The Papillon is a petite toy dog breed from the spaniel grouping, and is one of the oldest recognised toy spaniel breeds in the world. The word “Papillon” is the French word for “butterfly,” and the breed is so named due to the long, fringed hair of their ears, which is said to resemble the wings of a butterfly. The ears of the breed are generally pointed, but they can also be found in a drooped variant, which is known as the Papillon Phalene, which is the French word for “moth.”
Petite, intelligent and affectionate, the Papillon is one of the most popular small or toy dog breeds within the UK, and is popular among owners who wish to own an intelligent, bold and loving lapdog breed. If you are wondering if the Papillon is the right choice of dog for you, in this article we will cover some of the main traits of the breed and some of the most frequently asked questions about the breed in more detail. Read on to learn more.
Considering their small size and delicate build, the Papillon is a bold, self-assured dog that has bags of confidence and high levels of intelligence too. They are sociable and enjoy the company of people, but can be slightly shy around new people and strangers.
They are popular across the world as lapdogs and companion dogs, and like to go out for short bursts of energetic running around and play, as well as being happy cuddled up in the lap of their favourite person. They are bright, entertaining and fun loving little dogs that tend to be happy and have open, bright personalities, and inquisitive natures. It is also worth noting that the Papillon, despite their small size, makes for an excellent watchdog, and will soon bark and make a fuss to alert their owners of the signs of anyone approaching!
Compared to most other lapdog breeds of a similar size, the Papillon requires rather more exercise than most other breeds of dog. They like to spend plenty of time outside and on the go, and are always ready for a walk or a game!
They enjoy off the lead play and games of catch as well as walking to heel, but are not well suited to rough games, due to their delicate builds.
As a bright, intelligent dog that likes to get out there and keep busy, the Papillon is more than capable of learning new skills and retaining a reasonably wide range of training commands, but they are also relatively easily bored and can be prone to stubbornness! They do not take well to repetitive or dull training, and will soon make their own entertainment if they feel that you are not doing enough to keep them occupied!
Short, fun ongoing training sessions with plenty of positive reinforcement is the best way to ensure the obedience and ongoing development of the Papillon dog.
The Papillon coat is single layered and fine, and requires grooming or brushing a couple of times per week to keep it in good condition. However, they are not classed as a challenging dog to groom, and their coats are not prone to becoming matted up or messy.
Their fur is rather thin and light, and so they are apt to feel the cold during the winter, and may need coats and jumpers for walks when the weather is cold.
The Papillon requires adequate early socialisation to learn how to play nicely with other pets, and once this is achieved, they will normally be more than happy to share their home with dogs, and play with other dogs at the dog park. They can also live happily with cats as a general rule, but due to their small size and delicate builds, can easily become scratched or injured by a quick swipe from the paw of the cat!
If incorrectly socialised, the Papillon may be distrustful and even demonstrate defensive aggression to other dogs, and so care should be taken to ensure that they have plenty of chances to play with other dogs when young.
Papillon dogsare small, delicately built little dogs, which can easily become injured or scared by play with rambunctious children, and so they are best suited to life with mature people or families with older children that know how to behave around a small dog, and will take care not to hurt it.
They can settle into most living conditions including large and small homes and apartments, providing that they can get enough exercise and have a reasonable enclosed garden to run around in.