The Papillon (named after the French word for “butterfly” for the shape of their ears and often called the “Butterfly Dog”) is a tiny, fun-loving breed. They feature distinctive ears and a white coat with patches of black, red, brown or several other colors. Their playful, intelligent and eager-to-please temperament helps make the Papillon a suitable breed of dog for competitive obedience and agility or fun-loving owners looking for a pure companionship dog.
Origins Of The Papillon
There are several theories as to the Papillon’s origin, though many believe the breed first officially appeared in France during the 16th century where they were long associated as a companion dog for royalty with them appearing in several royal paintings such as one family portrait of Louis XIV. Mary Antoinette’s dog is also believed to have been a Papillon, and after she was executed the dog is said to have been cared for in a building in Paris called the Papillon House. They are alleged to be a descendant of the Continental Dwarf/Toy Spaniel that appeared during the 13th century.
Average Size Of The Papillon
Papillons are classed as a tiny-sized breed. The suggested standard size for the Papillon male is 8-11 inches high from paw to shoulder and a weight of 8-10 pounds, while the recommended size for female Papillons is 8-11 inches tall from paw to shoulder with a weight of 7-9 pounds.
Temperament Of The Papillon
The Papillon is legendary for their happy, obedient and playful character. They are usually friendly with unfamiliar people, which along with their small size often means they are unsuitable as a guard dog.
The Papillon is also demonstrated to be extremely intelligent – ranking 8th compared to other dogs when taking into account their ability to be trained obedience instructions.
They are also recognized to be playful with kids though young children need to be taught to not handle them too roughly – which means they are not always the best choice as a family pet. The Papillon is very companionable with other animals such as cats and dogs who they may become very good playmates with once properly socialized.
Living Requirements Of The Papillon
The Papillon is happiest with a good yard to play in, and they can be sometimes unsuitable for apartment life due to their tendency to bark at almost anything. They prefer to live in warmer weather, and they will be uncomfortable if it gets too cold.
Health & Life Expectancy Of The Papillon
In the vein of many small-sized breeds, the Papillon is usually very long-lived with a life expectancy of 14-18 years. The main health concern for Papillons is frequently recognized to be their fragility and vulnerability to broken bones. They can also be vulnerable to conditions such as luxating patella and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) but are overall a very healthy breed.
Exercise Needs Of The Papillon
The Papillon enjoys pursuits which include a run around an off-leash dog park, regular play sessions or learning tricks. They possess a high amount of energy but only need exercise each day in the shape of short walks to avoid behavior problems and to keep them calm while inside the home.