Ratings by owners.
| Breed Reviews By Breed | Review a Breed
Papillon Home Page
The word Papillon means butterfly which describes the butterfly wing look of the ears of this breed when held erect. In France, they are also sometimes called Le Chien Ecureuil or Squirrel Dog in reference to their tails. They are also sometimes called Continental Toy Spaniels. The history of the breed may date to the 1600s and is believed to have developed out of a Dwarf Spaniel that came to Spain from China. It was recognized in England in 1923 and in the United States in 1935.
The Papillon is light, dainty, and elegant with a friendly disposition. They make excellent indoor companions. When trained correctly, the Papillon does well in the obedience ring.
The Papillon head is small with a slight rounding of the skull between the ears. The muzzle is fine, abruptly thinner than the head. The length of muzzle is one-third that length of the entire head. The eyes are dark and round with an alert expression. The bite is scissors. The ears may be erect or drop in the United States and Great Britain. In other countries, the dogs with drop ears are considered a separate breed and are called Phalene (meaning moth). Ears that are carried erect are held obliquely and approximately at a 45 degree angle to the head. Drop ears are carried completely down. The neck is of medium length and the body is slightly longer than tall at the withers. The legs are fine-boned, slender and straight. The feet are thin and elongated (harelike). The tail is long, set high and carried in an arch over the body with a plume hanging down the side of the body. The coat is abundant, long, silky and straight except on the skull, muzzle and leg fronts where it is shorter. There is no undercoat. Coat colors include white predominately with any other color in patches except liver. Both ears must be colored and color must extend over both eyes. A white blaze between the eyes with symmetrical face colors is desirable but not a requirement. The average weight is between nine and ten pounds while the average height at the withers is between eight and eleven inches.
firstname.lastname@example.org of Kansas writes:
Happy, playful, and ornery to the core, and too cute.
After pining for a Pap for three years, I finally got one, although I have to share him with my hubby and son. He is an eight-month-old male, weighs a little over seven pounds, and is just so adorable, it is hard to stay mad at him, even when he is a bad boy. Which is probably why he is a little (okay, a LOT) spoiled. Loves to be with his people, pouts and whines when he is gated in the kitchen. Although he can be very sweet and cuddly, you must first wear him out playing. The most recognized word in his vocabulary would be "toy." He LOVES to play fetch and tease with us, doing laps around the dining room table because he knows we can't catch him there. His joy in life is contagious, you can't look at him without feeling happy. Doesn't know he's a little dog, so be careful, they probably would not hesitate to run right up and get in a Pitbull's face if they got the chance. I have a daycare and he loves the kids, but I exercised great caution when he was a wee little two-pound baby ­p; made me a nervous wreck worrying that he would get hurt, and actually did get stepped on a few times. All in all, a great little dog, wish mine weren't so unruly at times, but I really attribute that to my own shortcomings as his trainer. He is very smart, and I would not trade my fun-loving boy for the world.
email@example.com of U.S. writes:
Great little pets.
Papillons are the best breed for all age groups. They love to play, are easy to train, and they just LOVE to be cuddled. If you are looking for a compact, smart, cuddly dog that always wants to be at your side, then this is most likely the breed for you. They don't need much exercise as they can get an adequate amount by running through the house, but they do enjoy a chance to walk around when they can. They are great with kids, but you will want to supervise them at all times, because Papillons are very tolerant of little children, and the children might end up harming the poor little dog. Most of the time, when people look into small breed dogs, one of the biggest problems that they run into is that they think they will be barky. This is not so with the Papillon. Ours only barks when he is in his kennel and he cannot see us. I recommend to paper-train your Papillon because they do have very small bladders and you will be taking it out every two hours or so if you teach it to go outside. Plus, there is the problem if you live in a cold area, your dog could get very cold and you would need to put a sweater on it while you took it out. Obedience training is also a must. Since they are very smart, they get bored when they have nothing to do, or no one to cuddle with. They are very social animals, and need constant human companionship if you do not have another animal at home.
firstname.lastname@example.org of Park Hills, MO writes:
Beautiful, busy, and bossy.
I can't imagine a more beautiful, elegant little dog than a nice Papillon ­p; although if you want to make sure your dog lives up to this description, you had better find a decent breeder. Plenty of carelessly bred Papillons are coarse, oversized and heavy, which is totally opposed to the way the breed is supposed to be.
Papillons ought to be vigorous, lively, delightful, outgoing, and fun to train ­p; again, a dog that's carelessly bred or badly handled can be shy, even sharp-shy, and not the least bit outgoing. (I have one of each, which is how I learned to be careful about breeders.) My Papillons love hiking, love going anywhere with me. My properly handled boy loves meeting people and will move from lap to lap within a group until he's sat on EVERYONE. He'll jump in any car and go through any open door if you let him.
