The Papillon is a small, hardy toy dog with a friendly, alert, and energetic temperament. While the breed is named for the butterfly-like appearance of its erect ears, it also comes in a drop-eared variety. The breed started off as dwarf spaniels in France, though they didn’t have the upright ears that the breed is now known for. The ears are a matter of personal preference, so they are not considered a fault or defect if dropped.
The Papillon originated in France, where it was named for its signature ears. Papillon means butterfly in French. The breed was once known as a dwarf spaniel and may date back as far as the thirteenth century. The breed gained popularity in Spain and Italy over time, where they were often depicted in classic paintings. However those were the times where drop-eared were famous. The erected ears did not show up until late 18th century.
They arrived in the United States in the late 1800s. The American Kennel Club (AKC) first recognized the breed in 1915, and their own breed club was formed in 1935.
The Papillon has a graceful appearance thanks to its fluffy, flowing coat. These dogs are often particolored, which means they have a white based with colored spots. Grooming is required due to the fine, smooth, and longer coat, but since the breed lacks an undercoat, grooming should be weekly. To avoid matting and tangling, give it a thorough brushing once or twice a week as a rule of thumb.
This breed only weigh of around 5-10 pounds, which means that even small fluctuations can mean a lot over the years.
- Weight: 2 to 5 kg
- Coat length: Long, fine and smooth
- Amount of shedding: Low
- Color: White with red, sable, black or lemon
- Pattern: White markings and a mask of colors
These dogs are known for being athletic, capable of a lot of exercise, and being a large dog with a small dog’s body. They can have a high propensity for exercise, but keep in mind how far a few miles will go for one of these dogs than a dog with longer legs. Since this dog is quick to move and is playful and active, a regular workout routine would be essential.
Don’t skimp on exercise for your Papillon only because it’s small: aim to gauge its reactions to exercise and develop a demanding exercise schedule that it can manage. When your puppy is young, be careful not to overwork him or her to avoid future joint problems. This is usually more of a problem for larger dogs that can develop faster, but it’s something to keep in mind.
- Lifespan: 14 to 16 years
- Active: High
- Intelligence: High
- Vocalize: High
Responsible breeders aim to uphold the highest breed quality set out by kennel clubs such as the American Kennel Club (AKC). Hereditary disorders are less likely to occur in dogs bred to these requirements. However, the breed is prone to certain genetic health issues. The below are few things to keep in mind:
- Open Fontanel: Soft spot on head that leaves them vulnerable to fatal head injury
- Hypoglycemia: A condition in which blood sugar (glucose) level is lower than normal.
- Dental Hygiene: Easily develop tartar leading to early tooth loss
- Patellar Luxation: This is a loose kneecap that can slip out of place and cause pain and lameness until the muscle relaxes so it can return to its position.
- Collapsing Trachea: This can be seen with symptoms of coughing.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This is a degenerative eye condition that can lead to blindness.
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