This dog dates back several centuries ago and was portrayed in various pictures by renowned artists in the 16th century. They were highly valued by royal families and trade merchants in Europe where they are considered to have originated from. The earlier toy spaniels from which the Papillon was developed had drop ears but later another breed emerged with erect ears that resembled a butterfly and was named Papillon. Papillon means butterfly in French, and this indicates the origin of this dog and the place where it gained popularity. This breed is also known as Epagneul Nain, little squirrel dog, and Belgian toy Spaniels.
The Papillon has a small body frame standing at 8 – 11 inches and weighing 5 – 9 pounds. They have a round head with a short muzzle. Their whiskers are very long and visible, and the muzzle is tipped with a dark nose. Their eyes have a dark shade of brown and their ears stand erect on top of their head. Their coat forms a mane around the neck, and the coat hair is straight and has a soft texture. It carries its tail over its back and is covered with long hair enhancing the beauty of its general appearance. Its short front legs stand upright, and its back is straight from the base of the neck to the base of the tail.
They are energetic and fun loving dogs. They bond well with their owners especially by cuddling and during exercise time. Though they are good for apartment life, they are equally excited by being outdoor especially when going for a walk or during playtime. They are easy to train as they express a strong desire to please their owner. They are also very intelligent and can learn multiple tricks during their training, and food rewards will motivate them to continue doing more.
These small fragile dogs are most suitable for indoor living. They will require proper training to live indoor and should be daily exercised outside to prevent them from exhausting their energy on the furniture and other household items. May also bark excessively due to anxiety hence owner should always ensure that the dog is in a calm and loving environment.
They are generally healthy however will succumb to some of the following illnesses: Open fontanel (unclosed part of the skull from childhood), hypoglycemia, eye disorder and Patellar Luxation. They can live up to 16 years.
The Papillon should be fed on high-quality, nutritious food for their overall wellbeing. The amount of food to be given depends on its weight, age, and level of activity. It should not be overfed when rewarding with food.
Coat, Color, and Grooming
The coat comes in a variety of colors which are mixed with white. The coat is long and silky apart from the face and legs. The coat should be groomed regularly to ensure that the hair does not entangle, and its natural oil is spread evenly.
With family and other pets
Papillon is friendly and will bond with every member of the family however one should be careful having small children playing with it as they may injure the dog due to its fragile frame. They will easily accommodate other pets.