The name of this dog breed refers to the positioning and shape of its ears, and is derived from the French word Papillon meaning butterfly. The raised ears are said to resemble a butterfly’s wings, while in the case of the closely related continental toy spaniel, known as the Phalene, they hang downwards over the sides of the head.
Coat Type/Colour: Silky; Wide Variety
Height: 8 – 11 Inch (20.5 – 28 cm)
Weight: 9 – 10 lb (4.1 – 4.5 kg)
Nature: Tough; Easy to Train
The precise origins of these dogs are unclear, although, bearing in mind their popularity among the nobility of mainland Europe during the seventeenth century, crosses involving the Bichon Frise and small spaniels may have contributed to their ancestry. The dainty movements of the Papillon belie its robust constitution. Whereas some toy breeds, such as the Chihuahua, may encounter difficulties when whelping, this type of problem is distinctly uncommon in the Papillon. They are easy dogs to care for, and will live quite happily in an apartment, if they can have daily exercise.
Papillons are intelligent and invariably keen to please their owners, which in turn makes them relatively easy dogs to train successfully. However, you will need to ensure that they do not become too demanding and possessive, which can be a fault associated with breed. Try to involve other members of the family as much as possible in the dog’s care, so as to prevent the occurrence of this problem. Both the Papillon and the Phalene have been bred in a wide range of colours, with only liver and white outlawed for show purposes, so you should find a good choice of colours available if you decide to purchase a puppy.