Other names:
  • Butterfly Dog
  • Continental Spaniel
Country/Date of origin:
  • Belgium
  • 1500′s
  • 8 to 11 inches
  • 8 to 10 pounds
  • Loves to be pampered.
  • Bright and active.
  • Gets along well with other pets and loves to be around people.
  • Craves companionship.
  • Can be assertive if it is threatened or stressed.
  • Very protective, and because of its tendency to bark an alarm, is a good watchdog.

Ladies of the French and Italian courts fancied the little spaniels, which were originally drop eared (see Phalene).  Both Marie Antoinette and Madame de Pompadour helped to make the breed fashionable.  The dwarf spaniels were carried to England and then to the United States.  The breed was accepted into the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1935.

Body Type:
  • A miniature spaniel, whose appearance is said to resemble a butterfly.
  • The erect ears are not altered.
  • The plume of a tail, carried jauntily across the back, is not altered.
  • Long, silky, single coat.
  • Hair is exceptionally long on the tail and chest.
  • Must be primarily white but has to have patches of color covering the ears and eyes.
  • Additional patches of color on the body are allowed.
  • Moderate grooming.
Health and Wellness:
  • Congenital deafness.
  • Patella luxation.
  • Periodontal disease.
What you should know:
  • Papillon means butterfly in French.
  • The fringed ears and face markings are supposed to resemble a butterfly; and, the bouncing, flitting gait of the dogs reinforces the resemblance.
  • Phalenes and Papillons may be born in the same litter.
  • Dainty and clean.
  • Easily housebroken.
  • Requires little exercise.
  • Recommended for apartment living or for older people.
  • The Papillon’s original use was as a ladies companion.
  • It has never had any job other than to grace the home and heart.
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