locating a breeding---some one posted that link. I've also trained a field bred English cocker so here's my limited experience with the boykin breed. Be mindful because it's a fairly new breed relative to others, breed characteristics are sometimes not so uniform and can be far ranging. However, my boykin in certain areas fits the breed standards in an ideal way. He has incredible stamina and athleticism---about 35-7 lbs of muscle. I needed some help training him ( training tips for me not the dog if you know what I mean) on the retrieve but he was very biddable and 'smart'. He's a joy to train and work. 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. He loves water but I would not say that compared to other retrievers breeds he is a strong swimmer because of his size so for that reason if you hunt big water, this isn't the best choice.

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.

Finally, there are some health issues but for that there are plenty of resources and as with every breed research the breeding, the health records and the hunting stock, etc. The Boykin Spaniel society is a good place for you to start. My dog seems to have some allergy and ear related stuff from time to time but nothing too bad. And, yes, I would get another.
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Re: Boykin Dogs in PA

Postby b_n_wGunner » Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:53 pm

cthemfly25 wrote:
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.

.



Mine shows the exact same temperament. I feel like he is one of the most aggressive dogs I have had, but only when the time is right.
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Re: Boykin Dogs in PA

Postby cthemfly25 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:45 pm

B_n_wgunner---I have to ask---is your dog's handle "gunner" and what part of Va do you live.
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Re: Boykin Dogs in PA

Postby b_n_wGunner » Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:12 am

Nope he isn't gunner. My wife won the straw drawing and named him Sawyer. His field name is Mud.

I am the Roanoke area, out in the country.
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Re: Boykin Dogs in PA

Postby bvaz8503 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:54 am

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.


Just what I was looking for. Thanks! Sadly, I won't be getting a Boykin this year, there's been some unexpected changes with my wife's employment and we are biting at the bit to get out of debt (student loans). However, I am still gathering information and learning. Here's a couple of questions I had concerning your post:

THE COLD -
What is the lowest temp that have you hunted him in in the field?
How did you monitor his temp when you were out? (I get the feeling that they're like little kids at Disney Land when hunting: only going home when they're sick or dead asleep.)
In reference to cold water, some state that a good fitting neoprene vest helps with cold water retrieves. Did you use this tactic in water? How about on land?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to find the razor's edge and flirt with it, just trying to find a baseline in which to judge.

THE TRAINING -
Did you use any formal training such as a gun dog trainer with live birds? Any "official" training methods such as books?
When did you start your gun dog training with the new pup? When did you get your pup, spring, summer, winter?
I know that they're natural retrievers, but how was the experience with upland training (I do more of this than anything else).

THE HOME -
Does he shed and how did you manage it, short coat, brushing, daily cleaning etc.
Did you crate train him in the beginning and have followed through with it until now?
Have you noticed any health issues?


CTHEMFLY25:
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.



How did you train him for rabbit or does he just have the ability to find game and chase it? I've hunted over a beagle and typically the dog just routes the bunny toward us. Very different from chasing a pheasant to lift off.

Thanks!
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Re: Boykin Dogs in PA

Postby don taylor » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:57 am

I never owned a boykin, but I bred springers for years. They're a versitile dog like a boykin. They don't have the coat to get in and out of the water during cold hunts. They lock up with ice like a golden does. I don't think GSP's are ideal late season dogs, either. They're swimmers with webbed toes, but just not a lab or chessie. Good luck.
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