breed
breed

Papillon

avatarAlanna Mallory, BS, LVT, VTS (SAIM)

Height8 - 11"
Weight7 - 10 lbs
TypeToy
Life Expectancy12 - 15 years
Area of OriginSpain

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

The Papillon is an outgoing, friendly toy breed that is well known for its magnificent ears. Their name is inspired by these amazing appendages, since Papillon translates to "butterfly" in French, which is an adequate representation of their appearance. Ancestors of the Papillon have been a favorite lapdog in Europe since at least the 13th century. The breed has appeared in several portraits by famous painters, including Goya, Rembrandt, Fragonard, Watteau, Boucher, Rubens, and Titian. They are happy, tiny dogs that enjoy being around people. Papillons are as intelligent as they are beautiful, and are a pleasure to train for play and competition. The breed can withstand both hot and cold temperatures alike, and are capable of thriving in country or urban settings, due to their intellect and small size. Their luxurious haircoat requires frequent brushing, but is otherwise easily maintained. Because of their outgoing and non-aggressive temperament, they make great family companions.

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

Where Are Papillons From?

The Papillon is thought to have derived from a Dwarf Spaniel, specifically the Phalene, which is similar in appearance aside from its drop ears. They have been widely popular lapdogs in Europe for centuries. The breed originated in Spain and has been traded among royalty since then. The largest trade market was credited to a man from Bologna named Giovanni Filipponi. They were an expensive breed that made their way to France via King Louis XIV’s court. Louis the Great’s Papillons possessed drooping ears, but over time, the breed developed erect, butterfly ears. It was around this time that acquired their title. Both Madame de Pompadour and Marie Antionette had them as pets, as well as many other noblewomen. The Papillon eventually made its way to England in 1901 and arrived years later in the United States. They were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1915.

Where Are Papillons From?

The Papillon is thought to have derived from a Dwarf Spaniel, specifically the Phalene, which is similar in appearance aside from its drop ears. They have been widely popular lapdogs in Europe for centuries. The breed originated in Spain and has been traded among royalty since then. The largest trade market was credited to a man from Bologna named Giovanni Filipponi. They were an expensive breed that made their way to France via King Louis XIV’s court. Louis the Great’s Papillons possessed drooping ears, but over time, the breed developed erect, butterfly ears. It was around this time that acquired their title. Both Madame de Pompadour and Marie Antionette had them as pets, as well as many other noblewomen. The Papillon eventually made its way to England in 1901 and arrived years later in the United States. They were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1915.

Care

What Kind of Diet Does a Papillon Need?

The Papillon should be fed a high-quality, age-appropriate diet. As with any breed, they can become overweight if overfed. Monitoring their food intake carefully will help prevent obesity. Maintaining a healthy weight will help keep their delicate legs healthy as well.

Caring for a Papillon

What Kind of Diet Does a Papillon Need?

How Much Grooming Does a Papillon Need?

Are Papillons Healthy Dogs?

How Much Training Does a Papillon Need?

How Much Exercise Does a Papillon Need?

What Kind of Diet Does a Papillon Need?

The Papillon should be fed a high-quality, age-appropriate diet. As with any breed, they can become overweight if overfed. Monitoring their food intake carefully will help prevent obesity. Maintaining a healthy weight will help keep their delicate legs healthy as well.

What Are the Physical Characteristics of a Papillon?

Papillons are a tiny, yet sturdy, breed with a long, silky haircoat. Their spectacular butterfly ears are a signature characteristic. They are elegant, confident-looking dogs, whose gait is effortless and graceful. They stand between 8 and 11 inches tall.

The Papillon head is small with a narrow muzzle and tiny, black nose. Their eyes are alert and black rimmed. The ears are well-fringed and erect like a butterfly’s wings or dropped.

The Papillon body is dainty, but surprisingly strong. The chest and neck are medium in size, with a well-defined waist.

Yes, Papillons have a tail. It is long, feathered, and curved over the back.

The forequarters of the Papillon are comprised of relaxed shoulders and delicate forelimbs, allowing for graceful strides. The toes are long, thin, and may have dewclaws.

Papillons are mostly white in color, featuring patches of red, black, or lemon. Their haircoat is long and silky on the body, but shorter on the head, forelimbs, and hindlimbs.

The hindquarters are equally aligned with the forequarters, featuring thin, parallel limbs and long toes.

Papillon Facts

1

Madame de Pompadour, an infamous member of Louis XV's court, owned two Papillons named Inez and Mimi.

2

Marie Antoinette's Papillon, Thisbie, reportedly waited outside of her prison cell while she awaited execution.

3

Many noble ladies owned Papillons and demanded the elegant breed be included in their portraits.

Other Breeds to Explore

Choosing a Japanese Chin
Chihuahua
Choosing a Toy Fox Terrier

References

  • American Kennel Club. The Complete Dog Book. Random House Digital, Inc., 2006.
  • Morris, Desmond. Dogs: The Ultimate Dictionary of Over 1,000 Dog Breeds. Trafalgar Square, 2002.
  • Wilcox, Bonnie and Chris Walkowicz. The Atlas of Dog Breeds of the World. T.F.H Publications, Inc., 1995.
  • Papillon Dog Breed Information. American Kennel Club, 2020

Get the best of PetPlace straight to your inbox.

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.