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papillon picture

Size: Small
20 - 28 cm (8 - 11 inches)
Weight: 4 - 4.5 kg (9 - 10 lb)
Life Span: 15 years
Highly intelligent & lively
Country of Origin:
AKC Group:
Other Names:
Continental Toy Spaniel


(including Phalene - the drop-eared variety)

The Papillon is friendly, alert, quick, active and intelligent. Papillons are eager to learn and can be trained to a high level of obedience. They generally get along with children and other pets but they can become jealous if their owners attention is directed elsewhere. Not all Papillons become jealous, it really depends on their social upbringing. Owners need to be watchful of toddlers being too rough with them as they might start to nip. Similar to other small dogs, Papillons are known to yap for attention.
Click here on how to stop your Papillon's behavior problems

Papillons need to be brushed regularly and thoroughly and the loose hairs in the ear canals need to be removed. These dogs don't have an undercoat to protect them from the cold and prefer to be inside.

Papillons can happily live in an apartment or small home, but still need opportunities to play and frolic at the park or in the garden.

Papillons were originally known as dwarf spaniels in Spain and they evolved from the Bolognese in Italy. Many of these dogs were despatched to European courts, with the earliest going to Poland in 1545. They also made their way to the French Courts, King Louis XIV, Madame de Pompadour and Marie Antoinette, who have all been recorded as having owned these little dogs. All the early Papillons had drop ears and it was in France (possibly due to crosses with Chihuahuas) that erect ears evolved.

Physical Characteristics:

General Appearance: Attractive, silky, dainty and elegant.
Color: White with patches of any color except for liver.
Coat: White with patches of any color except for liver.
Tail: Set high, long, plumed and carried over the back.
Ears: Papillon - Set high, large, erect, heavily fringed, mobile and carried obliquely. Phalene - Large, mobile, heavily fringed and set high but carried down.
Body: The back is fairly long and level and the loin is strong. The shoulders are well developed and the chest is rather deep. They belly is slightly arched with well-sprung ribs.

Additional Comments:

  • The Papillon is named after the French word for butterfly. These dogs are also known as the Butterfly dogs. The white line down the forehead is said to represent the body of a butterfly and the tall fringed ears represent the butterfly's wings.
  • Papillon is pronounced "pah-pee-yon".
  • The Phalene is the drop-eared variety of this breed and the name is French for moth.
 Papillon Picture Gallery 1
Papillon PuppyPapillon Puppy with Red CollarPapillon Looking up at the CameraBlack & White PapillonPapillon Portrait
Papillon Posing for the CameraPapillon SittingPapillon SittingPapillon Against White BackgroundPapillon Lying on a Red Cushion
Papillon CloseupPapillon StandingSleepy PapillonPapillon Looking Up
Papillon Against Purple BackgroundPapillon Standing on BeachBlack & White PapillonPapillon RestingPapillon Outdoors
Papillon Looking at the CameraPapillon PortraitPapillon Profile
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