Papillon Dog Breed Info

The Papillon is a French dog breed which belongs to the spaniel group of dogs. It is a small, but very lively breed of dog which makes for a great companion and an ultimate pet for a family. Actually, the Papillion is the oldest breed from the spaniel group. Its name is directly translated to French as “butterfly,” and it is because of the appearance of its ears and the way they are positioned. The Papillon is also called a Continental Toy Spaniel and the ones which have slanted ears are referred to as Phalene, which translates as moth in French.

History & Origins

The Papillon breed dates back to the 16th century. Its early depiction was caught in art, mostly in paintings, where we can see these dogs accompanying their royal masters. This breed was used as a companion dog by many Kings and Queens and the earliest trace was back in Italy. They soon spread and were used in the same manner in England, France and Belgium.


Papillon Female Dog

Before Louis XIV, the breed usually have slanted ears and had different color. But the breed was modified in the 17th century and was given a characteristic closer to the one that we see today. Probably the biggest difference from the early breeds was that they all used to be solid colored, without any patches. As you can see this is the way the breed developed along the years. The dogs also had other names during centuries and some of them are still used. So they are also known as Epagneul Nain (dwarf spaniel), Dwarf Continental Spaniels, Little Squirrel Dogs and Belgian Toy Spaniels.

Papillon Characteristics & Temperament

Like any other small dog, the Papillon is an active breed. This means that they are lively and very friendly dog. But they also like to be adventurous. They have a lot of energy and like running around as they need to expend it. They mostly do that by playing with their owners. Generally they are not aggressive, but can be when antagonized. This is probably the reason why you shouldn’t keep it around really small kids, but older ones are quite okay.


Papillon Puppy

Training a Papillon is not hard once you know what to do. Experienced trainers will tell you that you simply have to give dog as much as attention as you can and provide it with sociable stimulation. If you don’t, the dog can get bored and develop a destructive nature. Sometimes they can be aggressive towards other pets and even people. But generally they are shy around new people while they are very friendly around their owner.

Appearance, Colors, Size

The appearance of Papillon dogs is quite characteristic. They are defined by their large and well fringed ears which look like a butterfly. These dogs are particolor and are predominantly white with patches of other colors like brown and black added. The dogs usually have a blaze or a headband on a single colored head and it is how these dogs are defined. Some even come with nose bands as well. Eye rims and mouth rims are always black. The paw color varies from dog to dog and they are either pink or black.


Five years old Papillon Male Dog

The Papillon dogs are very small in size and can grow to be somewhere between 8 and 11 inches for males and females usually grow to same size. Males are a bit heavier when it comes to weight, they come between 8 and 10 pounds while females are between 7 and 9 pounds.

Papillon Health

A Papillon will live up to 17 years. They have the same characteristics and a similar lifespan like any other small dog breed. They can live for a very long time when compared to some larger breeds but also have certain health issues which you might have to address. If you decide to own a Papillon, you might have to be aware of certain conditions like

Grooming & Shedding



Papillon One week old Papillon Puppies

Papillon Price and Breeders

The price for getting a Papillon puppy can range by a great margin. It is best to find a reputable breeder who has experience and who is capable of offering you a good offer. This means that you can pay as low as 500 dollars for a puppy or go as high as 1,500 dollars, depending on the background of the dog.


Nowadays it could be hard to find a cheap solution for getting a Papillon. But there are ways for people to do that without dealing with expenditure that they did not plan. Rescue groups exist in various places of the world and will provide you with a way to find a perfect pet for you. You can adopt a Papillon from one of these groups, Papillon Club of America, Papillon Haven Rescue and Papillon 911 Rescue and Adoption.