Even the little ones should be hardy and strong ­p; my five-pound boy has NO trouble hiking for several miles, and certainly has never broken a bone! He's very graceful and elegant, but not fragile. He has an obedience CD and my other (shy) dog has qualified twice, but hates showing, so we quit.
I've found my boys to be VERY easy to train. They will lie down and stay for more than an hour if I take them with me to stores or choir practice or whatever and they'll come away from deer when called (that took work). One was easy to housetrain ­p; the other, raised (I think) in a rabbit hutch or something like that, was very much more difficult to housetrain. I suspect you'd better take the job seriously from day one if you want to minimize wear and tear on both you and the puppy ­p; and use decent methods, none of this idiot rub-his-nose-in-it stuff from the dark ages of dog training. Papillons do seem to range from barky to REALLY barky, and I taught a stay initially as a way to shush them. If you live in an apartment, you'd better keep this in mind, too.
They're both VERY possessive of objects; not with me or other people, but with each other and the cats and my new Cavalier puppy. They care a LOT about their status in the "pack" and rule lesser pets with paws of IRON. I think any typical Papillon is apt to show this trait, so it's something to keep in mind if you have other pets that might not take kindly to a little tyrant trying to boss them around. On the other hand, they don't really fight and I'd be astonished if a Papillon drew blood on another pet ­p; it's just sound and fury, signifying nothing.
These are wonderful dogs, but I don't think they're suitable for young children ­p; not generally. Mine have no pain tolerance AT ALL and could not possibly tolerate handling from a toddler, although they like kids as long as they can get away and don't actually have to live with the tots. They're active and love to get out and really run. Mine would have driven me nuts when they were younger if they hadn't gotten to run off leash every day, but of course if you have a high tolerance for playing fetch indoors and stuff, they could manage without it. They are extremely beautiful with the wind in their ears!
babytwilo@Yahoo.com of New York City writes:
Truly a sweetheart.
I have a four-month-old Papillon male. He is just a darling little one. Papillons are extremely intelligent. All the emotions he expresses are like that of a human child. He is eager to please and is already housebroken, contrary to the belief that Paps are hard to train. I am home all day, so I guess that makes it easier. I was a little worried at first because my puppy was very nervous. He was startled and scared of everything. I put a sweater on him and he was scared and shaking like he saw a ghost. I am not sure if this is from poor socializing as a pup.
Like mentioned in other reviews, you should do your research. I didn't, and though I am attached and love my dog, I learned that he has a genetic defect that is very costly to repair. I was totally mislead by the seller of my pup. NEVER buy a pup from an unethical breeder.
Name withheld by request of Ohio writes:
Active and intelligent.
For nearly 40 years, I have worshipped Poodles for their intelligence, activity, and devotion. Several friends now have Paps that I have gotten to know well. I have to admit that the personality of those Paps is as perfect as Poodles. The one disadvantage of a Pap is shedding that pretty long hair.
Walking1tragedy@aol.com of Ohio writes:
Angel in a dog's body.
We have two Papillons. One is one and a half years old and the other is about eight months old. One is the most athletic dog I've ever seen, beating out a lot of the bigger athletic dogs. He has been through obedience training and everyone is shocked to see a little dog heeling so well on and off leash. He knows a whole lot of tricks. He LOVES car rides, people of all types, and children especially.
The eight-month-old is my mom's dog. She loved my Papillon so much she decided she needed one too! Her Pap is slightly "smarter" in the way that he questions whatever it is you want him to do. Like, if you tell my Pap to down and then sit, he's like, "Okay." If you tell Mom's, he says, "Why?" He also has been through obedience classes.
If you want a Papillon, you should definitely look hard for a breeder who breeds for temperament and health. Never buy a Papillon, or any animal, from a pet store, the "breeders" breed only for money and more than likely (not always) you will get a sickly little dog with a bad temper that's had the purpose bred right out of him. Papillons can have teary eyes. Paps are also prone to luxating patellas, which is another reason you should find a breeder who checks for this. Check out www.papillonclub.org and go to the rescue and consider a rescue Papillon. Don't rush into getting a puppy, take the time and have the patience to find that perfect little companion of your dreams. Prepare to obedience train because these little buggars have no problem taking over the household if they think no one else will and I don't know many people who want a seven-pound dog ruling their lives.
email@example.com of Amenia, NY writes:
Happy, energetic, charming and sweet little dog.
