Papillon Dog Breed Traits & Facts

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t look at the Papillon on the basis of his beautiful ears or delicate frame because he’s not dainty at all. A Papillon is a very sociable dog that is stuffed to a toy dog size. If you’re here because believe he’s a peaceful lap dog, think twice. He comes from sporting dogs and is a dog with the Spaniel spirit in.

If, however, you’re looking for an playful and outgoing dog You’ve come to the right spot. According to the American Kennel Club describes him as friendly, alert and content. But, he’s only content and pleasant when you are able to provide him with all the things he requires.

The breed was developed mostly for companionship and the dog seeks out human companionship all day long. This makes him extremely dependent and unsuitable for all families. With a myriad of other needs It is important to determine whether he’s the perfect dog for you. Let’s get right to the point.

Papillon Dog


The Papillon was an designer dog from Renaissance time. For those who can’t recall our history classes in school, was sometime in between 14th-17th century. In that period, popular toys were mixed up with Spaniels. It was common to reduce their most loved breeds, which became called ‘dwarf Spaniels..’

It is believed that the 17th century was the year that the very first small spaniel born with ears that were upright. Louis XIV, a King of France was the one who named him Papillon. The word “papillon” in French refers to a butterfly and his upright ears as well as his long, wavy hair were reminiscent of the form of a butterfly. Breeding was focused on his distinctive butterfly ears. However, today, a few Paps have dropping ears. They are known as the Phalene variation and are far more rare.

The Papillons were designed to be adorable, tiny companions They are also featured in a variety of famous portraits of queens and princesses. They became a huge hit throughout Europe especially France, Spain, and Italy. Legend says that Mary Antoinette had a Pap known as Thisbe who sat in her cell outside of her prison before her execution.

It is not known when the Papillon arrived in America however it was accepted into the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1915. The Pap typically ranks in the top 60 breeds of dogs. In the late Hollywood actor Lauren Bacall split her estate among her three children as well as their Pap, Sophie. The inheritance resulted in Sophie among the most wealthy Papillons around the globe..


The Papillon was created solely to be a companion, and that is what you have to provide him. If you are a long-time worker in the office or out of the house and are unable to bring him along then the Pap isn’t the best kind of dog for your. If you or someone else in the family can spend the majority of the time with him and he is extremely content. A dog who is happy is a happy dog!

The need for constant companionship is what makes him an extremely dependent dog and there’s no escape from this. However, for those who enjoy constant dog relationship (me being among them! ) He is the perfect pawty.

He is afflicted with separation anxiety, which is an important factor to take into consideration when you train his puppy. This with the fact that a lot of toys are spoilt to death this makes him the most likely suspect in what’s known as ‘little dog syndrome.. These issues will be discussed in greater detail in the section on training.

That’s it for Paps issues, but what else can he possibly has to provide? Plenty! He’s extremely affectionate and loving. He’ll pamper you with cuddles and kisses If you allow him. Because he’s so tiny and adorable, he’s the perfect cuddle companion on the sofa, without the danger of becoming uncomfortable or suffering from dead legs.

He’s outgoing and is the lifeblood of the party. Contrary to the usual temperamental toy dog This breed is welcoming to strangers and warmly welcomes guests. They will bark at him certainly, but it’s because of joy, not simply trying to keep them away. His warm and welcoming personality will keep everyone you know and your visitors returning more frequently!

Although he is depicted as a lap dog in a number of Renaissance paintings, he’s more active than relaxed. This means he’s not the typical lap dog Rubens or Rembrandt would like you to believe. If you’re looking for an small pocket rocket This breed is an excellent option!

It is the Pap’s athletic Spaniel genetics that explain his energy and athleticism. How did he come to be among the most playful dogs in the toy world.

Size & Appearance

He’s an sizeable dog toy and is among the smallest. With a weight of 5-10 pounds and measuring between 8 and 11 inches tall from shoulder to paw, you could put him in your purse in a snap.

He is delicate and fine-boned in appearance, and is more than taller. His gait is energetic and gentle and overall elegant. He has a charming smile, a domed head and dark, button-shaped eyes. The length of his tail is wrapped around his body, with long, plump hair.

