The Boykin Spaniel is one of those dog breeds that are mesmerizing, but not as popular as a German Shepherd, for example. Firstly, we want to make a brief summary of their history. These dogs were developed by a man named Lemuel Whitaker Boykin (L.W. Whit Boykin) in the early 1900s. This happened in South Carolina.
How did he manage to create the Boykin Spaniel we know and love now? He mixed a stray dog that was rescued, called Dumpy, with a couple of pointing breeds, which include the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, the American Water Spaniel, the Springer Spaniel, and the Cocker Spaniel. They ended up with the medium-sized dog we know today.
The Boykin Spaniel is an amazing working dog, but to be more specific, a hunting dog. They gained their popularity for hunting waterfowl and wild turkeys. They love to spend time outside, and love to play in the water. They need plenty of daily exercise. The Boykin makes an amazing family dog, and they are great with children and other animals.
Besides being highly intelligent and friendly dogs, they are extremely beautiful dogs. Their dark-chocolate coat color is just mesmerizing. Often, it looks like they have blond highlights on their ears. This is why people tend to say that these dogs don’t have coats, but dog hair.
But, people are always curious about the Boykin Spaniel’s shedding situation. Well, we are here to explain everything there is about the shedding of this breed.
Boykin Spaniel Shedding: Do They Even Shed?
If we want to explain the Boykin Spaniel’s shedding situation, we need to first describe their coat. Boykin Spaniel’s coat colors are chocolate, brown, and liver. These dogs have both an undercoat and an outer coat. This means that they have a double coat. The outer coat is the one that is more visible to we humans.
The outer coat is typically medium length, and it can be either straight or wavy, depending on what a Boykin Spaniel puppy has inherited from its parents. This coat is soft, silky, and pleasant to the eye. When you are petting a Boykin, this is the coat that feels soft under your hand.
The undercoat is short and really dense. This is the coat that we can’t really see, but it has its purpose. It protects the dog’s skin from water, sun, or any potential bug bites.
What you can spot on this dog is feathering. This is usually located on their ears, legs, chest, and belly. You may ask, “What is feathering?” Well, the easiest explanation is thinner and a bit longer hair that is considered to be a type of decoration for the dog.
Feathering in these dogs can get lighter, and can make an impression that the dog has highlights. This happens because of the sun, especially if they spend a lot of time outside.
But, to answer the question – yes, they do… they shed. Generally, when you read or hear that a dog has a double coat, this means they shed, but the difference is in the amount of shedding.
How Much Do They Shed?
Moderate shedding is the type of shedding this breed has. Of course, every dog sheds more during periods of the so-called shedding season. But, when you look throughout the whole year, you can say that they shed moderately.
What does that mean, and how is it different from either low or high shedding? This can be considered as a relative term, but it simply means that you will notice some hair in your house or in your apartment. The hairs will be more noticeable on lighter surfaces and furniture, but even then it will not be overwhelming.
When comparing Labrador Retriever shedding and Boykin Spaniel shedding, the Labrador takes the win when it comes to being overwhelming. Even though they have a light coat in some cases, you can still see hair everywhere. It feels like it is even floating in the air.
But, this is not the case with a Boykin. For sure, if you are a ˝clean freak˝, this might bother you, but people usually don’t mind it that much. This shedding level can be compared to a dog that is similar to them, which is the English Springer Spaniel.
But, compared to a non-shedding dog (for example, a Poodle), Boykin shedding can be too much for some people.
Shedding Excessively And Reasons Behind It
Photo from: @georgia_the_boykinspaniel
Shedding is a natural process for every dog, including the Boykin. Shedding is basically letting go of damaged, loose, and old hair so new and healthy hair can grow. There are some reasons for excessive shedding that are normal and that all dogs go through.
Other reasons can be a bit more serious, and you might even want help from a vet. This is the reason why you need to always monitor your dog. If you notice that your dog is shedding a lot during the whole year, there might be a problem.
A Boykin Spaniel’s coat is the feature that attracts people, and that makes this dog so unique and beautiful. This is why you need to take good care of it. We listed some of the possible reasons why they might start to shed more than they naturally do.
An imbalanced diet can cause many problems for dogs, and one of those problems is excessive shedding. A normal and balanced diet for dogs consists of high protein levels, low carbohydrate levels, and moderate fat levels.
