Dog Breeds


Other names: papillon , continental toy spaniel

Papillon, aka Papillon, aka Continental Toy Spaniel, is a decorative companion dog whose calling card is graceful, long-haired ears resembling the open wings of a butterfly.

Characteristics of Papillon

Country of originFrance
The sizeSmall
Growth20-28 cm
Weight2–3 kg
Ageup to 16 years
FCI breed groupDecorative dogs and companion dogs
Papillon Characteristics

Basic moments

  • Papillons are optimists and extroverts, expecting constant feedback from the owner.
  • Representatives of this breed have irrepressible energy, therefore they require a systematic and long-term walking.
  • They peacefully coexist with other pets, but are especially supportive of cats.
  • Continental toy spaniels are great intellectuals, endowed with worldly ingenuity and ingenuity. Papillon ranks 8th in the list of the smartest dog breeds on the Stanley Coren scale.
  • They perform well in agility and other competitive sports.
  • Individuals whose favorable period for socialization has been missed may show aggression towards other, weaker animals, as well as bite.
  • Despite the generally good-natured nature, these crumbs are very power-hungry and will gladly crush any member of the family who will show them their weaknesses.
  • Papillons bark loudly, but with the right upbringing, they are able to curb their own emotions.

Papillons or daddies, as domestic breeders affectionately call their pets, are smart, frisky and sociable kids who will forgive their owner everything except for the lack of attention to their own person. The life of these fluffies, wonderful in every respect, revolves entirely around the one whom they have chosen as their senior friend. Restless and unusually easy-going Papillons are always ready to support any initiative of the owner, whether it is a banal ball game, a trip to the nearest supermarket or a long trip across countries and continents.

History of the Papillon breed

Cute Papillon

The name of the breed is translated from French as “butterfly”. The resemblance to this insect is given to Papillons by their elegant ears, decorated with soft long hair. The progenitors of the “butterflies”, continental toy spaniels, were very popular with the French and Belgian beau monde, starting from the 14th century. In different eras, the breed was preferred by such famous personalities as the Marquise de Pompadour, Marie Antoinette and even Louis XIV himself. And the king of France, Henry III, was so dissatisfied in his love for these cheerful fluffies that he spent a good third of the state treasury on their purchase and maintenance.

By the XVI-XVII centuries. continental toy spaniels have become real celebrities of the canine world. Animals posed for artists for group portraits, accompanied their owners to balls and receptions, in general, led the most secular lifestyle. Moreover, especially lucky pets received whole palaces as a gift from their owners, in which they could freely do whatever they wanted.

At the end of the 19th century, butterfly dogs crossed the Atlantic and reached America, and in the 20s of the 20th century, British breeders finally became interested in them. To give the animals even more external gloss, European breeders conducted several experiments on crossing the Papillon with the Spitz , thanks to which the favorites of the French monarchs acquired a fluffy fur coat. In addition, in the offspring born after the mating of representatives of these two breeds, the tip of the tail changed position – it moved to the upper line of the back. In 1923, the English Kennel Club recognized the Papillon as an independent breed. And 12 years later, the American Cocker Spaniel Club did the same.

Video: Papillon

Papillon Dog - Top 10 Facts

Papillon Appearance

Papillon on the exhibition

American breeders divide butterfly dogs into, in fact, papillons and phalenes (translated from French as “moths”). The latter are very similar to papillons, but they have hanging ears. However, European breeders categorically deny the Phalenes as relatives of the Papillons, seeing them as a separate breed. Experts justify their decision by the fact that offspring born as a result of mating “moth” and “butterfly” inherit significant defects in appearance and, therefore, cannot take part in prestigious exhibitions and dog shows.

It is quite easy to confuse the Papillon with a Spitz and even easier with a long-haired Chihuahua, although in fact the “butterflies” are not related to representatives of these breeds. The average weight of a papillon is 2.5-5 kg, but often among them there are real babies weighing up to 2.4 kg. One of the signature features of the breed is the “smile”. The half-open mouth, from which a neat pink tongue protrudes, in combination with lively shiny eyes, gives the dog a special charm, making it look like an expensive toy.


