Looking for one of the beautiful yet kind, loving, and friendly dog breeds that can become your companion?
Papillon dog breed is the answer to all of your concerns. The dog breeders describe the Papillon breed as a loyal, friendly, happy companion dog. This gorgeous dog breed is a beauty with brains and the best option for the emotional support animal.
Below you can find the complete information about this tiny, butterfly-like dog.
Papillon Dog Characteristics
Papillon Dog History and Origin
The origin of papillon can be traced back to the 1500s, when they were found in Italy. The reason for breeding a papillon is to create attentive and charming companions for noblewomen. These charming lap warmers were used to be favorites in the royal courts of Europe for hundreds of years. Tiziano Vecellio -a famous painter- painted papillon in many famous paintings.
Europe’s most renowned painters, including Toulouse-Lautrec, Goya, Rembrandt, and Rubens, made portraits of papillon. They are also in the paintings of merchant-class and royal families around Europe. After the presentation of Largilliere Wallace Collection in London, papillon was shown in the Louis XIV family portrait.
Papillon was also popular in Belgium, France, and England. These places are also considered origin countries by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI). The Papillon has a long association with royalty. Marie Antoinette -queen of France- has walked to the guillotine taking a small dog in her arms.
However, history has it that Marie’s dog was a spaniel that was brought to the French court from Spain. According to the story, the dog was cared for and spared in a building in Paris still called Papillon House. Marie’s dog appeared in many paintings during the 13th century.
Papillon was bred by crossing spaniel breeds with exciting toy breeds. The early ancestors were known as “dwarf spaniels”. The toy spaniels of drop-eared variety were used in the early breeding. However, a small spaniel with erect ears was bred in the 17th-century court of Louis XIV and named papillon.
Papillon is a French word meaning “Butterfly”, and it was given to the dog due to the close resemblance to a butterfly. Many other names are also used for this breed, including Little Squirrel Dogs; the name was given to the dog because their plumed tail resembled a lot to a squirrel’s. Belgian Toy Spaniels, Dwarf Continental Spaniels, and Epagneul Nain (dwarf spaniel) are also used for papillon dogs.
Over time, some changes happened to the breed, and the major change was in color. Originally, papillons were solid-color, but now they have a white base with patches of different colors. Other than that, papillon looks the same as it was portrayed in the famous paintings.
Phalene - the drop-ear variety of toy spaniel- still exists but not much common. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized Papillon in 1935 with the creation of the Papillon Club of America. Papillon took part in many other dog sports and shows and also won international success for the breed. The dog also took the World Dog Show in Royal Invitation In Canada, Finland, and Helsinki in 1998.
Loteki Supernatural Being -a papillon owned by John Oulton of Norwalk- famous for winning all the international dog shows in the same year 1999. Loteki is also known as Kirby, became the first dog who won the prestigious “Best in Show” at the annual Westminster Kennel Club (WKC) dog show. Papillon also enjoys success today in competitive fields outside of conformation, including obedience and agility.
Papillon Dog Personality Traits and Temperament
Papillon is a tiny dog breed that descends from the toy spaniels. This breed is one of the self-assured and extremely intelligent dog breeds having a good time learning new tricks. Papillon dogs well with kids and generally reserved with strangers for a short period but quickly socialize. They can also be socialized to get along with cats, dogs, or any other pet.
This beautiful butterfly-like look dog needs to be properly socialized. So, he does not exhibit aggressive tendencies or being disrespectful towards other pets or humans. When they are properly socialized, they behave well in public places, with strangers and everyone around.
Papillons are also very affectionate and playful, which made them famous as good companion dogs. They have the energy and spirit of keeping up with active families but also love sleeping in the affectionate owner’s arms. However, they demand an augmented exercise routine due to their high energy level. They are also an excellent watchdog and alerts their owner if they sense any change in the environment.
The butterfly dog is generally considered garrulous like many other toy dogs. This glamorous dog is sensitive to cold temperature due to the single coated fur but can withstand heat. So, they should not be left outside in the cold weather.
What Does a Papillon Dog Look Like?
The most iconic feature of papillons is their ears -well fringed and large- giving papillon a butterfly wing-like look. When the ears are in erect shape, they move like the spread wings of a butterfly. This enchanting toy dog has a fine-boned structure, daint, light, and lively personality. You can easily spot a papillon a block away, thanks to their big fur and winged shaped ears.