Since these dogs are high-energy dogs, they spend a lot of time being on the move and playing, so it is necessary for them to consume food that will meet all their dietary needs. They can go into exercise-induced collapse if they don’t have all the nutrients that give them energy. Luckily, this is fixable. It is important to choose the best dog food.
If you are not sure what to choose from all the available options, you can always ask for advice from the vet. You can even consult them if you want to give them home-cooked meals from time to time.
The thing we want to put into this category that is connected with food is that you need to make sure that the bowl of food is placed in a clean place, and that the food is not staying too long without being eaten.
If you leave the food long enough, there can be a problem with ants in the food, which would be catastrophic if the dog eats that food. It can cause many different problems that can be very dangerous.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) says that this breed can come with a double coat and a single coat. A double coat is more common, but a single coat is also present within this breed. Of course, single-coat dogs will shed less than double-coat ones.
This is something that you will notice while they are growing up. This isn’t exactly a reason why they start to shed more than usual, but we wanted to put it in here so you know that your dog can either shed moderately or very little.
Hormonal imbalance is one of the main reasons why your dog will over-shed. There is a disease that affects hormone balance, which is called hypothyroidism. It can cause your dog’s hair to dry up, and after some time, it will break.
But, when talking about hormones, there can be the problem of over or under production of some hormones. If not produced at normal levels, hormones that can cause shedding are estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone.
This can be harder to figure out, but with regular vet appointments, you will find out about this problem on time. It is curable, and the vet will give appropriate therapy.
There are some periods in a dog’s life where hormonal imbalances are normal, and those periods are:
– After neutering or spaying
– After surgery
Photo from: @georgia_the_boykinspaniel
This is the main reason, and the most common reason why your dog sheds more than usual. What seasonal shedding means is that the coat is preparing for its season of shedding. This happens in spring and fall.
When it comes to spring shedding, this is the time when a dog is throwing away their winter coat and is preparing for the warmer weather. Fall shedding is when dogs prepare their coat for the colder weather.
There is no ˝cure˝ for this since it is a natural process and it is very needed for your dog to maintain the high-quality of its coat. The only thing that we can advise you is to be prepared for hair everywhere. Your vacuum is probably going to become your best friend in these moments.
If you live in a house with a yard, it can be a bit easier, while an apartment will need to be cleaned on a daily basis.
Stress And Anxiety
We sometimes forget that dogs, just like we humans, can suffer from stress and anxiety. This can be caused by some stressful situations like moving, renovation, traveling, loud sounds like a thunderstorm, bringing a new pet home, or one of their owners leaving for a longer period of time to maybe study abroad.
They can also develop separation anxiety if you all of a sudden start to leave them alone longer than you usually do. There are many signs of anxiety and stress, but one common sign is hair loss.
If your dog is generally a bit more on the nervous, scared, or careful side, they can get easily triggered and develop either one of these two mental issues. By that, they will most likely start to lose a lot of hair, or in other words, start shedding excessively.
Underlying Medical Conditions
This is the most dangerous reason for your dog to be losing more hair than it usually does. There are some potential health problems that can be characteristic of certain dog breeds. Things like hip dysplasia, deafness, heart issues, etc. are some of the health issues that don’t affect hair loss but need to be solved.
There are other health issues that can cause extreme hair loss, and unfortunately, they are much more severe than others. Some of these issues that your Boykin Spaniel dog could have that cause them to lose hair are:
– Bacterial infections
– Cushing’s disease
– Fungal infections (ringworm)
– Inflammatory bowel disease
– Genetic skin issues
– Immune problems
– RICH liver
– Kidney illness
Allergic reactions can be common in dogs, and these brown dogs can also suffer from allergic reactions. Since they are dogs that love to spend time outside, they can be more exposed to allergens.
We made a list of the allergens that may cause your dog to start shedding extremely.
– Weather changes
– Food ingredients (spicy food, especially)
– Certain medications
– Shampoos, human shampoos, especially
The thing you need to know is that you can never know how a dog will react to allergies. They can start shedding more, but they can also have certain areas where they lose all their hair, or in other words, get bald spots.
If you see your dog losing its hair excessively (and besides that, scratching excessively), then you are probably dealing with some type of parasite. When you notice both of these signs, you need to react immediately.
You can contact either a vet or a groomer, but a vet would be the better option. This problem needs to be solved as quickly as possible because it can give your dog discomfort. Some of the parasites that can infest a Boykin Spaniel breed (or any breed, as a matter of fact) are fleas, ticks, lice, and mites.
If this problem isn’t solved on time, it can cause your dog to get an infection.