The Papillon’s head is in proportion to the body. The skull is not too rounded and much longer than the muzzle. The transition from the head to the muzzle in small individuals is very clearly marked, in larger ones it is slightly smoothed out.


The lobe is medium-sized, rounded and black in color. Slightly flattened at the top. The bridge of the nose is straight.

Teeth and jaws

The teeth are strong, closely spaced and completely conceal the tongue. A tongue protruding beyond the jaws is considered a serious defect.


Large, but without excessive prominence, the shape of the eye is almond-shaped. Set low. The color of the iris is dark, the eyelids are brightly pigmented.

papillon muzzle


The cartilage is thin but strong enough to hold the ear funnel in a straightened position. The tip of the ear should not be excessively pointed. The ears of the phalenes are set high and down, but at the same time they are quite mobile. The outer side of the ear cloth is covered with soft wavy hair.

The Papillon ears are also set high enough, in a calm state, the ears are noticeably raised, and their inner part is open. Outside, they have a long fringed coat that hides the ear edge. The inner region of the ear is covered with fine curly hairs, which can sometimes protrude beyond the edge of the funnel.

An important point: all papillons are born with hanging ears, which rise only at 2-4 months of age.


Medium, with a slightly arched nape.


Царь горы
king of the hill

The line of the back is smooth, without excessive bulges and dips. The loin is slightly protruding. Chest broad, with arched ribs. The line of the abdomen and the inguinal zone are moderately tightened.


The legs are straight, graceful, of medium length. The shoulders are normally developed and tightly pressed to the body, the shoulder blades are long. The angles of the hocks and humeroscapular joints are normal. Papillon paws are elongated. The toes are strong, with hard hard pads and black nails. For individuals with white legs, milky-white claws are allowed. Between the fingers often protrudes dressing wool (psovina).


Set high, with a luxurious falling suspension up to 15 cm long. During the movement of the animal, it is fixed along the upper line of the back or touches it with its tip. In a purebred Papillon, the tail never twists into a “donut” and does not fit on the back.

papillon puppy


Long, wavy, with a characteristic silky sheen, but not too soft. The undercoat is practically absent. In general, the coat of the Papillon is similar to that of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. On the muzzle, head, frontal part of the forelimbs and metatarsus, the coat is short. On the body, the hair is noticeably longer. There are feathering on the ears and the back of the front legs, as well as a fluffy collar and “panties” on the hips.


Happy Papillon

The FCI standard for Papillons allows any type of color with a dominant white background on the body and legs. However, most often animals have white-sable, white-black and also three-color colors. The sable color can be muted or bright (red sable). The three-color version also has two varieties: the classic (white and black with a slight tan in the eyes, cheeks and ears) and the hound (with large areas of red hair). It is also acceptable to have white markings on the head.

Disadvantages and vices of the breed

Individuals whose appearance has any deviations from the standard are considered defective. These are usually a flat or overly convex skull and a poorly pigmented nose. In order for a show-class animal not to be allowed to participate in exhibition events, it is enough for him to have a pink nose and a constantly falling out beyond the teeth or a paralyzed tongue. An incorrect bite (overshot / undershot bite) can also spoil the exhibition “karma” for papillons.

Also undesirable:

  • straight or excessively disheveled coat;
  • convex or vice versa concave muzzle;
  • back with a pronounced hump or dip in the lumbar region;
  • clubfoot limbs;
  • dewclawed toes.

Papillon photo

Papillon character

Papillon with an owner

Papillons are dogs that almost never have a bad mood. These fluffy naughty look at the world through rose-colored glasses, being able to find the positive in the most seemingly ordinary everyday situations. They are interested in every little thing, therefore, during walks, animals develop such a vigorous research activity that a professional archaeologist would envy. At the same time, the inner world of butterfly dogs is rather fragile: rudeness and psychological pressure from the owner plunge the animal into a deep depression, causing serious behavioral deviations.

