Papillon: breed characteristics, dog photo and description


  • Country of origin: France
  • The size:
  • Growth:
    20-28 cm
  • The weight:
    2–3 kg
  • Age:
    up to 16 years
  • FCI breed group:
    Decorative dogs and companion dogs
  • Brief information

  • The breed first appeared in the 16th century. It was then that she began to enjoy special popularity;
  • Dogs have a rather difficult character, but they are very fond of children;
  • Translated from French papillon (or papillon) “butterfly”. The breed received this name for the interesting shape of the ears of these dogs;
  • Representatives of the breed are prone to allergic reactions, the manifestation of which is difficult to notice due to the long neck of these dogs.
    1. Pros and cons
    2. Description of papillons
    3. Head
    4. Eyes
    5. Ears
    6. Neck
    7. Frame
    8. Tail
    9. limbs
    10. Gait / Movement
    11. wool cover
    12. Color
    13. Size and weight
    14. papillon character
    15. Rules of education and training
    16. Conditions for keeping papillons
    17. Care
    18. How and what to feed
    19. papillon health
    20. History reference
    21. Photo of papillons
    22. Who is this breed for?
    23. Famous owners
    24. Tips for choosing puppies
    25. Photo of papillon puppies
    26. papillon cost

    Pros and cons

    Papillon pros:

  • get along well with other pets, especially cats;
  • show high results in competitions and agility;
  • have high intelligence, their quick wit allows dogs to learn quickly and grasp commands on the fly;
  • good-natured and have a cheerful disposition.
  • Papillon cons:

    Papillon: breed characteristics, dog photo and description
  • very energetic, need long walks and physical activity;
  • loudly and loudly bark;
  • unsocialized dogs may show aggression towards people and other animals;
  • require more attention;
  • can take a leadership position in relations with the owner, if he does not show his strong character.
  • Description of papillons

    In the USA, it is customary to divide this breed into “butterflies” (papillons) and “moths” (phalenes). These dogs are very similar to each other, but, in the latter case, the ears of the dogs hang, not stand. In Europe, Phalenes are considered a separate breed. Cynologists explain this by the fact that when they are mated with papillons, puppies are born with a large number of defects in appearance.

    Many people confuse this breed with other decorative dogs, for example, a long-haired chihuahua. But Papillons are not related to them. These dogs can “smile” which makes them look like cute toys.

    Correct shape, proportional to the body. The skull is oblong, much longer than the muzzle. The transition from the skull to the muzzle is clearly visible in small dogs. In larger dogs, it is not so clearly visible.

    Nose with a small, well-pigmented round lobe. There is a bulge at the top. The back is flat.

    Teeth tightly closed, tongue behind them is not visible. If he falls out of his mouth, then this is considered a vice.


    Almond-shaped, large but not prominent. Sit low enough. The iris is brown, the eyelids are well pigmented.


    With thin but elastic cartilage and a rounded tip. They sit high on the skull, lowered down. There is a copious amount of long and wavy hair on the outside of the ears. Puppies up to 4 months old may have hanging ears. But according to the breed standard in adulthood, all dogs must have erect ears.


    Medium length, scruff has the shape of an arc.


    Back with a flat topline.

    The loin protrudes slightly.

    The chest is wide, the ribs are arched.

    The abdomen does not sag, tightened in the groin area.


    Set high enough, the suspension on it reaches fifteen centimeters. While walking or running, it is at the level of the back line, it can also touch it with its end. The tail should not curl or lie flat on the back. This is considered a disqualifying defect.


    Smooth, short, with developed shoulders that are pressed to the body. Blades of an elongated shape. Hocks with normal angles. Paws oval, with strong toes. The pads on them are hard, and the claws are black. Dogs with white coats may have milky pigmentation of the nails. Hair is clearly visible between the fingers.

    Gait / Movement

    The dog moves easily and aristocratically. Running, walking and jumping free and graceful.

    wool cover

    The Papillon’s coat is medium hard, long and slightly wavy. This breed has almost no undercoat. The coat is very similar to that present on the body of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

    Short hair is located on the muzzle and front of the limbs. On the body, the coat is much longer. There are featherings on the ears and back of the limbs. The breed has a “collar” and “pants”.


    The breed standard allows any color as long as the dog is white. More often than others, there are dogs with white and sable hair, as well as black and white. Three-color Papillons are also common. They are divided into several types. The first is black and white with tan on the muzzle and head. The second is the hound, which is dominated by large patches of red hair. Sable color is less or more pronounced (red sable). Papillons may have white spots on their head.

