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Papillon Breed Fact Sheet

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Papillon and Phalène Breed Information

Group 1: Toys

Energy Level: Moderate

Original Function: small-vermin hunting

Temperament: Friendly, Alert

Characteristics: This dainty, balanced little toy dog should have an attractive head, an alert bearing and an intelligent and lively expression

Recommended for: Families, anyone.

Lifespan: 12-15 years


Height: 20-28cm (8"-11")

Colour: White with patches which may be any colour except liver. A tricolour must be black and white with tan spots over the eyes, tan inside ears and under root of tail and on cheeks. The head marking should be symmetrical about a white, narrow, clearly defined blaze.

Coat: Should be abundant, (flowing) but without undercoat, long fine, silky, falling flat on back and sides forming a profuse frill on the chest, short and close on the skull, muzzle and front part of the legs. Back part of the front legs to pasterns, tail and thighs covered with long hair.

General Appearance: Dainty little dog. Large erect ears which have heavy fringing (Phalènes: ears, large, rounded & obliquely set. Held dropped without touching the cheeks & quite mobile) Round shaped dark eyes. Tail is long & well fringed, arched over the back with the fringes falling to the side to form a plume.



The word Papillon is French for butterfly and pronounced pah-pee-yon. When the ears are erect they are carried obliquely like the wings of a butterfly, hence the name Papillon.
The original dropeared variety is still occasionally seen and is known as Phalène (fa-lane).
In Europe they are still known as the European Dwarf Spaniel.
These intelligent, perky little dogs have friendly natures but can sometimes become quite possessive of their owners. Good family pets but care should be taken not to let small children be too rough with them.
They are suitable for apartment life or are as equally at home on acreage, wherever they live they still need to get out and about regularly.
They can excel in formal obedience and agility.

Grooming- daily combing is needed to keep the coat knot free. Dry shampoo or bath when needed.

Exercise- these dogs love a good play and run around, they won't complain too much if they don't get to go any where for a day or so but like all dogs need regular exercise to keep them fit and happy. They do enjoy exercise and will quite happily take on a 10km walk.

Health- This breed can suffer from some eye problems and knee problems.
For Diet and other general dog health information Health/Nutrition


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