The weight of papillon is in proportion to the height, and the body is slightly longer than the height at withers. The eyes are medium-sized, round, not bulging, dark, and alert in expression. The ears have rounded tips, large, either drop or erect type, set on the head’s sides or back. The head is small, slightly rounded, having medium width set between the ears.
The muzzle is abruptly thinner than the head tapering to the nose. Where the muzzle joins the skull, a well-defined stop is formed. The nose is slightly flat on the top, rounded, small, and black. The neck is medium in length, and the backline is straight on the medium-depth chest with well-sprung ribs.
A long flowing plume perfectly covers the tail, hanging either side of the body. Shoulders are laid back and well developed to allow freedom of movement. Front feet are elongated and thin, and forelegs are straight, fine-boned, and slender.
Papillon has a silky, fine, long, flat on the back and side of the body, straight with a resilient quality coat. The coat hairs are short and close on the body without an undercoat and feel like a profuse frill on the chest. Hind legs are covered to the hock with abundant breeches and back legs with feathers diminishing to the pasterns.
The official standards, faulted, and disqualified attributes of a papillon are as follow:
- Erect, or drop
- Set too high
- One ear up
- Partially down
|8 - 11 inches
||Over 11 inches
||Over 12 inches
- Set high
- Arched over the body
- Low set
- Not arched over the back
- White with the fur of any color
|Color other than white not covering both ears and eyes
- Quick and graceful
- Paddle footed
- Stiff in hip movements
The gorgeous papillons, small dogs, are generally white with patches of color ranging from red to black or particolored. Completely white or no white papillon is disqualified from the conformation show ring. Both ears should be covered in color other than white and extended without interruption to the eyes.
The placement, shape, size, absence, or presence of color on the body are without importance. However, the lips, eye-rims, and nose should be well-pigmented black. The paw pads can also be in any color, depending on the coloring of the dog. Here is the list of colors and markings accepted in the standard papillon.
|White and Black
||Black Brown White and Lemon
||Red White and Sable
|White and Lemon
||Black Red and White
|White and Red
||Brown and White
|White and Sable
||Fawn and White
||White and Liver
||White and Silver
All other colors and marking patterns are disqualified and considered faulty. Any fault that sacrifices the butterfly appearance is not accepted in the papillon breed standard.
Papillon Dog Care and Grooming Needs
Papillons need surprisingly little grooming despite having long, silky hairs. Monthly grooming is fine, or you can spend a few minutes of a week running a comb through the hairs. These dogs shed from light to average due to their single coat. They only shed moderately twice a year and lightly throughout the year.
Bath your butterfly dogs every few months or when they get dirty or muddy. However, nails should be trimmed regularly with dog nail clippers as they grow quickly and regular teeth brushing is essential for dental health. They are not suited to outdoor living as they are strictly house dogs. However, they are very active and enjoy a wild, fast, and circular run in the back of the yard.
Puppy papillon requires 15 minutes, and adult papillon requires 30 minutes walk, playtime, or mental stimulation twice a day. They appreciate it if you provide them more and let you know when they get tired by sitting or stopping. The puppies can be fragile even though they grow up to be sturdy little dogs. They can easily break a leg jumping off the bed or sofa, so it is important to teach them how to get off the furniture.
Moreover, it is important to make a schedule for papillons so that you can train them properly. Make a habit of taking them out in the morning, after naps, meals, playtime, grooming sessions, and bedtime. As they are not outdoor dogs, keep them created or in the puppy-proofed room when you cannot supervise them.
Crate train your papillon to ensure they do not have any accidents or get into things they should not. A crate could be a place where you can retreat your pup for a nap. The training also helps your pup accept confinement if he ever needs to be hospitalized or boarded. However, do not stick your dog in a crate all day long; it should be just a few hours at a time.
Papillons are people dogs, so they should not spend their life in a kennel or crate. To improve your pup’s behavior, you can train him with positive reinforcement. Papillon responds well to positive reinforcement techniques. Treat your butterfly dog with play, praise, rewards, food, or any other thing, and you’ll see that your puppy can learn anything quickly.
Papillon Dog Food and Nutrition Needs
When it comes to food, high quality and full of nutritious food is necessary for every dog breed. Whether home-prepared with the veterinarian’s supervision or commercially manufactured, it should be appropriate for the dog. The diet and quantity are according to the dog’s age, size, and build because some dogs are prone to getting overweight.
