The Papillon comes from France and dates back centuries. They are classes as Toy Spaniels and were a much loved breed amongst the Ladies of court. Paintings which feature the breed date back to the 13th century. The word Papillon means butterfly in French. They were given this name due to their butterfly-esque ears which stick out much like the spread wings of a butterfly. There are two variations, the Phalaene and, of course, the Papillon. Both varieties can be born in the same litter. Phalene dogs have drop ears and their name means night moth. Papillon are more common than Phalene, though as of late the Phalene has been catching up to it’s butterfly-eared brother. They were bred as companion dogs and were small enough for Ladies to carry them under their arms.
The Papillon is an active, friendly and enthusiastic breed. They love to be around people and adore being the center of attention. They seem to get along well with other dogs, cats and children. They will bark when someone is at the door, but tend to welcome strangers into the house with nothing more than excitement. They are very much people dogs, but not lap-dogs. They still want their own personal space and will be happy to entertain themselves for a bit.
Papillons are a highly trainable breed that have a natural love for learning. They do well in learning new tricks and they enjoy pleasing their owners. A combination of praise, positive reinforcement and play will help make teaching easier for them - though in general they are happy to learn and this will only help speed up the process. Recall is usually good. As with many other small breeds, they are very brave dogs that don’t seem to fear dogs that are 4 times their size. Taking them to puppy classes will help teach them how to behave around other dogs.
They have a fair amount of energy given their size and will need a walk every day or vigorous play session at home. They enjoy exploring their surroundings, but never wander too far from their owners.
Their fair coats will need some care, though this usually consists of regular brushing to keep it looking in tip-top condition. They rarely need bathing and tend not to have a strong odour. The drop eared variety mat need the fur on its ears trimming to prevent matting.
PPapillons are a bright and spirited breed. One of the most biddable toy breeds, the Papillon is certainly an intelligent little dog. They’re not the best choice if you want a calm lap dog as they can often be lively and playful. They make great little companions who will be sure to brighten up your day. Early socialisation will help produce a well rounded, polite dog.
As with many small dogs, they can suffer from Patellar Luxation (dislocation of the kneecap), and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA: degeneration of the retina which can lead to blindness), and possibly cataracts, other eye problems, heart disease, digestive disease, blood clotting disease, allergies and inherited deafness.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 11 - 15 years
- Weight: 8 - 10 lbs
- Height: 8 - 11"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Medium
- Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
- Town or Country: Either
- Minimum Home Size: Flat
- Minimum Garden Size: No Garden
- Breed Type: Toy Dog
- Size: Small
- Energy Level: High