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A Little Bit About The Papillon

The word Papillon is French for �butterfly.� The Papillon was named for its erect butterflylike ears that frame its face. Apparently the Papillon was developed in France during the sixteenth century from a small, long-eared dog called the Belgian Spaniel or Dwarf Spaniel. At the time the spaniels were popular in Spain, Italy and France. Down-ear and erect-ear types exist today and are judged by the same breed standards in AKC shows.

The diminutive breed was popular with European landed gentry and royal courts� ladies for many years before the mutation created the Papillon known today. The petite Papillon was designed to be a decorative lapdog. It has been reported that Madame Pompadour and Marie Antoinette owned Papillons. Ownership today is not limited to the upper class.

Papillons are excellent companions. They are hardier than they appear and are comfortable in all climates. They love the outdoors. The Papillon probably prefers to romp in the yard or take a leashed walk and rather would not be picked up and held. The Papillon can socialize with other small pets and children who have been properly instructed in small dog care.


A Papillon is lively, intelligent and loves to learn. It is loving and loveable, but is sometimes suspicious of strangers and prefers the company of its family. The Papillon is best trained with gentleness and consistency. He wants to please his owners and will look to you for rewards both verbal and edible. The Papillon is usually well represented in obedience classes and often surpasses larger dogs in learning ability. The Papillon also makes an excellent therapy or visitation dog after minimal obedience training.


The Papillon stands 8 to 11 inches tall and weighs about 9 to 10 pounds. The Papillon is has a dainty and refined appearance with a fine bone structure. His legs are straight and feet are elongated. Its eyes are dark and not bulgy. The lip margins, nose rubber and eyelid rims are black. The tail is long, high set, and arched over the body.


The coat is long, fine, silky and requires regular brushing. The Papillon does not have an undercoat. The coat falls flat on the back and sides with a profuse frill on the chest. It is short and close on the skull, muzzle and front legs. The rear of the forelegs, tail and thighs are covered with long hair. The Papillon�s coat is easy to maintain with weekly brushing. You will need a plastic pin brush or bristle brush and comb. You can use a special whitening shampoo to make the coat shine.

Brush through the coat with a pin brush, then comb with a medium-toothed comb.

Submitted by:

Connie Limon

Author: Connie Limon. Visit us at http://www.abouttoydogs.com and sign up for our newsletters. About Toy Dogs is a guide to the selection and care of toy dog breeds. We feature articles, dog training resources, dog books, dog supplies and a toy dog breeder directory. Purchase a full page ad with up to 3 pictures; be featured in our newsletters and a 12 photo video of your breed for one year at the rate of $25 per year.


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