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Quick facts

Papillon AKC Group: Toy
Height: 8 - 11 inches
Weight: 4 - 9 pounds,
Colors: White or parti-color with patches of any color or tri-color (black and white with tan markings), black points for lips, eye rims and nose, non-white for ears and area over both eyes
AKC recognized in: 1915

The Papillon is one of the oldest dog breeds known to mankind. It was formerly known as "Espagneul Nain" or Dwarf Spaniel in the country where it originated, France. It was very popular among members of Europe's highest societies, like Louis XIV of France. It has also been seen in some Italian frescoes and Renaissance paintings during the 13th century.

In the 18th century, it became a regular at myriads of French dog shows. Then it crossed over to the rest of England and America. In the years to follow, it became known as the Continental Toy Spaniel, which explains why it is such a popular toy dog.

Aside from its aristocrat background, the Papillon dogs are known for their resemblance to a butterfly due to their ears. And its name in French actually translates literally to 'butterfly'.

Today, there are two ear types for this dog breed - erect-eared and drop-eared. The former is much more popular as the breed standard. The other type is known as phalene, which is also a French term for moth, an insect also close to the butterfly family.

Its tail is its other feature that always gets noticed. It is long, well fringed and looks like a thick plume arched over its body. Its coat is abundant, long and silky too.


Papillon Summary
Affection five paws
Cold Tolerance one paw
Ease of Training five paws
Energy level four paws
Exercise Requirements one paw
Friendliness : Children four paws
Friendliness: Other Animals four paws
Friendliness: Other Pets four paws
Grooming Requirements three paws
Heat Tolerance three paws
Playfulness five paws
Protection Ability one paw
Watchdog Ability five paws

The Papillon is known as a calm and gentle dog. With such characteristics, it is one of the dog breeds that could go well mingling with older children and even cats. It can also get playful, affectionate and be very lively at the sight of its owners.

But it could get aggressive when confronted by larger dogs as it tends to be possessive of its owner. It would bark with all its might in response to people it is not familiar with or to nearby noises.

Once it goes through proper training, it could be very obedient in following instructions. It could be easily taught performance tricks, and trained for agility, and even being a watch dog. Since this dog thrives on attention from its owner, praising it every once in a while during training would pump up its energy.

Health and Exercise

Papillons live an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years.

The minor concerns suffered by this dog breed include PRA or Progressive Retinal Atrophy and patellar luxation. Its knees and eyes must also be checked on a regular basis by a qualified veterinarian.

The Papillon dog breed has been around for centuries and that is due to its genetic longevity.

Despite the elegance this dog projects, its grooming requirements are quite easy to handle. It is known as a "wash and wear" dog breed. All it needs are an occasional bath and a few brushings of its coat a week. It might also need its nails cut, ears cleaned with an acidifying cleanser and teeth brushed.

Visitor Comments

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