Papillon dogs are sometimes called continental toy spaniels, and we've been around a long time. We used to be called dwarf spaniels, and we're often seen in old European paintings like this one from 1711. It's called Louis XIV and His Family by Nicolas de Largillière. You can see the whole painting here.
Papillon means butterfly in French. We're called that because our gigantic ears with their fringes look like butterfly wings. My ear fringes are just growing in - they won't be done til I'm about 2 years old. Different papillons have different length & thickness of ear fringe. Champion paps usually have super-long and super-full fringe.
Sometimes our ears droop down instead of standing up. Then we're called phalenes, which means moth. Phalenes can be very pretty too - their ear fringe looks like a little girl's long hair. Phalenes were around first: later on, persons decided to breed standy-uppy ears into us. Papillons and phalenes can be born in the same litter, and are considered the same breed by the American Kennel Club.
Our ears are considered our best feature, but we also have pretty faces, ruffy chests, feathers on our front legs, and furry pants (called "culottes") on our back legs. We usually carry our tails over our backs like a squirrel, and they have long, full fringe that looks like a plume. Our coats are long and silky, and feel more like person hair than doggie fur.
This picture is by Edwin Megargee, who lived 1883-1958. You can see it full-size here.
We are mostly white but we have colored patches over our eyes and ears that can be red (rusty color) like mine, black, sable (very dark brown), lemon (pale tan), or they can be black & tan which is called tri-color. We usually have matching color spots on our bodies in random places. Sometimes our color patches have very dark brown also, which is called sabling.
We usually have a white noseband, and most of us have a white blaze on our face, which adds to the butterfly look since it's like a butterfly's body between its wings. My blaze is very narrow - it's more of a pinstripe. We have black noses, black lips, and black eyeliner. We usually weigh between 7 and 10 pounds but some can be as little as 4 pounds. I'm pretty big for a papillon - I weigh almost 15 pounds! But I'm still a small doggie.
We are lively, happy, elegant and dainty-looking doggies, but we are also fast, athletic and pretty tough. And we are not drooly. We're just as glad to go on a long hike with you as we are to lay beside you or in your lap and be cuddled. We're very smart too! We learn words and tricks pretty quickly, and lots of us enter (and win!) agility and obedience competitions. But like many small doggies, we might take a little while to be fully housetrained. Some of us (including me) have litterboxes so we don't have to do our business outside in wet or cold weather.
This is AmCh Queen Bless JP Special Legend (or "Patch") who won Best of Breed at Crufts 2008. Isn't he pretty?
Update A friend of Patch's named Queen Bless JP Royal Connection (or "Ricky") not only won Best of Breed but the entire Toy Division at Crufts 2009! You can see Ricky in my March 6 blog on this page.
Surprisingly, we don't need much grooming. Since our fur is silky, it doesn't tend to mat as much as some long-haired doggies. A nice brushing every day or two keeps us pretty, especially under our ears where our fur grows in 100 different directions.
My person finger-combs under my ears whenever I cozy up with her. That keeps me nice under there between brushings, and who doesn't like a finger scritch around the ears?
Since we don't have an undercoat, we don't shed as much as double-coated doggies, but we might like a sweater or coat to go outside when it's very cold. Most of us have furry feets (on top and between our pads) so you might need to trim them sometimes, especially if we go out where it's wet or muddy.
We're usually playful and not aggressive, but we'll bark when someone we don't know comes to our house. We usually get along well with other anipals and persons, especially if we're properly socialized when we're puppies. We don't care if we have a big huge yard or a small apartment, as long as we get some playtime and walkies. By the way, we should wear a harness for walkies rather than a collar, since we have a small & delicate larynx and trachea.
Sometimes we're expensive puppies (sometimes very expensive) but we can often be found at shelters and rescues, sometimes mixed with chihuahuas or other dog brands. You can find papillon rescue & adoption links on the sidebar. Please don't buy us from a pet store as we may have come from a puppy mill. If you get a papillon from a breeder, please find out about them first and ask them lots of questions!
Some of us can have hereditary problems with our knees or eyes - your breeder and your vet can tell you more about these things if you're planning on getting a pap. In general, we're pretty healthy pups and will keep you company for a long time, up to 16 years or longer.
This famous painting of a naked lady person and her sleeping papillon is by Titian from 1538. It's called Venus of Urbino - you can see it full-size here.
Along with Louis XIV, other famous people who had papillons or phalenes in the long-ago days were King Henry II, King Henry III, Marie Antoinette, and Madame de Pompadour. Nowadays Christina Aguilera, George Takei, Lauren Bacall, Ron Jeremy, Mrs. Dog the Bounty Hunter, Justin Bieber, Autumn Reeser, and Leo Laporte all have papillons.
We like children but papillons aren't the best choice for families that have very small children or very big doggies who play rough, since we have little, delicate bones. Otherwise we're practically perfect in every way, so it's surprising we aren't more popular!
Talk about papillons on my comments page!
My person first saw a papillon riding in a car many years ago and thought it was the cutest doggie she'd ever seen. She found out what kind of dog it was, and she wanted one ever since. I'm glad she finally got one, and I'm especially glad it was me!
My papillon clicks
Neither me or my person is an expert about papillons, but lots of persons are. You can find out more about paps by clicking these woofsites:
American Kennel Club breed standard
Papillons at Dog Breed Info Center
Papillon Club of America Rescue
Papillon Haven Rescue
Find a shelter papillon near you at
Adopt-a-Pet or Petfinder.com
My woofsite clicks
my doggie blog
all about me
all about papillons
my favorite videos
litterbox training for dogs
talk to me (leave/read comments)
Some of my favorite clicks
CHEAP Advantage/Frontline dogs or cats
Best Bully Sticks I LOVE THEM!
Amazon.com pet supplies
PETCO.com I love their stores
Animal Planet the only good stuff on TV
Victoria Stilwell 'It's Me or the Dog'
Cesar Millan 'The Dog Whisperer'
Dogstuff especially their papillon stuff
I Has a Hotdog LOLdogs
I Can Has Cheezburger LOLcats
Twitter Critter Birthdays
Cats Who Twitter
Black Cats on Twitter
Some of my favorite videos
Kate & Gin 'Britain's Got Talent' finals
Tina Humphrey & Chandi at Crufts 2007
Nora, the piano playing cat
Pete's Pond - African wildlife (streaming)
Roomba riding kitty
Why dogs really go outside
Lauren Bacall's (peculiar) papillon Sophie
Animal Planet: Papillons
Bouncy papillon *boing boing*
Papillon swims without water
Ricky Papillon wins Crufts 2009 Toys
Westminster 2009 papillon competition
Click for more of my favorite videos
Visit some of my anipals
Belle, adventure papillon (and my sister)
Caplin the pet capybara
Daisy the curly cat, with fashions
Johann the Dog's blog
Loki the talking cat
Lou, Mama's Boy, fun doggie photo blog
Monkey Cat, supermodel with tortietude
Peanut Butter & Jenny, a funny pretty cat
Postmark Arabella, a smart & busy dog
Rosie & Cheeto's blog
Sadie Shih Tzu the social media puppy
Sansan Pups, home of Kaley Corgi
Sockington of New York Times fame
Splash the Lab's training diary
The World According to Misha Cat
Some of my person's clicks
Odd Twits interesting non-tech Twitterers
Pogo Tips stuff about games & badges
Dingo's Hamsterwatch Big Brother USA
Neon Pages websites and such
neonne dumb tweets/not about me