    Size and weight

    Papillon is a small dog whose weight does not exceed five kilograms. But there are real crumbs that weigh about two kilograms. The growth of dogs varies from 20 to 28 centimeters at the withers.

    papillon character

    Papillons are very loyal dogs, they become so attached to the owner that, as soon as they are left alone, they begin to feel sad. For them, it’s a real stress. Puppies are energetic, cheerful and active, it is desirable to spend as much time as possible with them, play and communicate. Dogs of this breed, as a rule, are in excellent mood. If they do not get sick, they will please their owner and cheer him up.

    Papillons are able to recognize the mood of a person, so if he is sad, the dog will do his best to correct it. They easily learn a variety of tricks, because they love to be in the spotlight. In addition, they are able to learn on their own: it is often enough for a Papillon to see this or that action once, as he will begin to repeat it. This breed is perfect for children and those who do not have time to train a dog.

    Papillons are very mobile, they love long walks and active games, like chasing a ball or looking for hidden objects. At home, dogs of this breed cannot sit still, so it is better to buy several different toys for them and devote time to communication and games together.

    Papillons quickly become attached to children and get along with other animals without problems. The nature of these dogs is incredibly peaceful and calm. If suddenly your pet is not in the mood, then it is better to leave him alone for a while.

    It is worth noting that such dogs sometimes show aggression (a simple game can develop into a papillon outburst of rage). This is a consequence of improper education and lack of communicative skills. Therefore, dogs of this breed need to be introduced to other animals every time such an opportunity appears. Some people believe that such a small dog cannot cause serious harm, but in fact the papillon’s bite is incredibly strong, and therefore it is better not to leave the dog alone with small children.

    Rules of education and training

    A few know that the continental toy-spaniel, as this breed is also called, is included in the list of ten smarter breeds, occupying eighth place in the ranking. And among decorative dogs, he is completely second, losing the leadership of the poodle. Therefore, to train your pet will be fascinating and interesting. These dogs are inquisitive by nature, they do not have to force them to study.

    Do not demand much from your pet from the first days of his appearance in a new house. Give the Papillon time to settle in and show them what can and cannot be done. Then start learning the simplest and most basic commands: “sit”, “lie down”, “voice”. It is better to start training in familiar home conditions so that the puppy is not distracted by anything. Before you train him on the street, it is necessary that the dog learn commands such as “come”, “fu”, “no”. This will allow you to safely leave the walls of the house and be outdoors with your pet.

    Use Praise and Reward Methods in Papillon Training. For any correctly performed action or command, give the dog a treat. When the puppy grows up, you can limit yourself to praise or connect a clicker to work.

    Many are interested in the question of how to punish a dog for unwanted actions or disobedience? No, a strict reprimand will suffice. Papillons feel the mood of the owner well, so they will instantly respond to a strict and cold tone. But shouting you will not achieve anything, but only lose the trust of the animal. This also applies to the use of physical force. Papillons are very touchy and have a good memory.

    If it seems to you that this little dog does not need education, then this is far from the case. An ill-mannered dog will cause a lot of trouble, both for you and those around you. But this breed has a very high potential for learning. If the papillon is not socialized in time, then it will show aggression towards other animals. Accustom the dog to crowded places, busy streets, public transport. Otherwise, walking your pet will be significantly difficult.

    Continental Toy Spaniels are ideal for training and tricks. A lively mind and indefatigable energy allow them to learn quickly and as efficiently as possible. Don’t mess around with your dog. Behind the puppet appearance is a leader who needs moderate severity and a serious tone of the owner. Otherwise the papillon won’t take you seriously.

    Conditions for keeping papillons

    Papillons can be kept both in the house and in the apartment. They quickly adapt to the living conditions in which the owner is located. Dogs of this breed are picky, but they need their own place to sleep and eat. Although often they prefer to sleep in the master’s bed. Papillons can relieve themselves on oilcloth, but do not forget about walking. In a country house, it is better to determine a special area where the dog can spend his leisure time.

    It is good if you take care of all the attributes necessary for the comfortable life of your pet in advance. Think over where the papillon will rest, give him a separate place with a bed and toys. The dog will need two ceramic or metal bowls for food and water. They should be placed where the dog can have constant and unhindered access to them. Buy a custom collar with a long leash or tape measure. But experienced cynologists do not recommend using a harness, especially for puppies. It can provoke abnormal development of the skeleton.

    A place to sleep and rest also needs to be chosen, taking into account the characteristics of this breed. Papillons do not tolerate drafts well. And heaters and batteries can even cause a serious blow to their health. This breed prefers to spend most of the time in the spotlight and be involved in all events. Therefore, the bed should be positioned in such a way that the dog has a good view of the room and can watch his family.

