Breed Profile: Papillon

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The Papillon originated in France, where it was named for its signature ears - Papillon means "butterfly" in French (though not all will have erect ears). The breed was once known as a dwarf spaniel and may date back as far as the 13th century. Papillons gained popularity in Spain and Italy over time, where they were often depicted in classic paintings. Papillons were brought to the US in the late 19th century.

The breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1935.


6-10 pounds


White with markings of color - usually red, sable, black or lemon

Health Problems:

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to develop hereditary conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:

About the Breed:

The Papillon is a petite yet hardy little dog with an alert, active and friendly demeanor. Though named for the butterfly-like appearance of its erect ears, the breed can also be seen in a "drop-eared" variety. The ears are a matter of personal preference, so they are not considered a fault or defect if dropped.

The Papillon has a long, fine, silky hair coat that requires moderate grooming - specifically hair brushing 2-3 times a week.

However, the hair does not grow continuously, so the breed should not need haircuts.

Like many small dogs, the Papillon may have a feisty and stubborn streak. However, the breed is quite smart and should learn well if you are diligent. Consistent obedience training is a must. Papillons are also energetic and driven, so routine exercise is highly recommended.

Papillons make excellent companions for many types of households. Though they can get along well with kids, families with gentle children are preferred - the breed can easy be injured. Papillons are delightful little dogs that make great part-time lap dogs and part-time exercise buddies.

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