Papillon At a Glance

Country of Origin:


Breed Group:

AKC (Toy); ANKC (Toys); CKC (Toys); FCI (Companion and Toy); KC (Toy); UKC (Companion)


Small. Weight: Males 5.5–10 lbs; Females 5.5–11 lbs Height: 8–11 inches


Straight, fine, and silky.


Particolor (White with patches of any color); Particolor with patches of any color except Liver; Also Tricolor (Black and White with Tan spots)

Life Span:

13 to 16 years

Breed Profile

Affection Level
Barking Tendencies
Cat Friendly
Cold Weather Tolerance
Exercise Needs
General Health
Grooming Needs
Hot Weather Tolerance
Kid Friendly
Shedding Level
Social Needs
Watchdog Ability

Did You Know?

Papillons come in two varieties: one with "butterfly ears" and one with "Phalene ears".

Papillon Overview

The Papillon is a descendant from the Continental Toy Spaniel, a breed that was popular among European royalty. The breed is a lap-dog through and through, and loyal companion to its family. The breed is intelligent and does well in obedience and agility, or even as a therapy or hearing ear dog.


Papillon Characteristics

The most noted characteristic of this breed is the large ears with extensive feathering. In fact, Papillon means “butterfly” in French, due to the butterfly-like quality of their ears. This gives them a sweet and royal look. The breed is smart, friendly and loyal to his family.


Papillon Temperament

This dog breed should be socialized extensively to keep them friendly and confident. They are an energetic breed and eager to please and follow their families. While not overly talkative, they can bark to alert their families to anything new. They are versatile and hardy despite their small size.

Belgian Shepherd Tervuren


Papillon Care

They live on average 13 to 16 years, typical for a small breed dog. Issues include patellar luxation. The key to a long and happy life for this breed includes good veterinary and preventive care as well as careful breeding.


Papillon Coat

There is no undercoat on this dog, unlike other breeds. This leads to minimal shedding, however, the breed will shed their outer coat seasonally. The coat, including the ears, should also be regularly brushed to prevent knots and mats from forming. Toes and tail may need trimming, but the ears should never be trimmed or they may not re-feather properly.


Papillon Training

They are easy to train and will pick up on any task the owner gives it. However, they should be kept occupied with training sessions or activities, or else they may begin to train their owner instead. They do well in any activity given to them and are happy pleasing their owner.


Papillon Activity

They can easily train their owners to coddle them, leading to potential obesity. Despite his small size, he should be regularly exercised and allowed to run around on his own paws. Daily activities with the family or hobbies such as agility are enough to keep him in shape.

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