    Papillon puppies, getting into a new home, will try to learn it with their sharp teeth. Therefore, all potentially dangerous items and valuables should be hidden, and shoes must be put on the shelf. With proper upbringing, adult dogs lose their passion for property damage.

    Despite the fact that Papillons are a decorative breed of dogs, they need to be walked outside twice a day for at least half an hour. At this time, it is better to actively load the dog, give it time to lose excess energy.

    Many note that despite their natural quick wit, young Papillons do not immediately understand how to go to the toilet correctly. But there is one secret that will help your pet quickly navigate this issue. Lay on the floor in the room where the puppy lives, a large number of diapers. It is desirable that they completely cover the surface of the floor. Then reduce the number of diapers little by little until there is only one left. Another effective method is to put a flap of a diaper in the tray, on which the Papillon used to go to the toilet before. If you caught your pet urinating in the wrong place, then you don’t need to scare him, scream, or, moreover, punish him. Just take your baby to a diaper or tray. After several such cases, he will understand exactly what the owner wants from him.


    Adult dogs of this breed need to shorten the hair on their ears, paws and tail to make it easier for them to move. The pet should be combed once every few days so that the coat does not have time to get tangled. The dog’s teeth should not be left unattended either: they must be cleaned on their own, and also periodically show the pet to the veterinarian.

    The claws need to be trimmed so that the dog can comfortably move along the street without clinging to anything. Representatives of the breed can be taken care of on their own without any problems, but it is important to adhere to the basic rules and not neglect preventive examinations at the veterinarian.

    One of the significant advantages of this dog breed is the lack of undercoat. Therefore, Papillons practically do not shed. Rather, they do it evenly throughout the year. If you comb them regularly, you will hardly notice the wool in the house. Before you start the procedure, be sure to moisturize the long hair of the dog. This can be done with ordinary water or a special conditioner. If you comb dry wool, it will break.

    If you do not want to spend a lot of time caring for your pet, then a groomer’s haircut will make it easier. Most often, papillons are cut off the body, groin area, cut the hair between the fingers. With a little practice, you can do it yourself at home. But if your pet participates in competitions or exhibitions, then it is better to trust the haircut to a professional.

    It is not necessary to bathe the Papillon often, do it as soon as the coat gets dirty. Be sure to use a hair dryer after water procedures. If the dog’s coat dries naturally, it will begin to curl, lose its aesthetic appearance, and it will be much more difficult to comb it.

    If you do not want to constantly wash the Papillon, then you can use special clothes for the street. It doesn’t have to be warm winter overalls. In summer and in the off-season, you can use light raincoats that perfectly protect the coat from rain and dirt. There are even shoes for dogs that protect the paws. Fortunately, Continental Toy Spaniels are clean breeds. They will not climb into a puddle and will not wallow in the mud. Therefore, most often, after a walk, it is enough for them to wash their paws.

    It is better to cut the nails after water procedures, as warm water softens them, and the process is faster and easier. If you are often with the dog on the street, then the claws will grind off on their own. But it will not be superfluous to periodically check their length.

    To brush your Papillon’s teeth, you will need a toothbrush or a special finger attachment. Pasta can be bought at a pet store or veterinary pharmacy. It must be intended for animals, not for people. A good prevention of the appearance of plaque will be dental bones, which gently clean the teeth in the process of chewing. Plus, dogs love them.

    The eyes and ears of dogs are wiped several times a month with a cotton swab dipped in a special lotion.

    How and what to feed

    Papillon dry and wet food is the right choice. Such diets are completely balanced, they have the optimal ratio of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. For different breeds, manufacturers produce different diets, taking into account their characteristics.

    Feed pellets should be small so that they do not injure the papillon’s mouth, and your pet does not choke. For puppies, you can choose canned food, and dry food soak. Feed babies five times a day. Then they move on to four meals a day. By six months, the number of feedings is reduced to three. Adult dogs are given food twice a day. At the same time, most of the daily diet falls on the evening.

    Good quality food should be free of preservatives and flavorings. It must contain natural meat, fish, offal, cereals, herbs and vegetables. After good food from the dog’s mouth, there is no unpleasant smell, it is perfectly digested, improves the appearance of the coat, does not cause allergies or stomach problems.

    The portion can be easily calculated by reading the information on the package. Each manufacturer gives recommendations on the amount of pet food. It is calculated based on the age, activity and weight of the dog.

    Papillons are fed, like other dogs, after a walk. If dry food predominates in the diet, then it is important to provide the dog with round-the-clock access to clean water.