Is There A Way To Stop The Shedding?
Photo from: @diamondintheruffhcg
It is not possible to stop the shedding process completely. But, there are some ways to keep it moderate and stop excessive shedding. The main thing is to find the reason for excessive shedding.
If you haven’t had any experience with this, you will probably like to keep it that way. Here are some of the ways you can accomplish that.
This is the most effective way to keep your dog’s shedding at a moderate level. Brushing is the main part of grooming and the easiest part of it, which any dog owner can do all by themselves. Regular brushing is very important.
If you have a dog with a long or medium coat, it is advised to brush it daily, especially during the seasonal shedding periods. The brushing session should last for 10 to 15 minutes. Since their energy levels are high, brushing can be a bit more difficult.
We are sure that you have taught your dog patience, but if they still have their moments, just bring some treats and toys they love and the brushing time will go by easily.
As we already mentioned, it is very important for every dog to consume a healthy diet. If you are not sure what to give your dog to eat, contact the vet. A healthy and balanced diet is important for a dog’s general well-being.
It is also beneficial for maintaining the health of its hair. By keeping its hair healthy, there is less of a chance that they will start to shed excessively. You can also add important nutrients, like omega 3 fatty acids that help the hair grow.
If your dog is dehydrated, it can develop dry skin, which causes its hair to start falling out. It is extremely important for many reasons that your dog drinks a lot of water, especially if they are active for the most part of the day.
There is a rule you can follow, and the easiest explanation is that if your Boykin weighs 10 pounds, it will probably need a cup of water a day. In other words, for every pound of body weight, they will need to drink an ounce of water.
If your dog has any problems with drinking its water, you can use any kind of broth to flavor the water. If they smell it and taste it, they might start drinking water more often.
RELATED: How To Boil Chicken For Dogs: Everything You Need To Know!
This might be strange for some people, while others do this often. Every time you vacuum the house, you can also vacuum your dog as well. This is considered to be as effective as regular brushing.
This can only be done with dogs that aren’t scared of a vacuum. This is why you should teach them about the sound and presence of a vacuum when they are young. This is also faster than the brushing process.
Is A Boykin Spaniel Hypoallergenic?
A Boykin is not a hypoallergenic dog. Some people say that there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. This is half true and half not. Even if Boykin Spaniels shed moderately, their hair can still cause allergies in people who have issues with dog hair.
One dog that is considered hypoallergenic is the Poodle because their shedding is minimum. So, if you have allergies to dog hair, you should probably consider the Poodle as an option because a Boykin could cause you to see some signs of allergies.
Is Boykin Spaniel Stinky?
There is no real answer to this question. If your dog has regular baths and grooming appointments, they won’t be stinky. If your dog is spending a lot of time outside, they can for sure collect some smells from the outside world, which can be even more expressive when they enter the house.
If they play in the water, you will probably sense the smell of moisture or wet hair. But, whenever you smell your dog, you should give it a nice bath. Generally, this breed is not smelly.
Is The Boykin Spaniel A Good House Dog?
These dogs are amazing family pets. They can live in a house, an apartment, or even on a farm. They don’t mind as long as they are together with their owner.
They love to play with kids and other animals. They also make amazing watchdogs because they are very protective of their owner. You can expect your dog to be your best friend, and that they will do anything for you.
Are Boykin Spaniels Easy To Train?
These are highly intelligent dogs, so when it comes to trainability, they are super easy to train. They need a lot of mental stimulation. They love to learn new things and showcase them often to make you proud.
You can turn training time into playtime, and by that, they can fulfill their daily exercise needs. If you decide to do this, it can be beneficial to their health, and it can even prolong their lifespan.
Photo from: @scout_theswamppoodle
These dogs are amazing family pets, and sometimes it seems that they don’t even need socialization because they are so friendly and get along with everyone, even when they are puppies. They are also considered to be the state dog of South Carolina.
These amazing dogs have a beautiful coat that will make every person stop, admire them, and pet them. But, that same coat opens the question of the Boykin Spaniel shedding problem. We hope we have given you all the answers concerning this question, and that they were helpful to you.
The thing we want to say is that if you are a person who is considering buying this breed, and you are doing your research on this breed, always take your time to find reputable breeders. We wish you all the luck, and trust us – a problem like shedding is nothing compared to the love and happiness you will get from your Boykin Spaniel.
Read Next: Boykin Spaniel Training: From Playful Pup To An Obedient Dog