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 Photo of Papillon
Photo: By Jill Terry

Papillon Books

Group: Toy - Breed Standard


The Papillon, little butterfly dog, so named for the beautiful large, mobile ears with their long feathering, and the lesser known Phalene, the drop eared variety named after the moth, are believed to be descendants of the Continental Toy Spaniel. Although "Spaniel" means "dog of Spain", and it is believed that the breed originated in Spain but was then developed in France, hence the names.


Height 20-28 cms (8-11 ins). Dog will appear slightly longer than high when properly furnished with ruff and hind fringes.

A small, dainty, lively little dog, with an abundant, fine, silky coat. Height is between 8 and 11 inches. There are two distinctive types - Papillon (butterfly) and Phalene (moth). The ears are large with long fringes, in the Papillon they are erect and mobile, while in the Phalene they are dropped. Their tail is carried arched over the back, like the handle of a jug, with long fringing falling to the side to form a plume. Colouring is white with patches of any colour, except liver. Head markings should be symmetrical with a good white blaze and nose band.


They are an extremely lively little dog, being friendly and outgoing to everybody they meet, always expecting a game or a
cuddle! A very gentle little dog, making a perfect companion.

Breed Health

The Papillon is generally a healthy little breed, although, like many toy breeds, they can suffer from patella luxation and PRA has been noted in overseas countries.

Breed Care

With their long flowing coat, they obviously require regular grooming to ensure the coat does not become matted. The only trimming which is done is the hair between the toes which can become quite long.


As a toy dog they don't require a lot of exercise. However they are extremely lively and will enjoy a good walk. Plenty of games in the garden help to keep them amused.


Papillons are willing to please, but equally need a lot of patience to train as they can quickly become distracted! They do not react well to harsh training methods, but will respond to lavish praise and rewards. Like many toy breeds, they can be difficult to housetrain and require time and patience. See our books on training

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Last link added: 07 Apr, 2008