The Pap has Two distinct Pap appearances. One of them is the one with straight butterfly ears that is the more popular one. The other is the Phalene kind that is similar as any Pap however it has dropping ears rather than. The Phalene appears like a miniature Spaniel this is the reason they are frequently called Continental Toy Spaniels in Europe.

Sometimes referred to as the often referred to as the butterfly Pap as well as often referred to as the moth Pap. Both types of ears are used in shows, however dogs with only one erect ears and one drop-down is not accepted as acceptable.

Coat & Colors

The Papillon is characterized by an lengthy and smooth follower coat which is smooth as well as straight. On the body, it is flat, and often has an apparent split that runs across the spine. Between his chest and the back of the legs, it’s more dense and fluffy. It appears as if the man has a frizzy hairstyle with fluffy pantaloons.

The tail hair is also more dense. The Pap does not have an undercoat, which means that he sheds less than dogs with double coats. The hair that covers his ears is longer, which contributes to the butterfly-shaped shape his ears create. If you’re the ear is a Phalene Papa, the lengthier hair is a part of his spaniel-ear look.

Alongside his preference for ear shapes Another thing that has changed since his predecessor’s appearance is the color of his coat. In the past, Papillons were usually solid colors. However, nowadays, the majority of Paps come with the appearance of a parti-color coat or with flecks of color.

His colors include black red, sable, lemon, and tan. To show his ears should be colored, white blaze is preferable, and facial markings that are symmetrical are preferred.

Exercise Requirements

Despite being small, despite his small size, Papillon requires around 45-60 minutes of exercise each day. This is more than what most people think to get, but that is because of the Spaniel that is in his. If he doesn’t exercise regularly and stimulation, he’ll become agitated and bored. You’ll soon witness the Pap fury that will leave the furniture in ruins.

It’s possible that he’s small, but his athletic energy is still burning! When exercising make sure you use the appropriate harness. It is believed that the Pap is susceptible to collapse of the trachea, and harnesses reduce the chance of it substantially.

He’s a nerdy and spunky person So you’ll have to keep him entertained during the week. This will stop him from getting bored. He doesn’t require a lot of fitness, but he requires more than a stroll through the neighborhood.

Also, variety is the most important factor to Papa’s happiness. He is a good companion with other dogs, and will take regular trips to the dog park. He also enjoys playing play fetch, which is Spaniel blood once more. Therefore, make sure you buy him toys to take home to you.

Between workouts He’ll also require mentally stimulating activities to keep him amused. Playing with his friends is his preferred game, like more fetch or tug-of-war games. Also, toys that can be played by yourself like treat-dispensing toys or chewing sticks can be a hit too. A large basket of toys is an excellent tool in any dog’s arsenal to beat boredom in dogs.

Living Conditions

His small frame is what makes him popular among city dwellers and apartment dwellers who don’t have much space to offer. However, with his desire to stay with you like glue, there’s not any more space for him. He’d love having a play area however it’s not an essential requirement for him.

If your child has an outdoor space, you’ll need to ensure that it’s secured. There is a chance for escape from even the tiniest of gaps, therefore you’ll need to secure your home.

The sweet and fun Papillon is suitable for any kind of family but with one caveat. His tiny size is unsuitable for families with children under the age of. Children mistake toy dogs as real toy animals and handle them as such. A lot of Paps have been hurt by children who don’t know how to manage them. Therefore, to ensure his safety it is recommended to be housed with children who are older.

It is believed that the Papillon is a warm and social dog that is a good companion for other animals when they are socialized properly. If you are a homeowner of a Pap and are looking to welcome an animal new to the family, make certain to oversee introductions to ensure an enjoyable and safe meeting. If your dog is afraid being left alone You can be certain that he’ll be happy to have another pet within the family to be a companion for the times you need to go away.


The Papillon is a very dog that can be trained, compared to other breeds of toy dogs. He’s keen to please his owner and can learn new commands fairly quickly. This makes him an ideal pet for the new dog owner. However, as with any dog, he requires early training to transform into the balanced and friendly dog we all know and love. It’s impossible to expect him to behave well without teaching him the ropes of dog training.