In general, daddies are considered to be one of the most “comfortable” decorative breeds. They are not capricious, easily adapt to life both in small apartments and in private houses, and are quite loyal to children. Papillon does not see a personal enemy in every stranger who steps on his territory and does not raise a fuss over trifles (of course, only if he is properly brought up). Leaving a representative of this breed alone at home, you can not be afraid to return to the “ashes”. Of course, the dog will be bored, but never spoil the furniture and turn the apartment upside down.

By the way, so that the pet does not suffer too much from loneliness in your absence, breeders recommend adding some friend to it, which can be a second Papillon or at least a cat. However, keep in mind the fact that “butterflies” are wary of large-sized four-legged brothers, so keeping a shepherd dog and a papillon on the same territory is not a good idea.

Training and education

walking papillons

At first glance, continental toy spaniels seem to be soft and completely manageable creatures, and yet you should not let the process of their socialization take its course, especially since these perky kids are always willing to learn something new. The lively, sharp mind of the dog allows her to quickly learn the training material and apply the knowledge gained in practice. By the way, papillons and phalenes not only remember commands perfectly, but are also able to understand the meaning of other words that make up the owner’s active dictionary.

During training, you should not be led by the fragility and defenselessness of the Papillon. Moderate severity and small restrictions are only good for him. All commands should be given in a serious even tone so that the animal immediately understands that it is not worth counting on concessions. Be sure to use standard dog treats during training and do not get too carried away with punishments: representatives of this breed perceive them very painfully.

Papillon on a coach
Relax on your favorite sofa

Care and maintenance

Play with me
Play with me!

Before you settle a butterfly dog ​​in your home, get the necessary belongings. In particular, the papillon will need a soft bed with a removable mattress, two bowls made of metal or ceramics, a comb for combing, and toys (preferably latex). For walking, you need a soft leather collar, tape measure and leash. Breeders advise not to get involved in walking an animal on a harness, as this accessory can provoke an eversion of bones in an unformed puppy.

A place for a couch should be selected taking into account the physiological characteristics of the breed. Papillons are afraid of drafts and even more heating devices like radiators and convectors. So that the pet does not get bored, the sunbed is placed in such a way that the dog has sufficient visibility and can observe the owner. Papillon puppies discover the world around them using the “by the tooth” method, therefore, when settling in a baby’s apartment, be prepared for damage to shoes, wires and other small items that accidentally appear in the dog’s field of vision. By the way, with age and as they adapt to new living conditions, most individuals usually lose this passion. Papikov walk a couple of times a day for half an hour or more.


Papillons and Phalenes have no undercoat, so these adorable fluffies’ seasonal shedding doesn’t feel like a natural disaster (assuming you take the time to brush your pet for a few minutes a day). The rest of the time, it is enough to walk the comb through the dog’s coat a couple of times a week.

Important: you can only comb clean and pre-moistened with water or conditioner wool. Combing the papillon “dry” leads to brittle hair.

To make it a little easier to care for an animal, you can shear it. Usually daddies shorten the hair on the body, and also cut off the tufts of hair between the fingers, in the inguinal and anal areas. At the same time, it is better to entrust the grooming of show class individuals to a specialist. Bathe the animal as it gets dirty. Be sure to dry your pet’s coat with a hair dryer, as naturally dried papillon hair tends to curl, making combing difficult.

wet Papillon
papillon wash

If it is not possible to systematically arrange a bath day, buy a protective overalls for your pet and walk him in it. This will help keep the coat clean for a longer period. For the most part, “butterflies” are very neat and don’t get seriously dirty during walks, so after the street it’s sometimes enough for an animal to simply wash its paws.

Nails should be cut immediately after taking a bath, after they have softened under the influence of warm water. However, such a procedure may not be required if the animal is often and for a long time walking: in such cases, the claw plate grinds off naturally. Carefully monitor the cleanliness of the pet’s oral cavity. To remove plaque from the teeth, you can use a regular toothbrush with a cleaning composition applied to it. Do not use toothpaste intended for humans. To prevent the appearance of tartar, it is useful to treat the Papillon from time to time with special dog chips.

Care for the eyes and ears of representatives of this breed is quite primitive. The former are wiped with a cotton pad dipped in chamomile infusion, while the latter are cleaned with a soft cloth or cotton swab with a disinfectant gel applied to them.


