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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
Just wanted to see if any of you new of could recommend a breeder of Boykin Spaniels as I have a close friend that is ready to commit to a new dog. He wants a pup, and the pup will not only be a member of the family but a dog that hunts quite often. Thank you for your help!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone for the replies! We are located in Illinois, northeast corner of the state. This particular friend will drive wherever he needs to for the right pup. As a lab and GSP guy, I know nothing about the bloodlines and characteristics of the Boykins. I know they are hardy dogs, really driven hunters, and full of go. I welcome any and all suggestions of breeders and thanks again!
 

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Thanks everyone for the replies! We are located in Illinois, northeast corner of the state. This particular friend will drive wherever he needs to for the right pup. As a lab and GSP guy, I know nothing about the bloodlines and characteristics of the Boykins. I know they are hardy dogs, really driven hunters, and full of go. I welcome any and all suggestions of breeders and thanks again!
Some are "hardy" but there is a high incidence of hip dyplasia in the breed, rated at #14 in incidence by OFA, and a number of other health issues. Hereditary eye issues as well, Exercise Induced Collapse, epilepsy, skin allergies, patella and heart issues. Be sure to purchase from a breeder who is health testing parents. There are many many breeders out there selling pups from parents that do not even have a minimum OFA hip clearance. Also, be sure you understand the contracts. Some breeders maintain all breeding rights and require co-ownerships. Caveat Emptor when it comes to purchasing a Boykin Spaniel.
 

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I'm partial to the Chief line and Dan Reel. My Chief pup just won the Reserve JAM in the BSS Nationals puppy group at 8 months old!
 

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Some are "hardy" but there is a high incidence of hip dyplasia in the breed, rated at #14 in incidence by OFA, and a number of other health issues. Hereditary eye issues as well, Exercise Induced Collapse, epilepsy, skin allergies, patella and heart issues. Be sure to purchase from a breeder who is health testing parents. There are many many breeders out there selling pups from parents that do not even have a minimum OFA hip clearance. Also, be sure you understand the contracts. Some breeders maintain all breeding rights and require co-ownerships. Caveat Emptor when it comes to purchasing a Boykin Spaniel.
Great advice. A good friend of mine is a pro in South Carolina who trains retrievers and he says that there are as much problems with the owners now breeding dogs that really should not be bred and sold as hunting dogs, only pets. His opinion is that due to the money that is being made with these dogs that any consideration towards drive, natural ability and health clearances is going out the window. This fellow has also made the observation that there are two types of Boykin owners those that are there for the show and the party , and those that own them to be true hunting dogs able to perform at the top of the game.

I personally have judged many of these dogs over the last several years and have found them to be wonderful "LBD"s ( little brown dogs) BUT the good ones that can really do the job are in the minority. The majority of them that participate in hunt tests struggle to pass or never get past the Started or Seasoned level. The ones that do however.... wow, is all I can say. They are spitfires that anybody would want to have to go hunting with. Dan Reel has a young dog named "Tybee" that when he puts it all together will be another good one, but he is truly committed to training and spending the time and energy it takes to have a good dog. The best thing to do is to see both parents actually work in the field if possible and get a true sense of their ability, or failing that check out the titles earned. Additionally, if all of the health clearances are not there then understand the reasons why. So many of the "breeders" are selling puppies with absolutely no concern about the future health of the breed, they are just selling them for the top dollar that the puppies bring in the market these days.

I say these things because although I love the breed, and am truly a fan of watching dogs like Dan Reel's "Chief" run, it is frustrating watching marginal boykins being sold as the next "Chief" when they really are just pets. I myself own a spaniel, although not a boykin, and he is a CH in the show ring but a dud in the woods not unlike numerous boykins being sold today.
 

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Great advice. A good friend of mine is a pro in South Carolina who trains retrievers and he says that there are as much problems with the owners now breeding dogs that really should not be bred and sold as hunting dogs, only pets. His opinion is that due to the money that is being made with these dogs that any consideration towards drive, natural ability and health clearances is going out the window. This fellow has also made the observation that there are two types of Boykin owners those that are there for the show and the party , and those that own them to be true hunting dogs able to perform at the top of the game.

I personally have judged many of these dogs over the last several years and have found them to be wonderful "LBD"s ( little brown dogs) BUT the good ones that can really do the job are in the minority. The majority of them that participate in hunt tests struggle to pass or never get past the Started or Seasoned level. The ones that do however.... wow, is all I can say. They are spitfires that anybody would want to have to go hunting with. Dan Reel has a young dog named "Tybee" that when he puts it all together will be another good one, but he is truly committed to training and spending the time and energy it takes to have a good dog. The best thing to do is to see both parents actually work in the field if possible and get a true sense of their ability, or failing that check out the titles earned. Additionally, if all of the health clearances are not there then understand the reasons why. So many of the "breeders" are selling puppies with absolutely no concern about the future health of the breed, they are just selling them for the top dollar that the puppies bring in the market these days.

I say these things because although I love the breed, and am truly a fan of watching dogs like Dan Reel's "Chief" run, it is frustrating watching marginal boykins being sold as the next "Chief" when they really are just pets. I myself own a spaniel, although not a boykin, and he is a CH in the show ring but a dud in the woods not unlike numerous boykins being sold today.
The number of people actually involved in showing Boykin Spaniels in AKC breed ring is still very small. The majority of litters still produced are BSS registered. And BSS allows litter advertisement on their web site with not even minimum mandatory OFA hip clearances which seems contradictory to the efforts of their Health foundation which I don't understand. And the number of people running hunt tests with their dogs is still small compared to the actual number of Boykins registered in UKC and BSS. The majority of owners are still just pet homes or hunters who may not take time to educate themselves on the challenges of finding a healthy dog in this breed, which further drives their puppy mill market. Sadly, there will always be people trying to market their pups off a single well known dog in a pedigree no matter how far back in their lineage that dog's name may be rather than the attributes of the sire/dam of the litter.
 

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I believe I've said elsewhere that it would be tough to go wrong with a Boykin from Brandywine Creek. At one point in the past couple of years, they had nearly 20% of all the Boykins that had Finished titles. As a side note, Brandywine dogs took 1st-3rd place at the Boykin Spaniel Society National Field Trial last weekend in the Open stake. They are very diligent in obtaining the necessary health clearances and, I believe, all of their breeding stock is EIC clear.

I own a Boykin and would be happy to provide some more info if you want to PM me with other questions.
 
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