The Papillon is a very elegant, dainty creature, with a wide-eyed, innocent expression. This tiny dog has a fabulous, flowing, long coat, which has a silky texture. The coloring of the Papillon is mainly white, with black, lemon, sable, red, or black and tan patches. The fringed ears of the Papillon may droop or stand erect, and he has a lustrous plumed and feathered tail. The Papillon weighs in at around 5-10 pounds, and the height of these dogs is around 9-12 inches.
The Papillon is a very intelligent toy dog that is quick to learn and eager to please. These dogs excel in obedience and agility training. These dogs make excellent companion dogs and family pets. Although elegant and graceful, the Papillon also has plenty of energy and loves to play. These small dogs have bags of personality and character, and also have plenty of stamina and enthusiasm for everything they do. An excellent tracker dog, the Papillon loves to work and also enjoys getting involved with family activities and fun. This is not a breed for those that do not have the time to dedicate to interacting with their pets. The Papillon is an alert dog with plenty of spirit, and is an ideal choice for active owners. These intelligent and keen dogs make obedience training easy and fun, although owners will need to exercise assertiveness and confidence in order to try and combat the Papillon's bossy and possessive streak. He is a quick learner and easy to train, making him ideal for the more inexperienced dog owner as well as for those with experience. However, he can be difficult to housebreak.
A keen barker, this breed makes an effective watchdog but can get a little noisy! The Papillon will get along fine with older, gentler children. He is not suited to younger or more boisterous children because his tiny size means that he can get injured easily. These dogs will also be friendly and welcoming around strangers, and tend to get along fine with other small dogs and cats, although he may try and stand up to larger dogs. Some dogs can be confident and sociable, but others may be more timid and nervous. Early socialization can help to promote a stable temperament and attitude. The Papillon is a very versatile pet, and is suited to apartment living as well as living in a house.
The grooming requirements for the Papillon are not overly excessive, and you can keep his coat in good condition by brushing twice weekly. You will need to increase this during the periods when he is shedding more heavily. You should ensure that the hair around his bottom is kept trimmed for hygiene reasons, and you should also check that his ears are clean and dry to reduce the risk of infections. Also keep the hair around the pads of the feet trimmed.
Written history of the hunting and working dogs go back to the Dark Ages, while during the dawn of Classical Greece and Rome the toy breeds developed that had a spitz type of background. With the disappearance of these dogs, it was not until the Renaissance that many different types of toy breeds began to develop--toy greyhounds, dwarf barbets, Cayenne dogs, and crosses of assorted breeds. None of those earlier toys had the body type or personality of the little Papillon, or toy spaniel.
Several early theories state the toy spaniel may have come from China because of Venetian trade over the centuries. History says that the Chinese actually did have such a breed--a parti-colored, long-coated dog similar to the toy spaniel of those early days, in addition to resembling the modern day Pekingese which was very popular with nobility. Some other earlier theories say that eventually, the early lines of the toy spaniel developed out of Spain, with the word spaniel referring to "dog of Spain." Others rebut this theory as the Continental Toy Spaniel did not develop as the "butterfly dog" until two-and-a-half centuries after the Conquest. But regardless, the little dog remained popular in court circles with the nobility, providing a successful market for the breed. Many pictures with royalty and nobility were painted by famous court painters of the little spaniel, with the drooped ears of the Phalene--later developing into the present day Papillon.
The Papillon is highly intelligent and easily trainable, due to a strong love of their owner and a desire to please. Highly affectionate, this adds to the ease of the training routine for the breed. All breeds were developed for some purpose or another, and the Papillon was raised to be a companion to people--inseparable and within close proximities at all time. A Papillon will never make it with an owner who has little time for the dog, requiring only a moderately demanding companion. They thrive on stimulation, obedience work, agility trials, dog therapy, trick performance, and anything that allows them to use their intelligence and still be close to their human owners--particularly the males as the females have a tendency to be slightly "aloof".
Many novice trainers confuse a dog's intelligence level and their ability to be trained. A trainer who is very inconsistent will not achieve consistent results, even teaching basic command teaching. The Papillon has the highest aptitude for learning, and has the ability to learn from everything around them--one experience after another--without any particular form of training. Forced training does badly with this breed, due to their high response rate for positive reinforcements.
Tthere are a number of health issues that are linked to this breed. This includes eye problems, heart problems, liver disorders, PRA, luxating patella, anemia, epilepsy, and sensitivity to drugs and chemicals. The parents of the Papillon puppy should have CERF certificates.