Boykin Spaniel Week celebrates SC’s state dog

Boykin Spaniels.
Boykin Spaniels. Dawn Crites.

The City of Camden has declared April 3-9 Boykin Spaniel Week. The week celebrates the South Carolina state dog and culminates in the Annual National Field Trials in Camden this weekend.

The Boykin Spaniel is a small, multi-purpose retriever that was first bred in Camden in the 1900s. Their compact size and agility made them ideal hunting companions on land and water. The breed was designated the official dog of South Carolina in and was recognized by the American Kennel Society in 2009.

The National Field Trials “is a once-a-year opportunity to gather with other Boykin owners and brag on your dog or commiserate,” said Bill Crites, Hunt Test Chairman for the Boykin Spaniel Society. “This year is especially meaningful as we celebrate our 40th anniversary and, as always, the Boykin, whose home is here in South Carolina.”


The Great Camden Boykin Spaniel Puppy Hunt

A unique scavenger hunt allows participants to follow clues and search for 10 “little brown dogs” at merchants and restaurants in downtown Camden. Participants who find all 10 puppies can enter to win prizes. Hunt headquarters is Books on Broad, 944 Broad Street. For more information visit

“The Little Brown Dog” at Camden Archives & Museum

Camden Archives & Museum hosts the permanent exhibit, “The Little Brown Dog,” which is the story of how L. Whitaker Boykin and a small stray dog named Dumpy made history in the 1900s. Admission to the museum and exhibit are free. For more information, visit

Boykin Spaniel National Field Trials

More than 200 Boykin spaniels will compete in the annual Boykin Spaniel National Field Trials. Members of the general public are encouraged to attend the field trials and many other events, including activities and games for children, planned in coordination at City Arena and in Camden. Maps for field trial locations are available at City Arena at 416 Broad St.

The championship includes stakes for novice, puppy, intermediate and an open category of Boykin trials judged by trained, volunteer judges. Any Boykin spaniel is encouraged to participate in the Natural Ability stakes, where dogs from the Boykin Spaniel Rescue and Operation Little Brown Dog will also compete.