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The Papillon is a small, friendly, elegant Toy dog of fine-boned structure, light, dainty and of lively action.

Papillons are a great little guard dog, warning of strangers, but not biting.  They enjoy the entire family, not limiting themselves to one person.

They are distinguished from other breeds by their beautiful, butterfly-like ears. Papillons are very devoted to their masters, with a hearty spirit making them desirable for show or companionship.

     Papillons are hardy and usually long lived. They adapt to almost any climate and are comfortable in an apartment as well as the country. They are good travelers. They love to be with their family. They are friendly, happy and eager to please.




The Papillon

Papillons' are very smart, eager to please and always lovely. The tiniest member of the spaniel family they are also known as the butterfly dog with their big ears resembling butterfly wings, they are truly beautiful. Extremely trainable and often used for agility and therapy, you just can't go wrong with this breed.  Their coat is low maintenance although they do shed seasonally. Bathing and brushing once a week is sufficient for most and clipping is generally unnecessary. As a general rule male Papillons have a longer fuller coat. At roughly 6 months of age all Papillons go through a shedding stage where their puppy fuzz falls out and their adult coat starts to come in. At this point they may seem to have ?less coat' than when they were little and this is normal. It takes a couple years for their full adult coat to come in. It is also recommended that you brush their teeth as a normal part of the grooming routine.  A Papillon's weight ranges from 3 to 9 lb. (although there are larger ones) and are generally long lived. Papillons as a breed can have trouble with knees which can be seen as early as 8 wks with limping or hopping on 3 legs with no apparent injury. They also can have eye trouble (PRA) which can cause them to start going blind by the time they are 2 years old. These are both genetically linked, so tests can be done to eliminate these. Other than that they are very long lived considering they have a good home and healthy diet. Being a small dog you need to be careful that young children do not accidentally drop or harm them. Properly supervised I think dogs and kids go together like peanut butter and jelly. Be aware of the dangers to an unsupervised dog-child interaction. Papillons are small and can be tripped over, or accidentally dropped...all of which can cause seriously damaging injuries and pain let alone thousands in vet bills. All dogs have different personalities and learning rates. Throw in the fact that there is a major communication barrier and it is very easy to understand why a puppy does not always do what we humans would like. To help with training I greatly recommend clicker training. It is FANTASTIC in helping to break the language barrier. There is nothing more amazing than seeing a well trained dog obey a handler to the letter. There are several books and web sites out there that can get you on your way. It can also greatly reduce house breaking time! House breaking a small dog is trickier because they just can't hold it as long as large breeds. They need to go more often and cannot hold it all night until they are much older. I recommend a kennel or an X-pen at night and any time that you cannot be with there watching the puppy's every move. Keeping in mind that if you work all day and buy a small breed dog...expect to clean up a mess or two even in a kennel. Remember to bring a treat for potty time outside! All puppies require shots and worming. Without these, they could catch one of many contagious deadly illnesses that are out there. The shots allow a puppy to build up an immunity to certain bugs considered deadly therefore giving them a better chance of survival. They need 1 at 6 weeks (usually 2 before and 2 after 10 weeks.) and then boosters every 3 years. Please see your vet upon receiving your puppy for a full exam. Although I cannot guarantee weight (no one should) I can give a good approximation by what the parents weigh and from past litters. Be aware though, that tiny dogs can throw larger dogs and larger dogs can have smaller dogs. Before buying a puppy I sincerely recommend buying a book on that breed. Different breeds require different training and grooming. Please educate yourself so that you will be well prepared before bringing your puppy home. A puppy is a family member who you will have for many years and should never be an impulse buy.




Breed & Health Information

What is a Papillon?

Often called the "Butterfly Dog" because of its fringed ears that resemble a butterfly's outspread wings, the Papillon ("Pappy-Yon") is one of the oldest purebred Toys. It appears in paintings in Italy as far back as the 15th century. In France the court ladies and royal children were frequently painted with a Toy Spaniel pet, as the breed was then known. As the merchant class in the Low Countries (modem Belgium and Holland) became wealthy, the little dwarf spaniel appeared in many family scenes. Gradually painters all over Europe were portraying them. These Toy Spaniels had drooping ears, but otherwise the prettiest of them were unmistakably the same breed we have today. The dropped ear variety is known as the Phalne (which is a French word pronounced "fah-LEN"), named for a moth that droops its wings, to distinguish it from the erect-eared modern variety-the Papillon or Butterfly dog.

With its unusual ears, waving tail plume, and flowing coat, the Papillon is a standout. It possesses what has been termed "sensible glamour" because the owner does not have to become a slave to preserve its beauty. The Papillon has no doggy odor and its silky coat is not prone to matting. However, Papillons love to be clean and bathing is easy; they wash like an orlon sweater! They have no undercoat to shed out twice a year as with most long-haired breeds and the resilient coat texture sheds dirt and dry grass with the touch of a brush. The pet Papillon requires no trimming of the coat, although the bottoms and sides of the feet can be trimmed for a more tidy appearance (this is usually done for the show ring).

The possibilities for color and markings are very nearly unlimited so you will find no two Papillons are exactly alike. For the show ring, they are always parti-color or white with patches of any color(s), with color covering both ears and extending over both eyes. Patches of color on the body may be of any size or shape, and of any color including black, tricolor, red, orange, tan, and sable. A symmetrical white blaze and noseband are preferred on the face but not essential for prize winning.

