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The Papillon Shop

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Papillon Breed Summary

Sociable, Intelligent, Alert, Affectionate and Playful

These little dogs have a spaniel-type appearance meaning they are often referred to as 'continental toy spaniels'! Paired with their charming personalities and affectionate ways, they are a very popular breed across a fair few parts of the world.

Both France and Belgium claim that this breed belongs to them and in fact, both are listed as being the native home of the Papillon however, it remains a mystery as to where they are actually from.

Fun Fact: These dogs are ranked 8th out of 79 other breeds in terms of intelligence!

Kennel Club Group Toy
Lifespan 13 - 15 Years
Height (at the withers) Males and Females 8in - 11in
Weight Males and Females 5lb - 10lb
Coat Single Coat that's Long, Fine and Very Silky to the touch
Color Black & White, Dark Red & White, Dark Red Sable & White, Dark Sable & White, Dark Shaded Sable & White, Lemon & White, Lemon Sable & White, Pale Red & White, Pale Red Sable & White, Red & White, Red Sable & White, Sable & White, Silver & White, Silver Sable & White, Tricolor
Eye color Dark
Common health issues Congenital deafness, Progressive retinal atrophy, Von Willebrand’s disease, Patellar luxation, Black hair folliculitis, Cataracts, Entropion, Mitral valve disease, Micropapilla, Intervertebral disc disease, Allergies, Dental problems, Seizures, Broken bones
Other Names Pap, Butterfly Dog, Squirrel Dog

These sweet little dogs are known for their outgoing and sociable natures. They are very smart meaning training is fairly easy however, their knowledge does mean that they are very good at getting their own way. They need lots of socialization and training to stop them from developing any bad behaviors! These dogs will always alert their owners to anything unusual and although not aggressive, they make lovely little watchdogs. They are perfect dogs for first time owners as they are so eager to please and are a general pleasure to be around.

Papillons were originally bred as charming and attentive companions for noblewomen, and for hundreds of years these enchanting lap warmers were great favorites in the royal courts of Europe. They appear in many portraits of long-ago queens and princesses painted by Europe’s most renowned artists. Rubens, Rembrandt, Goya, and Toulouse-Lautrec are among the masters who included Papillons in their paintings.

Paps were developed in Renaissance times by crossing existing toy breeds with spaniels (the breed’s early ancestors were known as “dwarf spaniels”) in keeping with the era’s mania among nobles for miniaturized versions of their favorite breeds. The sporting-spaniel blood in the Pap’s background might explain why these dainty dynamos are among the more athletic and biddable toy dogs in the canine kingdom. With admirers like Madame de Pompadour, Louis XIV, and Marie Antoinette (whose Pap, named Thisbe, stood faithfully outside the prison where the hapless queen awaited beheading), the breed’s French connection is strong. But it was in the early breeding centers of Italy and Spain that Paps were refined and popularized. The AKC registered its first Papillon in 1915.