Breed Basic Information
- Lifespan: 12 - 15 years
- Height: 8 - 11 inches
- Weight: 4 - 9 pounds
Medical Conditions Seen
- Chronic Valvular Disease
- Patellar Luxation
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Von Willebrand's Disease
- Joggin Partner
- Lap Dog
- Good with Children
- Warm Weather
- Cold Weather
- Grooming Requirements
- Ease of Training
- The papillon's ancestors were spaniels that were developed at least by the 1300s to flush birds into nets or to waiting falcons.
- Some smaller spaniels were probably bred with Oriental toy dogs such as the Japanese chin to create a lapdog version of the spaniel.
- These dwarf spaniels were used to serve as lap and foot warmers, surrogate hot water bottles, and for companionship. They became extremely popular throughout Europe by the 1500s.
- The Court of Louis XIV of France was especially fond of dwarf spaniels, and played a role in developing the French version.
- Most of these dogs had drop ears, but the erect ears appeared soon after. Even today, both types can be found in the same litter.
- Papillon means butterfly in French, referring to the general outline of the face and ears. The drop-eared type is known as the phalene, which means moth, again referring to the look of its face and ears.
- In Europe the phalene is known as a separate breed, the continental toy spaniel.
- By 1900, papillons were popular show dogs in Europe and had made their way to America.
- The AKC recognized the papillon in 1915.
- Makes a loving and entertaining companion.
- Extremely good with children. Children must be careful around such a small dog, however.
- Very affectionate.
- Makes a good lapdog as well as fun playmate.
- Sensitive; some can be timid.
- Eager to please and quick to learn.
- Does best with reward-based training involving food and games.
- Outgoing toward strangers.
- Gets along well with other pets and dogs.
- Enjoys retrieving.
- One of the best toy dogs in the sports of obedience and agility. Also excel as therapy dogs.
Suggested Excercise Needs
- Makes a calm but alert housedog.
- Requires daily exercise in the form of a short walk or energetic games.
- Its exercise needs can be met by indoor games, but it needs the chance to get outside and sniff new smells and see new sights every day.
- Many papillons have been trained to use indoor potty systems.
- A good candidate for dog parks, but should be kept separate from larger dogs.
- Obedience training provides mental exercise.
- Coat is long, silky, and straight.
- The coat needs brushing and combing twice a week.
- Shedding is average.
Suggested Nutritional Needs
- Papillons tend to stay in good weight.
- Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight. Remember, it does not take much food to feed such a small dog, and small snacks can easily add too many calories.
- Papillon puppies should be fed often to prevent hypoglycemia, a serious condition to which very small puppies are prone. Frequent small meals of high protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates may help guard against this condition.
Did you know?
- Grapes and raisins are harmful to dogs.
- Some dog parasites are transferable to humans.
- Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your dog.
Come visit us, we would love to see you!
We are here to help! Book an appointment today to continue your pet on a path to great health and wellness
Ask the Vet
Have unanswered pet health questions? Dr.Donna Spector, with 10+ years of hands-on Internal Medicine experience, is here with your answers every Friday.