Their height at the top of the shoulder blade averages 8" to 12" This is the height range allowed in dog show competition (with over 11" as a fault, and over 12" as a disqualification), but smaller and larger individuals do occur infrequently. The Papillon Standard does not mention weight, but they should be height/weight proportional (typically weighing between 3 and 9 pounds). The delicate tinies can serve as exquisite companions for senior citizens, while the oversized ones with larger, stronger bones make delightful additions to active families with well-behaved children.

The Papillon is generally outgoing and friendly, although how extroverted it will be with strangers varies with how it was raised. Both males and females make equally suitable pets, and of course, should always be neutered or spayed if not destined for the dog show ring. Papillons are generally very social with other animals, and make wonderful companions to other dogs--and cats too. A word of warning though--they ignore all size differential and will entice much larger dogs to play, often with disastrous results. Their preference is to be with people, not only to be cuddled in a lap, but to accompany walks, car trips, TV watching etc.

Papillons are active, lively dogs, although generally not nervous or yappy. They might alert you when someone is at the door but should quiet down immediately when that person has been admitted as a friend. Most Papillons retain their puppy playfulness to some degree throughout their lives. They travel well (car-sickness is rare), and enjoy the attention they draw wherever they go. A Papillon can change homes at any age and if suitably placed, will adjust happily.

This is a relatively healthy breed. Although it cannot claim absolutely no genetic problems (no breed and no species of animal is entirely free of harmful genes) but in comparison with many breeds, the Papillon seems to have no serious problems widespread throughout the population. They are seldom finicky eaters but are not prone to obesity. Contrary to popular belief, they should not grow fat or change their personality after being spayed or neutered.

The Papillon is not considered to be a rare breed, although it is far from common. For 1998 it ranked 52nd (among 145 breeds) with 2,914 new registrations with the American Kennel Club. With growing popularity, regrettably, increased numbers are being produced in "puppy mills" for distribution to pet shops. Luckily, it is still mostly bred by knowledgeable fanciers devoted to protecting its interests and producing stock that is sound of mind and body.

The Papillon's popularity also has grown at the dog shows because they are easy for novice exhibitors to groom and handle. They also are known to "show themselves" and will catch the judge's eyes by dancing happily on the lead with ears held erect at attention and tail plume waving. Their "trainability" ranks extraordinarily high, enhanced by a strong desire to please; thus, they are rapidly becoming sought after as obedience competition dogs. In comparison to the more common large breeds found in the obedience trials, the Papillon's small size, lively action, and intense attention to their handler always draw a crowd of spectators to ringside. It is one of five top breeds in obedience competition when all its scores and titles are factored in with its registration figures. It has been discovered that the Papillon has exceptional abilities in tracking (following a human scent) and agility (maneuvering a canine obstacle course).

The breed also is ideal for service as Hearing Ear Dogs for the deaf and hearing impaired and therapy dogs (visiting hospitals and nursing homes). They also do FULL mobility work, and do it as well as the big guys!

It is often said that the Papillon is a big dog in a little dog's body. They can do virtually all that a larger dog can do, but with less effort, upkeep, and space requirements. Truly, their unique beauty goes far beyond their glorious ears!





Papillon which means butterfly in French the name comes from the appearance of the dog's large obliquely set ears and the fringed ears they resemble the waving wings of a butterfly as the dog twitches them back and forth.  Not all Papillon's have upright ears; some have drooping ears that lie close to the head.  This ear type is called the Phalene pronounced fay-leen and takes it's name from the folded wings of the night moth in France.  The Papillons they believe originated from Great Britain or France and were a dainty companion of King Henri II he owned a palace full of Papillons that he adored and spent enormous amounts of money indulging his passion for the breed.  Marie Antoinette was also passionately devoted to her two Papillons and that she carried one of her Papillons with her and one hid beneath her skirt as she was walking to the guillotine and she gave him to the executioner just before her execution. Her two little companions were cared for in her home after her death.  That house in Paris France is known today as "The House Of Papillons"   Given the Papillion role as the treasured companion of royalty and high courtesans, it is not surprising that, during the Renaissance period, this charming creature frequently appeared in famous paintings throughout Europe. The Papillons are among the oldest of the pure bred toys, appearing in portraiture and other authenticated artwork as far back as the 14th and 15th centuries.  Some historians believe that because of the Papillons small size, loving temperament and very loyal companion, which won them the favor and demand of sixteenth century aristocracy and royalty are the breed would have not been here today.  The Papillon is known as the Dwarf continental toy Spaniel.  The exotic Papillon is both beautiful and fascinating.  A loving companion, this pretty lapdog enjoys the admiration of fanciers all over the world.  The Papillion is one of the most obedient and responsive of the toy breeds. They are gentle, friendly, playful and highly intelligent. Papillion's are excellent with children.  They are top ranked of all toy breeds in several sports, their dainty appearance, diminutive size, and great trainability makes them one of the most intelligent of the toy breeds. Their soft, glossy coat requires no cutting of the hair. They are not double coated; therefore there is not a big seasonal shed. Paps typically do not suffer from doggie odor. They are eager to please you, with such great temperaments they are a valued companion. They adapt well to the being inside and require little exercise, this probably accounts for their reputation as an ideal city dog.  

Colors and Markings


Below is a list of the colors and markings available for this breed. Please refer to the
breed standard for descriptions and the difference in types.

Description: The name of the color and/or markings.

Type: Standard or alternate. This is the classification of the color for show purposes. Please refer to the
breed standard for specifics regarding this breed.

Code: This is the code entered on an application for registration of a dog.








White & Black



White & Lemon



White & Red



White & Sable



White Black & Tan



Black Brown & White



Black Red & White



Brown & White



Fawn & White






Red White & Sable









White & Liver



White & Silver










Black Markings



Black Mask



Red Markings






Tan Markings



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