The daily recommended amount is ¼ - ½ cup of high-quality food divided into two meals per day. Clean and fresh water should also be available all the time. Dogs are just like human beings; they do not all need the same amount of food. Therefore, a couch potato dog requires way less food than highly active and larger dogs.
It is essential to keep a strict eye on your dog’s calorie intake and weight level to ensure he won’t get overweight. Similarly, do not give too many treats to your pets; otherwise, it will cause them obesity. Learn about which food is good and safe for your dog and which is not. And also, check your vet to clear all your concerns about the diet and weight of your dog.
The food quality makes a huge difference; the better the quality, the further it will nourish your dog. To keep your puppy in good shape provide him sufficient food by measuring the feeding. You must feel his ribs without pressing hard; if you cannot, he needs more exercise and less food.
Fancy Fact About Papillon Dog
You would be surprised to know that papillon is one of the rich dog breeds. Here is the story.
What are Health Issues Papillon Dog Prone to?
Although papillon is a healthy breed, however, they are prone to some serious health issues. Not all papillon will get these diseases, but it is vital to be well aware before considering this breed. The following health problems are common in Papillon dogs:
- Hypoglycemia: It is a condition in which the dog’s blood sugar level is lower than normal. Hypoglycemia is common in all toy breed dogs. However, it is easily treatable in the early stages but can be fatal if not treated.
- Patellar Luxation: It is caused when the patella (kneecap) is not properly lined up. This causes an abnormal gait, lameness in the legs, or sort of skip or a hop. This problem is usually present at birth. However, the actual luxation may not occur until much later.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): PRA causes partial or complete discoloration and eventually blindness due to the damage to the tissue in the retina.
- Collapsed Trachea: A rapid inhalation of air makes the trachea (windpipe) flatten that causes difficulty in breathing. It may be an inherited condition that occurs in many breeds.
- Open Fontanel: Papillon dogs are born with a soft spot on the head that closes later. But sometimes, it will not close completely, and an accidental blow to that spot could kill a papillon.
You should take care of your butterfly dog and keep him protected so that he doesn’t get any disease. However, if you notice any signs of health issues in your pet, consult your vet as soon as possible.
Papillon Dog Breeders and Rescue Organizations
There are many reputable breeders available that provide healthy papillon dogs. When you think of having a papillon, make sure you have a clear understanding of what goes into owning one. You can purchase a papillon from any local breed club or contact the national breed club to point you towards a papillon rescue. However, here are some papillon organizations that you can contact to buy a dog.
- Papillon 911 Rescue and Adoption
- Papillon Haven Rescue
- Papillon Club of America
- Papillon for Adoption
If you want to buy or rescue a papillon, you can contact these organizations and enjoy the company of this friendly breed. Papillons also make good companion dogs, so you can consider them to be your emotional support animal.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do papillon dogs bark a lot?
No, papillons do not bark excessively despite having an energetic and outgoing personality. They enjoy socializing with cats, dogs, and humans and are famous for their lively and energetic nature. However, they are not considered fearful, nervous, or high-strung.
Are papillons aggressive?
Generally, papillons are not aggressive, but they can show signs of aggression sometimes, just like any other breed. Nipping or biting behaviors are very common when the dog does not get what they want. However, that behavior is harmless but should be cured before it becomes a habit.
Can papillons be left alone?
As papillon dogs are people dogs, they cannot tolerate being alone for too long. They are social with humans and pet animals and need company. If they are left alone for a prolonged period, they would suffer from separation anxiety and start barking. Therefore, this breed is not recommended for someone who does not have enough time to spend with their dog.
Are papillons hard to potty train?
No, papillon is a quick learner, and they can be trained to anything very easily. They respond well to training methods that emphasize food and praise. So, you can easily potty train your pup with positive reinforcement.
Why do papillons lick so much?
Papillon usually licks to show affection or when they seek your attention. Or it can be a developmental habit, or maybe your pup is experiencing some discomfort or pain.
Do papillons like to cuddle?
Papillons are very affectionate dogs, but they do not like to cuddle for a long period of time. They do not sit still in your lap for a prolonged period because they want to constantly be on the move.
Do papillon dogs like to swim?
Some papillons may like to swim, but not all of them. This may be because of several reasons, such as having a negative association with water due to bad past experiences. For papillon who is swimming lover, you should train them how to swim when they are young.