Papillon: Dog Breed Description

The Papillon, aka Continental Toy Spaniel, is a European dog breed that originated in the 16th century. It was created for the entertainment of aristocrats. The word “papillon” is translated from French as “butterfly”. This breed is named due to its ears, which are shaped like the wings of a butterfly. However, not all continental toy spaniels have this shape of ears, there is also a variation with drooping ears (phalene). However, due to the fact that ears, like butterfly wings, are more popular with owners and breeders, the name of one of the variations was transferred to the entire breed. Despite the fact that the papillon seems to be an exquisite and aristocratic dog, in fact he is restless and very active.


Papillon is smart, alert, playful, friendly and elegant. Usually, this dog is happy to come into contact with any person. Continental Toy Spaniel doesn’t have to be aggressive or shy.


Despite its small size, the papillon is strong and hardy. He is energetic and athletic, but can be calm and patient. This is a gentle and affectionate dog that loves to be hugged. The obedient and level-headed Continental Toy Spaniel gets along well with teenagers. This breed has a developed watchdog instinct, the papillon will warn its owners about strangers or suspicious sounds by barking. Despite the fact that this dog barks a lot, it cannot be called nervous. Papillon is a wonderful companion.

Wool and care

The Papillon has a long flowing coat with a silky texture; this breed has no undercoat. Distinctive features of this dog are the fringe on the ears and the collar on the neck. The main color of the Continental Toy Spaniel is white with black or red spots; there must be a characteristic mark on the forehead, as if dividing the dog’s head into two halves. This breed sheds moderately. The Papillon should be brushed several times a week, paying particular attention to the hair on the ears and belly, as mats most often appear in these places. This dog should be washed only if absolutely necessary, it is better to use dry shampoo. Papillon is susceptible to catarrh, dislocation of the knee and von Willebrand disease.


Papillon is very obedient, easy to train and perfectly solves complex problems, for example, he just loves to perform various tricks. However, he requires early intensive socialization, primarily because of his “special” relationship with cats. The Continental Toy Spaniel is making great strides in a variety of canine sports and can also be used in psychological therapy or as a service dog. The trainer for this breed should be loving and affectionate, and the training should be consistent.


Papillon loves games and walks in the fresh air. The yard for this dog should be well fenced, as it is very intelligent and can escape from anywhere if left unattended. Despite the fact that the papillon feels great in enclosed spaces, it should not be kept in a city apartment, since it loves to bark very much, and the neighbors may not like it.

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