The Papillon dog is just as French and adorable as the name suggests! Find out why we love this continental toy spaniel in our short guide…

The Papillon Breed History

The Papillon dog breed first became popular in the Middle Ages! Those glorious European Renaissance paintings often feature a proud Papillon breed. From Madame de Pompadour to Christina Aguilera (both Papillon dog owners!) the butterfly dog remains a very popular pet.

Butterfly in French! Here’s Why the Papillion Is Called the Butterfly Dog

It’s all in the ears! The perky, large ears with beautiful silky fur look just like butterfly wings. There is a Papillon dog with droopy ears, called the Phalene Papillon. Both the butterfly ears and Papillon Phalene dog are accepted by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

4 Facts You Have to Know About the Papillon Dog

  1. While the Papillon dog can act like a tough guy, they are actually fragile like real butterflies! Stepping on the toy dog can kill them.
  2. The Papillon dog breed is also sensitive to touch, so although they’re very affectionate they’re not fond of cuddles! Teach your children to be gentle with this small dog.
  3. Papillon is one of the toy breeds accepted by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and Federation Cynologique Internationale. As a Papillon dog owner, you can join the Papillon Club of America too!
  4. The Papillon breed is ideal for entering competitions. Their impressive ears and coat always win the prettiest breed and their fast, agile nature makes them ideal for running courses!

Appearance and Personality of The Silky Haired Papillons

The Papillon dog is a toy breed. It’s very small, reaching only 11 inches when fully grown (about the same as the silky Biewer Terrier) and weighs 10lb at most.

Their coats are predominantly white, with caramel shades in the fabulous fur around their ears and face. Their tails are extravagant feather dusters while their ears sprout very long, adorable fur to frame their tiny faces.

Temperament of The Papillons

The Papillon breed is a small dog with a big voice. They can get too bossy when not properly trained, and bark at strangers and loud noises. However, they are very kind at heart and so friendly! They are the perfect dog to coexist with existing pets including cats and are great for families with small children.

There Are Many Cute Papillon Mixes

No matter the breeding, you’re never going to end up with an Entlebucher Mountain dog size pooch! The Papillon hybrid breeds always inherit that small dog, cute look.

The Chion AKA Papillon Chihuahua Mix

The Chion brings that toy spaniel look to the Chihuahua temperament! They are brave and alert but slim in appearance and require less grooming than the Papillon dog.

The Paperanian AKA Papillon Pomeranian Mix

The equally tiny Paperanian breed is much fluffier, coming from two furry pets. Fortunately, they are low shedding!

Papillon Dog’s Life Expectancy

From Papillon puppy to Papillon retiree, the lifespan can reach 16 years. This is longer than many Terrier breeds, including the Bull Terrier at 14 years and Fox Terrier at 15 years. With plenty of exercise and quality dog food, they may surpass this!

Papillon Dogs Exercise Needs!

You can kiss your lazy Sundays’ goodbye. The Papillon breed needs a lot of exercises.

They won’t sit still for long, they’re always chasing you around the house and setting new lap records around the couch. You need to take them out for a walk every day – giving them access to an enclosed yard is also essential. These dogs are not suited to small apartments!

Papillon Puppies Can Be Shy at First!

The Papillon breed can be very shy, but instead of coddling them, train them up instead! If you lead them to believe they are boss, they will be misbehaved, loud and even anxious as a fully grown dog. Careful training, rewards for good behavior, and leading by example is the best way to train your Papillon puppy.

They are very obedient dogs, so once you’ve got the basics out of the way there’s plenty of opportunities to train them up for competitions.

They’re Not Cheap! Papillon Puppy Price

The price of a Papillon depends on the Papillon breeder and the location. An American Kennel Club (AKC) and Papillon Club of America recommended breeder selling competition ready pets can charge around $1500. A reputable, trusted dog breeder will be around $700.

To compare, you can find a Chinese Shar-Pei for around $1000 and Cocker Spaniel for around $800.

Papillon Puppies for Sale!

Always find the history of the Papillon puppy you’re buying. Their temperament is dictated by the parents. Most dog breeders will keep the puppies until they’re 3 months old before selling them, to ensure their mum can teach them properly.

Papillon Rescue

Dog rescue pups are not going to be the easiest to train. However, if any dog is deserving of a loving, caring home, it is a rescue Papillon. They will be overly anxious, loud, even aggressive but training them can be very rewarding and the bond you develop with your Papillon dog will be unbreakable.

5 Tips for First Time Papillon Dog Owners

  1. Be thorough with grooming. The ears can tangle very easily, so you need to carefully brush these regularly to keep their coat soft and silky.
  2. Don’t let them off the lead! Due to their very small, fast nature, larger dogs can mistake them for prey.
  3. The Papillon dog can develop patellar luxation and infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy. A luxating patella means dislocated kneecap, and infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy is where the nervous system degenerates. This is a genetic condition that you should ask the Papillon breeders to test for.
  4. The Papillon is also called the continental toy spaniel, but Papillon is more well known. Refer to your pup as a Papillon and everyone will instantly know what kind of dog you have.
  5. The flat-coated retriever is a much larger dog also with Spaniel heritage. If you want a less delicate dog, this could be a better breed for you.

The Butterfly Dog Is Truly an Energetic Goof-Ball, That Will Entertain You All Day!

From the moment you wake up, to the moment you fall asleep exhausted, the Papillon breed will be there spreading happy, energetic vibes. Always entertaining and impossible not to love, the Papillon toy Spaniel is the ultimate toy family dog.

J’aime mon Papillon!

Not quite a cocker spaniel and no way near a bull terrier, the Papillon holds its own. Bring some butterfly joy into your home with this perfect pet!