My Papillon is certainly a companion dog. These dogs love to travel and see new people and places. My dog actually tries to attract attention from anyone. She loves children as well as adults and even other animals. However, she must be on the leash all the time as she would probably walk off with anybody! She also likes constant attention and loves to play fetch. A Papillon is not a couch potato dog and needs lots of human interaction. She wil sit in my lap when watching TV or on the computer. Overall she wants to be with me 100 percent. She is smart and can be stubborn but as most dogs, aim to please. One family mumber must be the boss. She loves us both but adores my husband. As for barking, she barks to alert or at strange nosies. On the whole she is not nervous or barky. As for house-training be consistent. Crate training worked well for me. Mistakes do happen but are rare. Chief suggestions: obedience school, take your dog everywhere so it can learn new experiences. Teach the basic commands of come, sit, stay, etc. Overall: I am so glad I have this affectionate, happy, little charming dog!
firstname.lastname@example.org of Georgia writes on 3/26/01:
A wonderful pet and companion!
I have a one year old Papillon. This little cutie is my only child right now. He has many of the traits common to Papillons. He is sweet, friendly, happy, playful, curious, very intelligent, and a quick learner (when he wants to). Yes, my baby can be a little stubborn at times, because he thinks he knows what's best. It's so funny when he sneezes at me because I have told him to do something he doesn't want to do. But, I never let him know I think it's funny. As sweet as this breed is, you should start off right away letting them know who's the boss (you!), or you might have a sweet, but willful little dog on your hands. When I give him my momma look, he knows that I mean business.
My baby does understand what I say to him (when he wants to :-}). When I first brought him home, I taught him what shhh! means, and praised him and played with him only when he was quiet. As a result, he rarely barks in the house. But, like many paps, he is still very vocal and whines to let me know that he wants something. He also does have the fault of barking (talking) at people when we go out, but I think this is mostly my fault because I kept him fairly isolated when he was a little pup. This non-aggressive barking tends to scare some children, and some adults. I couldn't stand having people think my sweetie was going to bite them just because he tends to bark at people. It would never occur to him to bite someone. So I have unfortunately had to resort to a "shock" collar. We are having alot of success with this, after trying everything else under the sun - positive and negative. Hopefully, we can pack his collar away soon.
I only use a harness and leash system because I don't want to pull on his little neck, and it doesn't take much power to control a papillon on a leash. Housebreaking was blessfully easy. I decided to paper train because of my work hours, and he learned faily quickly where to go. There were a few mishaps up until 6 or 7 months, but overall it wasn't a big deal. The shedding has been less of a problem now that I am giving him a quick brushing every morning. Otherwise, his coat is beautiful and easy to maintain. I can't wait until it grows in all the way. His small size is great for my apartment. He is at the large end of the breed standard and is therefore more sturdy than a small Papillon. So, I don't worry as much about him hurting himself. The kneecap discolation problem is common with the breed, and he has seemed to knock his knee out of wack a couple of times when he got too wild with jumping off the furniture. But, it always went back into place after a few seconds of "walking it off". After this happened, I had my vet check his knees. She said they are in good shape and don't slip out of place easily, and shouldn't be a surgery issue in the future. I feel better about that. We'll just keep monitoring the situation.
Another health issue for he has been allergic reactions. I think he is allergic to corn, so I had to change his diet to Eukanuba, and he's been fine since then. When he was eating corn based food, he itched and chewed his paws alot. Now, if he snatches a corn chip or two off the floor, he gets a little breakout on his eyelids. Benadryl clears this right up though. He also had an allergic reation to a Lepto shot once that scared me. He got all red, swollen, and itchy. Once again, a Benadryl shot and some time cleared that up. Mommy was very worried about her baby when that happened. We won't be taking that shot anymore! Other than those things, he's a very hardy pup. His teeth are in great shape because he eats mostly dry food and has lots of chew toys. He loves carrots and ice. We also brush every so often. He is independent enough to be left in his little area while I am at work. But, I definitely plan to get him a buddy for company during the day - hopefully another papillon. I would recommend this breed to any true dog lover who is willing to learn about the breed, be prepared to train consistently, monitor health issues, and be careful of those fragile leg bones. My Papillon is the best thing that's happened to me in a long time!
email@example.com of Australia writes on 2/17/01:
Cute, smart, intelligent, friendly, healthy, obedient, playfull.
Papillon is French for butterfly. They get this name as their ears are wing shaped just like a butterfly. This gorgeous dog is sometimes know as the squirrel spaniel because of its long bushy tail curled over its back. It's coat is long, abundant, flowing, and silky. The papillon is very intelligent, healthy and a good life long companion.
