Papillon Breed Profile

The handsome Papillon belongs to the Continental Toy Spaniel breed and is recognized by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale). There are two variations of this breed: the Papillon (French for butterfly) with large, slightly high ears and the Phalène (French for moth), whose ears point downwards.

Worth Knowing about the Papillon

The Papillon is a small companion dog with an affectionate nature and great adaptability, allowing it to please young and old, male and female. He feels particularly comfortable in a family. Here he actively participates in family life, likes to play with the children, guards the house and yard, loves exercise, and is also just the right person for various dog sports. It can also be a bit more demanding here because the Papillon is one of the most intelligent dogs in the world.

The little boy loves his people more than anything, is clever and suitable for the city. Due to its small size, it also feels comfortable in a flat if it gets the necessary exercise.


The “Fédération Cynologique Internationale” (FCI) has classified the Papillon in the group of “companion and companion dogs”, breed standard no. 77. It is one of the smaller dogs, males are about 28 cm high, and females reach the same size. The average weight is around 4 kg, with the males getting a little heavier.

The little “butterfly” has a robust but at the same time harmonious physique with a proud posture and a flowing, elegant gait. Head and body are in an appropriate relationship to each other. The Papillon’s eyes are slightly almond-shaped, dark, large, and round. They are the basis of the “little child scheme”. Everyone who sees the Papillon for the first time will say: Oh, how cute it is!

The little fellow’s muzzle is relatively short and tapers to a point. His ears are almost erect (according to breed standards the angle to the horizontal should be 45°), they are set high and well open.

The tail of the Papillon is carried relatively high, it is strong and provided with lush, long fringes. When excited or tense, the Papillon carries its tail curved along the back line. The coat is of medium length and is characterized by gentle waves and a strong grip. The color variants are diverse and range from brown to sand to black. However, the basic color is always white.

Nature and Behavior

The lively companion dog is full of temperament but can be trained well. Nevertheless, he wraps everyone around his finger with his need for cuddles. He likes to be pampered, but also gives a lot of love in return. Due to his pronounced ability to empathize, he immediately senses the mood in which his person is. The papillon comforts sadness and likes to share joy and exuberance.

Despite its small size, it is very suitable as a guard dog. He protects the house and yard and reports unknown noises or visitors with a loud bark. Strangers are always treated with caution, the little fellow will never wag his tail at a stranger.

Even a small dog needs training. There are few difficulties with the Papillon, only one should keep an eye on its innate hunting instinct for mice and rats. He is docile and intelligent but needs exercise. The circuit around the block is not enough for him. Dog sport is a good alternative. Agility and dog dancing is demanding sports that even smaller dogs like to do. The intelligent papillon will quickly understand and master the tasks.

If other animals already live in the household, the little “butterfly” must slowly get used to them. Once he gets to know his housemates, he gets along well with them.

The Care

Grooming takes little time. Thoroughly brushing and combing the coat two to three times a week is quite sufficient. The long fringes can quickly become knotted at the ears, so a little more attention is required here.

If the little fellow is extremely dirty, he can be bathed without any problems. Skin-friendly dog ​​shampoo is used. It is important here that the fur is rubbed dry. You should only comb it through when your hair is dry. Until the dog is dry, it is best to stay in a warm apartment, even dogs can catch cold.

Every now and then the claws need to be trimmed to avoid scratching injuries. The procedure can be performed at the grooming salon or by a veterinarian. However, the veterinarian will also be happy to give instructions on how to properly trim the claws yourself. With a good pair of nail scissors and a little sensitivity, the pedicure is no problem for the Papillon.

In order to avoid the formation of tartar, dental care must not be neglected. There is also a special fingerstall with which you can clean your favorite teeth or you can use a dog toothbrush. Special chewing articles can also be used to clean teeth in between.

Judy Taylor

Written by Judy Taylor

Judy Taylor combines her love of science and writing to educate pet owners. Her articles on pet wellness, published on a variety of platforms, reveal a deep passion for animals. With a teaching background and shelter volunteer experience, Judy brings expertise to the fields of writing and compassionate pet care.

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