Dog Breed Profile

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• High energy level
• High exercise needs
• Very playful
• Very affectionate
• Very friendly towards other dogs
• Very friendly around other pets
• Very friendly around strangers
• Difficult to train
• Great watchdogs
• Not very protective
• Moderate grooming requirements
• Medium tolerance to heat
• Low tolerance to cold


The Papillon makes a wonderful family pet with his gentle, playful and friendly temperament. This happy little dog breed loves to play in the great outdoors, but he is perfectly happy living in an apartment as well. The Papillon is very obedient and responsive to his owner, friendly with pets and other dogs and even strangers.

He’s a dainty animal, and with his sine bones and silhouette of long straight hair, he has an air of elegance that suggests he’s suited to spending his days plumped up on a pillow. Quite the contrary, the Papillon will happily play outside, or romp around the house to get his exercise.

  • Cannot be expected to live outdoors
  • Health conditions that need to be tested for are his knees and eyes
  • Grooming needs include at least twice-weekly brushing
  • The Papillon is a very affectionate and friendly, playful animal that is trainable
  • Has a great relationship with family members, young and old, not very protective but do make great watchdogs
  • The average size of a male is 4 to 9lbs and 8 to 11 inches tall
  • The average size of a female is 4 to 9lbs and 8 to 11 inches tall

Care & Health:

Give your Papillon mental and physical stimulation to accommodate his intelligence and exercise needs. He loves walks and will enthusiastically participate in indoor and outdoor games.

Be sure to brush his coat twice a week to ensure it is healthy and tangle-free.

Major Health Concerns:

– none

Minor Health Concerns:

– PRA, patellar luxation

Test for:

– knees and eyes

Life Span:

– 12 to 15 years

Breed History:

Papillon’s originally had large droopy ears, and were known as dwarf spaniels throughout 16th century Europe. They were the popular breed with nobility, and especially in the court of Louis XIV if France. It’s not known how it happened, but over time their ears developed into the butterfly ears they sport today.

Both the butterfly-eared and droopy-eared types can be born in the same litter today, but the butterfly ear tends to be more popular. The beginning of the 20th century found these dogs popular in dog shows in France then in America and England.

Today the Papillon breed is a popular pet, show dog and competitor in obedience trials.

  • Family history is spitz, spaniel, companion
  • Originally from France
  • First bred in the 1500’s
  • Original purpose was lapdog
  • Today they are used for companions
  • Also known as epagneulnain (phalene is also known as Continental toy spaniel)