The Boykin Spaniel is most often worked as a nonslip retriever, though it originated as a mutt bred to flush turkeys and ducks from the blind: today it is still used to hunt wild turkey but it also is odd in how it performs its retrieve, usually tossed from a rowboat or canoe. Many would classify it as a flushing spaniel rather than as a retriever, even if it can do both. Similarly, the American Water Spaniel could be listed in either category. Dogs such as the Poodle are tricky to classify in part because of their history: The poodle is a very old breed that originally was a gundog, but then was bred down in size and ultimately became the epitome of the spoiled prissy lap dog of a well-to-do woman, complete with over the top grooming styles and dyes that turned their fur pink. In the past 25 years, however, the Standards and Miniatures have been put back to work for their original purpose in North America and occasionally even beat the common Labrador in competitions; on top of that they also work in spaniel hunts on pheasants, chukar, and a few others. The trend, however, is not recognized by the FCI or the Kennel Club at this time as of 2019 and neither allows the breed to participate in trials or hunt tests.
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