It’s not possible to expect him to behave well if you pamper him too much. We’ve previously discussed the term ‘ little dog syndrome. This is when humans over-indulge small dogs due to the fact that they are adorable, tiny and, supposedly, harmless. However, when we do this small dogs can become unpredictable, snappy, and excessively protective, leading to behavioral issues. If you’re about to introduce a puppy in your home, make certain to be aware of it and learn how to prevent it.

Training with positive reinforcement is the most effective method to train the Papillon. The fact that he is willing to please his master will mean that he responds positively to praise. Don’t be scared to put your high-pitched squeaky voice as he’ll love it! Treats and toys also be well received. Begin training as early as possible and, when you are giving him a reward for his positive behaviour and he’ll be more likely to do it again.

All canines require socialization regardless of how confident and friendly they may be. Socialization involves the process of mixing dogs with puppies, beginning with their mother and littermates. Also, other dogs that are not part of their family group.

It’s also crucial to allow him to interact with humans and other animals. Also, unfamiliar surroundings, sights and sounds can boost his trust. An experienced breeder is likely to begin the process at an early stage and it’s your responsibility to carry it through to keep his manner of conduct.

If you have a dog that is anxious it is essential to teach your dog to be calm. Every canines want shelter and, therefore, when you introduce the dog to a crate from a young age and he’ll quickly adjust to his safe place. Set it up with a bed and blanket, and he’ll soon find it a peaceful spot to relax whenever you need to go away for a short period of time. Crate training is essential for dogs that are anxious so you’ll have to ensure that there’s the appropriate crate for your anxious dog.


The Papillon is an fairly healthy breed of dog which lives between 14 and 16 years, but sometimes it can be longer. To reach the age of this, you must to ensure that he is as healthy as you can. Making sure he is up-to-date with his regular veterinary checks as well as regular exercise and high-quality nutrition are among the most efficient and simple methods to ensure he is healthy.

The papillons are small and susceptible to injuries of all kinds, which is why you must be cautious when falling from high places and larger animals. They are also susceptible to certain health issues and more than other animals. This means that even though there are other issues to consider but the ones listed below are the ones you should look out for.

A lot of breeders with good quality can breed healthy dogs and test for the below typical Pap health issues.

Eye Conditions

The Papillon is susceptible to various eye problems. The progressive retinal atrophy condition is by far the most frequent condition seen in Paps. It is the result of deterioration of the retina and with time, it can lead to total loss of sight. Breeders should breed only dogs that have a clear Ophthalmologist’s health certificate.

Patella Luxation

It is a condition that is commonly that is seen in a lot of small dogs and is very common within the Pap. It is a persistent or intermittent dislocation that occurs in the kneecap, and can be extremely painful. It typically manifests around six months old and may require surgery. If you observe that your Pap struggles to sit or stand, or is throwing out his affected leg and kicking it out, you should go to the vet.

Cardiac Conditions

The most common reason for death in the older Papillons are heart diseases. Therefore, it’s vital to stay current with regular routine checkups with the vet for heart murmurs and other irregularities. The signs include a persistent and dry cough, severe fatigue, inability to sleep and even fainting.

Open Fontanel

Certain breeds of toy dogs have an open fontanel as a human infant. The soft spot is supposed to close as the skull grows however for a lot of Paps they don’t. If it’s not closing then you’ll have to be vigilant for head injuries since even the tiniest bump could be fatal.

Anesthesia Sensitivity

While this isn’t a medical issue, it’s essential to be aware of it. The papillon is sensitive to anesthesia and this is something you should know about when you require treatment. While your veterinarian should be conscious of it, it’s always an excellent idea to remind them just in case they’re not aware of it.


The majority of Papillons are able to consume about half one teaspoon of kibble daily and, in most cases, less when they are a smaller Pap. Other factors that affect the amount he should consume include the age of his pet and his energy levels. A Pap who weighs 5 pounds will require less food than a 10- pounds one. It is also essential to feed this breed diet specifically specially designed specifically for small breeds. This is particularly important when they are young and require puppies of small size to help support their initial development.

A Pap who is overweight will be most likely with patella luxation as well as heart problems, in addition to other conditions related to weight.

Toy dog breeds are susceptible to a condition called hypoglycemia. It’s low blood sugar levels, and it may impact the Pap. To ensure that his blood sugars are stable it is essential to spread the daily allowance of food to him over various meal times instead of in one go. The signs of this are trembling convulsing, pale gums. It could be fatal if not treated.

