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Life span: 9-13 Years

Height: 8 – 10 inches (male), 7 – 9 inches (female)

Weight: 5 – 10 lbs.

From the Toy group, the Papillon, also known as the Continental Toy Spaniel, is of the Spaniel type. One of the defining characteristics of the Papillon is its large ears which resemble the wings of a butterfly. The Papillon is a wily breed with an even-temperament, and this means that it rarely becomes aggressive. Its long, silky coat is typically white with multicolored patches.

This funny little dog is the perfect loving lap dog. They are highly intelligent, and love to be cuddled. However, they are also highly energetic and need to be exercised daily in order to prevent them from becoming destructive.

Physical Characteristics

Their ears are large and can either remain erect or flop down, with a medium sized tail that curls over its back. The eyes are brown with a black nose. Their long coat is straight, sparse and soft to the touch. Coat colors include black, red, brown, light brown and white. They can be bicolored, tricolored, and/or have markings.


Originating in Spain, this breed’s first records appear to be from Italy, in the year 1500, in family portraits painted by Tiziano Vecellio. They were brought to France and Belgium riding in mules. During the Renaissance, they were found only in Spain and France. They were originally part of the Spaniels, considered the erect eared type of the Toy Spaniels (which originated in France). The Papillon Club of America claims that Marie Antoinette walked to her execution carrying a Papillon dog with her. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club the same year the Papillon Club of America was created (1930). They are highly popular as show dogs and have won several times, but are also popular as companions.


This loving dog is intelligent and high energy. They love being carried and cuddled by their owners. They have to be properly socialized in order to get along well with children and other household pets, but will always be protective of you regarding strange animals or people. If not properly trained, they could even become aggressive. They can live within apartments, but cannot be left alone for long periods of time or they will suffer from separation anxiety.


This breed may suffer from many diseases, including:

Collapsed Trachea, in which rapid intakes of air flatten the trachea, making it difficult for air to pass through.

Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, is easily treated when detected early, but if too severe can be life threatening. Symptoms include shivering, slowing down, and becoming listless. If too advanced, the puppy will collapse, start having convulsions, go into a coma, and eventually perish.

Open Fontanel, in which the dogs are born with a soft spot on the top of their heads that usually closes up when they grow up. In some cases, this spot does not close fully, and these dogs are very sensitive because of it, and hurting their heads might kill them.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), in which the dogs may become night blind at first and progressively lose their day eyesight as well.

Luxating Patella, in which the kneecaps may dislocate or move from its proper place.


This breed needs weekly brushing and monthly bathing. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. Although small, they are quite energetic, usually letting them run around your backyard or playing fetch with them indoors is the best way to exercise them. However, never leave them unsupervised, as they tend to chase after bigger dogs or cats. They should never be left alone for long periods of time, or they will no longer follow their training. Training can be easy, but obedience training is recommended.



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