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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Papillon Facts

  • Group
  • Toys
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 8" - 11"
  • Weight
  • 5-10 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 14 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Moderate - This breed enjoys typical daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Difficult to Train
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Moderate
  • Colors
    • White / Black
    • White / Red
    • White / Tan
    • Tri-color (white/tan/black)
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Adapted to city living
    • Good with children
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

Continental Toy Spaniel, dwarf spaniel, phalene (drop ear version).


This breed originated in Continental Europe (France / Belgium).

Date Of Origin

The Papillon developed in the 1600's.


The Papillon probably originated in Western Europe as a bred down version of larger spaniels. Its type is believed, by some, to date to at least 1500. Also known as the dwarf spaniel, the Papillon was popular with noblewomen. Madame Pompadour and Marie Antoinette both had pet Papillons.


The Papillon is a small, fine boned dog. It is slightly longer than it is tall. Its head is small with a thin, tapered muzzle, which is about a third of the length of the head. The nose is small and black and the eyes are round and dark. The large ears are naturally erect, resembling the spread wings of a butterfly, from which the breed takes its name, and are well fringed. Except for there drooping position, the ears of the Phalene are similar. The Papillon has thin, hair like feet. Its long, plumed tail is carried arched over the back. It is single coated with long, silky, straight hair. The backs of the forelegs are feathered, and the chest has a profuse frill. It is parti-colored but the nose, eye rims, and lips are always black.


The Papillon is an alert dog that is friendly toward almost everyone, including children and other animals.


The Papillon is a most gracious companion, robust despite its small size, and very adaptable.

Health Concerns

Liver shunt, luxating patellas, PRA

Additional Information

It does well in most environments, but makes an especially good pet for an apartment dweller or a person with a sedentary lifestyle.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

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