Toy Dog Breeds
Papillon dogs are lively, charming and very dainty small breeds of dog that are thought by some to have extra-sensory
perception. They are easily recognized by their distinctive ears, which stand straight up
and resemble butterfly wings - hence its French name which means Butterfly.
A variation of the Papillion dog breed is the Phalene, which has dropped ears - and whose name refers to a moth which folds
its wings at rest.
Although there is considerable debate about its country of origin, the ancestors of the Papillon dog are believed
to include several varieties of toy spaniels. Some sources claim a
dwarf Spanish spaniel as the primary ancestor, while others point to the the Epagneul Nain of Belgium.
This breed was very popular with the French aristocrasy at the time of Marie Antoinette
who, it is said, enjoyed owning one of them. Their likeness has also often been captured in paintings by
many famous artists dating back to the 15th Century.
While Papillon dogs are generally considered to be a very healthy breed and live a
relatively long life, in some cases up to seventeen years, there are a few health
concerns associated with this toy dog.
One of the top issues has to do with dental related problems. As to be expected, the
Papillon's teeth are small as are the roots. Small teeth and small jaw bones seem to
coincide with greater tooth loss in toy dogs, if and when the pet should develop a
gum disease such as gingivitis.
While preventative dental care, including regular
brushing and tartar removal is necessary for all dogs, it is of even greater
importance for this little dog. In addition to tooth loss, oral problems can lead
to infections and in turn to other significant diseases affecting the major organs.
Another condition that occurs more commonly is Luxating Patella, or slipped kneecap
in the rear legs, which is believed to be a genetic issue. Of course, this delicate
boned dog is also more prone to broken bones, so care should be taken to protect him
from activities that may increase the risk for injury.
A potential issue for the breed is Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which can cause
blindness. Those interested in acquiring a Papillon puppy would want to ask about
the health history of the parents with respect to eye conditions and to make sure
that the have been certified to be clear of this disease.
In addition to the issues mentioned, anaesthesia can be more troublesome for this
Personality and Traits: Papillon dogs form a close bond with their human family and are very
affectionate. They are often referred to as velcro dogs because they like to follow owners around the
house, getting in the middle of everything.
They make excellent companion dogs and are quite
protective - this means they also can be barkers. Early training is needed to help them differentiate between acceptable barking and
These small breeds of dog are hardy, agile and smart and are a good choice if you are interested in
training them for competitive obedience, or agility in which they hold their own.
Appearance, Coat and Care Height: 8-11 inches
Weight: 8-10 pounds
The Papillon dog is delicate in
structure with slender legs, a small rounded skull with eyes appearing on the large size, and a pointed
The coat color is predominantly white with
patches of black or brown. This breed is very clean and self-grooming. Shedding is about average and
although the coat is long and silky, it doesn't require a great deal of grooming - just a couple of
brushings a week.
Activity Level The Papillon dog is an ever curious pet, very active and playful around
the house. As such, it doesn't require a lot of additional exercise, but a daily walk is always enjoyed
and recommended to benefit the health of mind and body.
Space Needs This breed is better suited to living in a house as they do tend to sound
the alarm in response to unfamiliar noises, which might be unpopular in an apartment setting. Aside
from giving consideration to this trait, they do not require a lot of space, although a yard is always
useful for play and other obvious necessities.
Children This little dog does best in families with older children who are very
considerate of pets and gentle with them. It is not recommended to be around small children, especially as
puppies, because they are very delicate at this stage and could be easily injured during playful
ElderlyElderly or more sedentary owners will enjoy this delightful and
undemanding breed. Papillon dogs are attentive and loving and have frequently been used in therapy situations.
However it should be kept in mind that while they don't require huge amounts of exercise, they should not be kept
housebound and do need get out for walks.
Fun Stuff for Small dogs:
Small Dog, Big Life: Memoirs of a Furry Genius
Read this hilarious book as told by
Genvieve, a very cute Papillon!
The Doggies Want Your WOOF!
Miniature Dog Breeds
› Papillon Dogs