The Papillon is small, fine boned, energetic dog that is also known as the Continental toy Spaniel or Dwarf Spaniels. The Papillon has a long coat that is straight and fine and it does not have an undercoat. The most distinctive features of this small breed are its butterfly ears that are fringed with long hair. The hair on the Papillon’s body is medium in length and feathering also covers both the rear of the fore and hind legs. This dog has a distinctive proud tail that is also feathered with hair. This confident and cheeky little package makes the perfect lap dog.
The Papillon does shed a decent amount of hair so it needs regular grooming and a good brush each day will help with shedding. This dog comes in a variety of parti-colours that include white patches.
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Papillons are highly intelligent dogs who love to please their owners. They are easy to train and it is easily motivated to follow commands using food as a reward. This dog also has plenty of energy so it’s perfect for a family home. It is a great dog for first time dog owners and loves nothing more than to snuggle up on their owners lap for a quiet nap.
It’s a good idea to socialise the dog when it is a puppy to ensure that it’s comfortable and relaxed around other dogs and people.
They do have a tendency to bark.
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The Papillon is thought to have descended from Asian toy breeds like the Japanese Chin and on the other hand they are also believed to have resulted in the miniaturisation of European spaniels by continually cross breeding smaller dogs. Regardless of their ancient origins tiny spaniels were established by the 1200s across Europe.
The Papillon has featured in artwork from many well-known artists including Goya, Rembrandt, Tolouse-Lautrec and Marie Antoinette was an owners of the breed. The Papillon has long been a favourite of high society and it is claimed that the country of Spain is largely responsible for its popularity.
The Dwarf Spaniel originally had long folded ears during the reign of Louis the Great but over time some of the dogs were born with large erect ears. Modern day Papillons are identical to the Draft Spaniels of old and their ears can either be erect or drooping. Both drooping eared and erect eared Papillons can come from the same litter even if their parents both have the same ear type.
The French elected to name the Papillon, which means butterfly, because of its erect fringed ears. Throughout Europe the drooping eared Papillon is call the Phalene, which means ‘moth’, and in North America the breed is called a Papillon whether it has dropping or erect ears.
The Kennel Club of England accepted the breed in 1923 and the American Kennel Club recognised the breed in 1915.
Papillon Kennel Club of NSW: http://www.papillondogclubofnsw.com/