Papillon in a coat
Papillon in winter overalls

Despite their excellent memory and developed intelligence, little Papillons do not immediately comprehend such a science as using a home toilet. To speed up the process of skill formation, you can cover the floor in the room where the puppy lives with diapers, gradually reducing the amount of bedding. And so on until the baby develops an association: diaper = toilet. Sufficiently effective methods are considered to be putting a piece of cloth into the dog’s tray, on which she relieved herself earlier, as well as seating her in the aviary alone with a clean tray. If you notice that the Papillon has begun to do its “things” on the carpet or parquet, in no case do not shout, but simply take the dog and carefully take it to the toilet.


The dog should have two bowls: for food and for water. It is best to purchase dishes on an adjustable stand, which will help form the correct posture of the papillon (the so-called exhibition stand). The main source of protein for the animal should be lean meat. Before giving the product to the dog, it is pre-scalded or lightly boiled and crushed. It is not recommended to give minced meat, since the proteins from it are poorly and incompletely absorbed. Some caution should be exercised with chicken, to which the “butterflies” are often allergic.


Since Papillons have a fragile skeleton, calcium-rich foods should be included in their diet more often. Puppies can cook calcined cottage cheese: heat 1 liter of kefir on the stove and pour 2 tablespoons of calcium chloride into it before boiling. In addition, it is useful to mix bone meal, milk powder, chalk and chopped seaweed into the feed. For daddy owners who decide to transfer their pet to “drying”, breeders recommend purchasing grain-free varieties of super premium industrial feed.


  • Offal.
  • Kashi (rice, millet, oatmeal, buckwheat).
  • Sea fish (without bones, or with bones, but ground to a puree state).
  • Fruit slices, greens.
  • Egg / yolk (1 time per week).
  • unrefined vegetable oil.
  • Stewed vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, beets, tomato).


  • Sweets and confectionery.
  • Potatoes and legumes.
  • Pork and any fatty meat.
  • River fish.
  • Tubular bones.

Up to two months, dogs are fed 6 times a day. Starting from the age of two months, the number of feedings begins to be gradually reduced, and by the year the animal is completely transferred to two meals a day.

Papillon health and disease

Papillons and Phalenes are healthy enough dogs that can meet their own 15th birthday while still in a quite cheerful state. There are few classic ailments that a dog can suffer from. Most often, eye diseases are found in papillons, such as cataracts, corneal dystrophy and inversion of the eyelid. Patella (patella luxation) occurs in many individuals and is usually preceded by trauma. Another scourge of the breed is congenital and incurable deafness.

How to choose a puppy

Papillon mom with puppies
papillon puppies with mom

Give preference to catteries with a history that have already gained some experience in breeding Papillons and are able to provide the buyer with information about previous litters by year. Carefully study the documents of the animal’s parents, not forgetting to clarify which club they were issued by. Today in Russia there are several alternative cynological organizations, but the metric issued by the RKF continues to be the most prestigious. It is not forbidden to study the puppy’s veterinary passport: ideally, the animal should be put up for sale only after the basic vaccinations.

Important: test your puppy for congenital deafness by clapping your hands loudly over his head. A healthy animal will definitely respond to a sudden noise.

Next, we evaluate the appearance of the animal. A responsible breeder has a Continental Toy Spaniel that is well groomed, clean and cheerful. The baby’s dewclaws must be removed, and a brand must be affixed in the ear or groin. A strict no to animals with bloated tummies, which signal that the baby has digestive problems or worms. Unfortunately, sometimes it is not possible to check the puppy for compliance with the standard of appearance, since the physiological development of most Papillons is uneven. In such cases, it is better to involve a professional who can determine the thoroughbredness of the Papillon and its real price.

Photo of papillon puppies

How much does papillon/falen cost

Butterfly dogs are not the cheapest pleasure. The average price tag for a thoroughbred Papillon with a pedigree ranges from 500 to 900$. For a puppy from parents with champion titles, they can ask from 70,000 rubles. and higher. Plembrak will cost between 150 – 250$. As a rule, these are quite healthy and funny animals, but slightly out of line with the breed standard.

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