    Never feed dogs from the table. Sweets, smoked, salty and fried foods are strictly prohibited. It causes irreparable harm to the health of the animal.

    papillon health

    Papillon boasts fairly good health. But there are a number of hereditary diseases that this breed is more prone to than others:

  • Poor blood clotting, which is characterized by bleeding from the mucous membranes, as well as internal organs.
  • Urolithiasis disease. Occurs due to the accumulation of salts. The problem can be solved by choosing a special food.
  • Degenerative myelopathy. It is expressed in the loss of mobility of the hind limbs, including the complete immobilization of the animal. Develops in old age.
  • Retinal atrophy, which can lead to partial or complete blindness.
  • allergic reactions. Especially predisposed to them are animals in which white wool predominates in color.
  • The dog must receive all required vaccines in a timely manner. In the warm season, you need to worry about protection from ticks and blood-sucking insects. Once a quarter, papillons are given anthelmintic for prevention.

    History reference

    From French, the name of the breed is literally translated as “butterfly”. Indeed, these dogs look like these beautiful insects because of their ears, which are covered with long hair. The ancestors of this breed were continental toy spaniels, which were simply adored in France and Belgium. During the time of Louis XIV, they were kept at court by almost all noble persons, including the king himself. Historians claim that Henry III loved Papillons so much that he once spent a third of the entire state treasury on the purchase of new pets.

    Dogs reached their peak of popularity in the 16th and 17th centuries. In those days, having such a dog was very fashionable and honorable. They were taken with them, going on a visit, for a walk, a reception or a social event. A lot of portraits have been preserved, where noble people posed as artists with their families and pets. Some dogs were even given as a gift not only individual rooms, but entire palaces. They had their own servants, luxurious furniture, and even golden bowls for food and water.

    At the end of the 19th century, papillons first appeared in the United States, and at the beginning of the twentieth century they came to England. There, breeders began to cross them with Spitz to get a thicker and more beautiful coat in animals. Officially, the breed was recognized in 1923, when it received the appropriate documents in the club of British origin. And twelve years later, this breed was accepted as an independent one in America.

    Who is this breed for?

    Definitely these dogs are not suitable for rude and unrestrained people. They do not tolerate mistreatment and can be overly touchy. Sometimes it’s enough to raise your voice to an animal once to completely lose its trust.

    Papillon will keep you company, even if you live in a small apartment. They are quite energetic, but will be content to walk outside. But if you don’t have time to communicate with a dog, then it’s better not to start a “butterfly”. She needs feedback from her owner. Without enough communication, the dog will be bored and suffer.

    Papillons can be called a universal breed. They get along well with children, participate in outdoor games with them. They will get along with other pets, so this breed can be taken into a family that already has a dog or cat. But, it is desirable that older comrades do not exceed the size of the dog. She is wary of large breeds.

    Despite his sonorous voice, the Papillon will not pester with barking and will not raise a fuss over trifles. But, for this, the dog must be educated and socialized. Therefore, a person who wants to get a continental toy spaniel should take this into account. Papillon is not a couch dog, it needs to pay a lot of attention and effort.

    Famous owners

    Papillons were favorites of the nobility in the Middle Ages. They were adored by Marie Antoinette and Madame Pompadour. They were not less popular among men. These dogs lived at the court of Henry IV and Louis XIII.

    Modern stars also get these cute dogs. So, the famous Hollywood actress Christina Aguilera has dogs named Chewie and Stinky.

    Tips for choosing puppies

    If you want to be sure of the health and purity of the blood of a new family member, then choose trusted breeders and well-known specialized nurseries. They have a lot of experience in breeding the breed. Before picking up a puppy, read the documents for him and his parents. In Russia today there are several alternative cynological organizations. But the metric from the RKF is more valued, after all. You can also study the baby’s veterinary passport. It will be good if you pick up a dog with vaccinations already done according to age.

    Make sure your dog has hearing problems. To do this, clap your hands loudly. If the health of the dog is all right, then he will definitely respond to a sudden loud sound.

    When you are sure that the documents meet your requirements, evaluate the appearance of the papillon. His coat should be shiny, his eyes and ears should be clean. The puppy himself should be interested in everything that happens around him. It is bad if the animal is lethargic, afraid of loud sounds or afraid to approach you. The dog must not be aggressive. Please note that he should not have dewclaws, and there is a brand on the body. A bloated belly may indicate that the dog has problems with the gastrointestinal tract or has helminths.

    In some cases, checking for compliance with breed standards in papillons can be difficult. This is due to the fact that many puppies grow unevenly. In this case, it is better to seek help from a specialist who will help sort out this issue. Or give preference to already grown teenage puppies.

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