Small Gun Dogs

Small gun dogs

Recently I became interested in looking for a smaller breed for hunting that would also double for a good inside family dog. I have always had Labrador retrievers but they are always to high energy and to big/clumsy inside. What I came across was the boykin spaniels. From what I’ve seen they’re more commonly used up north for both duck hunting and upland game. They have great noses so one of their greatest uses is as a flushing bird dog. They have webbed feet like a lab and that same water shedding coat, except theirs are way softer and almost silky. Their common coat is very curly but some will be different like mine that’s only curly at the ears and slightly down the back. In my opinion they’re smarter than labs, and they also seem to take training a little better since they listen very well and are always trying to please. At 14 weeks mine has learned sit, stay, heel, here, and give. She has an awesome drive for fetching and will retrieve for as long as you can throw. They’re also great inside since if you brush them once to twice a week they don’t shed at all. I think they sometimes get overlooked or underestimated due to their size. Most are 25-35 lbs, I believe mine will end up around the 27-28 lb mark based on her parents and her size now. Even at that size I’ve seen them pick up 24 ducks plus geese, which are almost bigger than them so their drive for hunting is second to none. The hardest part about using them for hunting or training is their temperament which is I guess you’d say softer. They shut down if you’re to hard on them so most do not use e collars when it comes to training them which can be a little more difficult. But there are tons of videos and training books to get around this and in my opinion actually seems a bit easier this way and they learn the commands better this route. So if you’re looking for a great hunting dog and also a great family dog look into the Boykin spaniels, you won’t be disappointed.
small gun dog 1

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Small Gun Dog 2

Louisiana pro staff
Kyle Sheridan

One Response to “Small Gun Dogs”

  1. Dan Reel

    Your comment about the Boykin being used up north, they are a Southern dog, developed in Camden, South Carolina at the turn of the century. In 1984 the Boykin Spaniel officially became the South Carolina State dog. They are great dogs, I have been owned by one since the late 70’s and currently have three, which I hunt ducks, geese, quail, pheasant and dove. We also compete in Hunt Tests and National Field Trials. Will never be without one.

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