Breed Details


Exercise Requirements:

Grooming Requirements:


3 kg (approx)

Life Span:

15 years (approx)


Also called the Continental Toy Spaniel, the Papillon is a small fine-boned little dog. The small head is slightly rounded between the ears with a well-defined stop. The muzzle is somewhat short, thin tapering to the nose. The dark, medium-sized, round eyes have black rims. The large ears can either be erect or dropped with rounded tips. Papillon with drop ears are called Phalene Papillon (Moth). The hair on the ears is long, and fringed, giving it a butterflylike look. The long tail is set high carried over the body, and covered with long hair. The straight, long, fine, single coat has an extra frill on the chest, ears, back of the legs and tail. Coat colour is white with patches of any colour except for liver. A mask of a colour other than white covers both ears and eyes from back to front.


The Papillon is one of the oldest breeds of dog, with a recorded history in Europe going back nearly 700 years. The breed originally only had dropped ears and was called the "epagneul nain" or "dwarf spaniel". Much of the breed's development is known because of its depiction in paintings. This tiny breed is recognizable in 13th through 15th-century Italian paintings in the Renaissance period. They were often painted on the laps of French and Spanish noblewomen. The dog was later known as the Continental Toy Spaniel. They were sometimes referred to as simply a Toy Spaniel. Over time, an erected type, fringed as to resemble the ears of a butterfly, developed. Papillon means "butterfly" in French.


The Papillon is sometimes called the butterfly dog because the ears look like butterfly wings. It is a friendly, intelligent dog that is tougher than it looks, and loves outdoor exercise. A playful, lively, amusing, animated, and charming little dog. Affectionate, gentle, patient, and proud, they love to cuddle. Enjoys a good romp outdoors. They are steady, obedient, and are not yappers.


Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, they enjoy a daily walk. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off lead, such as a large fenced-in yard. Daily combing and brushing of the long, silky, single coat is important and fairly straightforward. These dogs are usually clean and odourless. Bathe or dry shampoo when necessary.