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The Papillon dog gets its name from its very distinctive ears. It comes from the French word for butterfly. It is also known as the Continental Toy Spaniel and a Squirrel Spaniel. It is grouped in the Spaniel type. It is one of the most ancient toy Spaniels. There are also some Papillons which have dropped ears and they are called Phalene (moth in French). The story of the Papillon can be traced through art. The dog was first seen in Italy. Tiziano Vicelli painted the dog in paints around the 1500, specifically in the Venus of Urbino in 1542. This breed was most popular in Belgium, France and England. This dog has long been connected to Royalty, there is even a story that Marie Antoinette walked to the guillotine with a Papillon under her arm. It could be that this is merely a shaggy dog tail.


This type of dog comes in various different colours but they are all combine with white. Its ears are easily its most distinctive feature. The coat of the Papillon is fine fur with a single layer. Their teeth meet in a scissor life bite. A mask of color which is not normally white can be found on this dogs visage. These dogs are generally between 20 to 28 cm to the withers and weigh between 3 to 5 kilos.


This is a happy friendly breed, it is graceful. It has a moderate temperament. These dogs tend to not yap. They work well with other pets including cats as long as they have been appropriately socialized. This breed can be a little tricky to house train. This dog can suffer from small dog syndrome, so strong leadership is required. If not given then this dog can get very growly and display other negative traits. Given that this dog tends to love yapping it may not be appropriate for apartment life unless the apartment is well insulated from noise. They do not make for very good watch dogs because they tend to bark incessantly at anything.

Grooming and care

The Papillon has an abundant coat and no undercoat. The ears have a good fringe. The tail is generally covered with a flowing plume.


These dogs can live up to 16 years of age. They tend to have problems with their kneecaps. If this does arise it may be correct by surgery. These dogs are also prone to fontanel which may correct itself, but if it does not then great care must be taken with the dogs head so that no brain damage occurs.