Make sure to feed your dog the highest high-quality food that it can buy. Good quality Kibbles offer a balanced diet that meets all the nutritional needs of dogs generally. This means you don’t have to think about supplements or other foods unless your veterinarian advises that they do. Find a kibble that is designed specifically for small or toy breed. So the kibble bits are smaller enough for him to play with.


While the coat of the Papillon is thick and wispy at times however, he’s extremely easy for grooming. It is only necessary to brush him every once or twice per week, with a focus on the areas that have hair longer. This includes his ears, chest, neck, back of the legs, and his tail. These are the places which are most susceptible to matting.

Fortunately, since there isn’t an undercoat, seasonal shed isn’t something to worry about. A soft pin-style brush is the ideal one to use for the Paps grooming routine.

The dog will only require bathing once every 8-12 weeks as well. Regular brushing will clear the dog of smells and dirt. Make sure you use gentle shampoo specifically for dogs. Human shampoo can be too harsh and can cause irritation to his skin. Make sure he is used to bathing at a young age, so it won’t be too problematic as he gets older.

All dogs with toys are at an greater risk of developing periodontal disease and dental hygiene is essential. Make sure to brush his teeth at least twice per every week using doggy toothpaste. You can also use homemade methods for cleaning your teeth. Start this at an early age instead of waiting until you notice symptoms of dental disease. Cut his nails whenever they become excessively long. If you hear them tapping across the ground, then it’s time to pull out the clippers.

Breeders & Puppy Costs

The Papillon is one of the very rare breed of dog within America. Although he’s not uncommon however, you’ll need to go to the far side to find an ethical dog breeder. The majority of responsible Pap breeders will have waiting lists, as well, so be ready to wait for the ideal dog.

The cost of the average Pap puppy is approximately $1000. If you’re looking for an animal from a specific lineage or a popular breeder You can expect to pay higher than this.

Breeders who are responsible will try all they can to produce healthy puppies. From creating adult healthy individuals that have health certifications to bringing them up with affection and love Their Pap puppies will be content and healthy. The best place to begin your search to find a responsible breeder by referring to the AKC’s top Papillon breeders list.

The idea of bringing a puppy to your home is more expensive than just the puppy’s initial cost. There is also the issue of pricing options to consider. This includes getting your pet the first bed and crate, bowls, harnesses, collars, and so on.

There are also constant costs associated with having dogs that are not fixed, like medical bills, vet bills food, toys, and even food to mention some. All of this should be considered prior to you welcome a puppy to your home.

Rescues & Shelters

A brand-new pup from an breeder isn’t the best option for all. If you’re not sure You could also think about adopting an adopted Papillon from a shelter for rescue. They are a rare breed, and you may need to visit several rescue facilities before you can find one. Talk to the staff at the center as they may have information about an Papillon arriving very soon.

There are also some organizations working to specifically help rehome Paps who are waiting for forever home. Pap Adopters is a good site to begin your search. The cost of saving the life of a Papillon is less expensive than purchasing an animal from breeders.

As Family Pets

  • The Papillon is a miniature dog breed.
  • They require a family who will provide constant support.
  • If he is not surrounded by his human companions He can develop into an anxious puppy.
  • He is a playful and lively dog who is full of joy.
  • He’s surprisingly active.
  • who require at minimum 45 minutes of exercise each day
  • The Paps are friendly, sociable and open to strangers and acquaintances alike.
  • He is a good friend to other animals and enjoys being with other dogs.
  • The Paps love to please their human.
  • In terms of training, they are extremely obedient.

Final Thoughts

The Papillon is a rare breed of dog in America. Therefore, when you have this dog on your shoulder or in your bag, you’ll be a focal point for attention. The distinctive butterfly ears, or moth, if he’s an Phalene variation, help him stand out from the crowd of toy dogs. This isn’t the dog for every person due to his desire for constant relationship.

If you have the right home He is an fantastic pet that can bring happiness and happiness to even the most dull of days. His calm and balanced nature ensure that he is able to get along with anyone he meets. He’ll shower you with love and kisses from the dog and provide all the dog-friendly companionship you’ll ever need.

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