Name withheld by request of Allen, TX writes on 1/4/01:
My two butterflies.
I absolutely adore my two Papillons. My ten-year old and my eleven-year old have been the source of years of joy for me. They are extremely low-maintenance dogs. The only regular grooming that I have seen as necessary is brushing their ears-they get tangled, cutting their nails, and getting dental visits. According to the vet, bad breath is very common in this breed. You also have to be careful because teeth problems can lead to a heart murmur. It is wonderful to have total strangers ask me what shampoo I use because my dogs do not smell, and being able to honestly say I haven't bathed them in months. They only need an occassional brushing. They do shed quite a bit though. One had epilepsy for about seven years and miraculously outgrew it. He has some back problems, but with some bed rest he's his old self again. The bitch is a flirt and loves attention, while the dog is a sweetheart who can melt you with a glance. These dogs are so smart and compassionate that it is amazing. When I am sad, my dog comes to sit next to me and licks my tears. One time, as a puppy, one hurt his paw in a door and the other immediately went to protect mode and kept everyone but Mommy away. He then went into the kitchen and got a mouth full of the "forbidden" senior dog food, that they were always trying to get into, and brought a mouthful of it to the other one, setting it in front of him and making a growly sound. It was so precious.
firstname.lastname@example.org of Honolulu, HI writes on 11/19/00:
Elegant, proud, and very smart.
I have a 6 month old female Papillon that we simply adore! She enjoys cuddling but she tends to be on the independent side and very curious, always getting into something. I find the p\Pap to be a very playful, active breed. Her litter mate sister is a bit more affectionate and gentler, I think, but just as active. I think it took longer to paper-train her than my previous Maltese. I understand Paps have this problem and I sure wish I knew why. Anyway, she's a great companion and great as a condo dog.
CindyAv@aol.com of Massachusetts writes on 10/6/00:
The sweetest dog in the whole world.
I love my Papillon male. He's the sweetest, smartest, lovable dog. He understands what I say and responds when I speak to him. If only I could stop his barking, but I still rate him a 5 star dog!
email@example.com of Woodridge, IL writes on 9/4/00:
This may be the perfect breed!
My Papillon came to me as a rescue dog that was found tied to a dumpster. She had two traits of the breed that often disuade people from keeping them: she wasn't housebroken (she was at least nine months old) and she had no training which is a big no-no with highly intelligent breeds.
She is absolutely wonderful, however. Within six months, she passed the CGC obedience test, was completely housebroken, and after a year and a half she got her first title of CD, or Companion Dog, in three tries with a first place, a tie for first place, and was the victim of a third place from an inexperienced judge (no Judy award...). The breed is exceptional as a companion and is very lively and social. I highly recommend it to anyone who will give at least half of the love that this dog gives them!
firstname.lastname@example.org of Florida writes on 4/4/00:
Incredible little dog.
Since we got our little Papillon, not a day has gone by that our little dog hasn't made us laugh. Never even heard of them until we got ours. Now we're about to get a second. Absolutely wonderful little dog. Fun, entertaining, so smart and so trainable. He is such a pleasure to have.
email@example.com of Golden CO writes on 3/21/00:
Happy and energetic dogs, but noisy.
We have two Papillons. I have been training dogs as an amateur for years (no, no trophies except very well behaved dogs) using Koehlers method, and this is the first small "yappy" breed we have tried. Love 'em to death because of their energy and playfulness, but have never been able to get them to be quiet when I ask them to be. They bark loud and long at the smallest provocation, which is a little annoying, but I still give them 5 stars because they're so good in all other aspects.
Hurdlechik@aol.com of the U.S. writes on 12/17/99:
They are loving, caring, and always happy. Mine is the light of my life and we love her SO much! I couldn't convince my mom to get a dog, but we she finally gave in...we got Sophie. and now Sophie follows her everywhere and Sophie's her life companion. I would tell anybody to get a Papillon because they fit anyone's lifestyle. She just goes everywhere with us, and sits in our lap - all Papillons do this. I would never get a different breed besides this one
firstname.lastname@example.org of Albuquerque, NM writes on 11/12/99:
There is not a more charming soul to be found anywhere!
The Papillon is the very essence of pleasure/ One cannot look upon the smiling face of a Papillon and be depressed. It's just not possible. He is loving, comical, serious, nagging, and playful - all within minutes. And, he has a secret - he understands the spoken word. Just say cookie and see what happens.
Name withheld by request of Lower New York writes on 10/10/99:
The Papillon is a smart little dog.
| Breed Reviews By Breed | Review a Breed
Papillon Home Page