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The Papillion is renowned as one of the world’s oldest dog breeds and it’s believed that they have been around in Europe for the past seven hundred years. Their history is known through historic paintings that have been discovered, which also indicate that the breed was prominent in Italy through the Renaissance. The breed was also known as a “dwarf spaniel” many years ago although today’s label of the Papillion is the only name it is now referenced as. This translates to “butterfly” in French, which is probably related to the shape of the dog’s ears. Another interesting fact about this breed surrounds the Phalene – a breed of dog that shares the exact same features of the Papillion apart from the ears. In the AKC these dogs are treated the same, but in other clubs they are seen as completely separate breeds.

In terms of appearance, the Papillion can only be described as tiny. Both dogs and bitches seem to be around the same size with the height being between eight and eleven inches while the weight is around seven to ten pounds. Unlike the Phalene, which as stated above can be classed as the same dog, the Papillion has erect ears which are shaped like a butterfly. They have just a single coat which is both straight and fine and flourishes at the bottom. This coat is known to usually come in white, with varied patches of other colors accompanying this. For their size, the Papillion possess long tails which curl over the back of the body and are extremely fluffy. Another feature worth mentioning is their small muzzle and nose, which contribute to create an extremely innocent looking and adorable face.

While the Papillion can be used as a watchdog and entertainer, the breed has been mainly used as a companion over the years and that means they make very good family pets. Like all small dogs, there is always a minor risk with children but should training be successful – they should get along fine. With other pets, they are generally perfectly fine if they are brought up together from a young age. In terms of personality traits, the Papillion is playful, entertaining, affectionate and gentle. They require plenty of exercise and love and for these reasons; they make a brilliant pet for a lot of owners. They require strong training from the start though and if an owner fails to do this they should expect a lot of future problems from their dog.

The activeness of this breed means that a household with a yard is recommended, although a daily walk should just about be sufficient. In terms of health concerns there are quite a few to name and the Papillion can suffer from knee, heart, eye and liver problems to name a few. Epilepsy and anemia are another two issues that are commonly reported although despite this vast list of possible concerns, the breed surprisingly has a long life expectancy and most live between fifteen and eighteen years.


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