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Papillon

Papillon

An Outgoing Sidekick

Curious, Confident, and Affectionate

Papillons are extraordinary pets. While it is interesting to learn about the breeding purpose of Papillons, their genetics actually influence health, outward appearance and behavior. Some behaviors make the Papillon and some can be quite irritating! Understanding her unique needs will help you keep her healthy and will create a stronger bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about where she came, which health conditions are a risk to her and how to keep her feeling her best.

Breed Details

Height:8-11" Weight:4-9 lbs Lifespan:12-15 years

Size
1

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
4

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
5

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
5

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
4

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: A Papillon is a smart dog with lots of energy, so keep her mind and body active, or she'll get bored. She is an athletic dog that excels at dog sports like obedience and agility. Paps can be sensitive to cold; a warm winter wardrobe is necessary.

Grooming: Brush coat as needed, at least weekly.

Dental: Papillons often have serious problems with their teeth, so you’ll need to brush them at least three times a week!

Ear Care: Clean ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


The Papillon is a charming and playful companion who is active inside the home. When given daily exercise, she is well suited for apartment living.

Positive Traits:

  • Above average intelligence and trainability when positive reinforcement training methods are used

  • Good with kids and other pets

  • Outgoing, playful personality

  • Alert, curious, and busy

  • Adaptable to a wide variety of living conditions

  • Confident, steady, and fearless

Negative Traits:

  • Prone to boredom and separation anxiety when left alone and will find trouble

  • Can be difficult to housetrain

  • Fragile and easily injured because of her small size

  • May have a tendency to bark excessively

  • Needs frequent attention from her family

  • Needs daily exercise

Whether you are considering adding a new Papillon to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Papillon will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Papillon you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. She’s counting on you to be her health expert.

Some health issues a Papillon could encounter:

Knee Ligament Tear

Knee Problems

Liver Problems

Bleeding Disorders

Heart Disease

Eye Problems

Cataracts

Distichiasis

Blindness

Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's)

Hypoadrenocorticism (Addison's)

Retained Puppy Teeth

Allergies

Bladder or Kidney Stones

Epilepsy

Thyroid Disease

Deafness

Pattern Baldness

Hernia


The Papillon was developed in France during the 16th century. They were mainly bred for companionship but also worked as ratters. Papillon is French for butterfly, and they were named for their characteristic erect ears with fringed, feathery hair. They also come in a folded ear variety called “Phalene,” French for moth. Paps are intelligent and are known for their ability to learn quickly and master tricks. They are lively and amusing, typically having more energy than most lapdogs. Papillons are protective and sometimes even possessive of their owners. The Papillon is a gentle and loving family companion.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Papillon shows signs of the following:

  • Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

  • Coughing, especially at night or upon rising after sleeping, rapid breathing at rest

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

  • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

  • Drinks and urinates more, eats more, potbelly, poor haircoat

  • General listlessness, droopy facial expression, vomiting, diarrhea

  • Puppy teeth alongside adult teeth

  • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

  • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

  • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

  • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

  • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

  • Care

    Routine Care: A Papillon is a smart dog with lots of energy, so keep her mind and body active, or she'll get bored. She is an athletic dog that excels at dog sports like obedience and agility. Paps can be sensitive to cold; a warm winter wardrobe is necessary.

    Grooming: Brush coat as needed, at least weekly.

    Dental: Papillons often have serious problems with their teeth, so you’ll need to brush them at least three times a week!

    Ear Care: Clean ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    The Papillon is a charming and playful companion who is active inside the home. When given daily exercise, she is well suited for apartment living.

    Positive Traits:

    • Above average intelligence and trainability when positive reinforcement training methods are used

    • Good with kids and other pets

    • Outgoing, playful personality

    • Alert, curious, and busy

    • Adaptable to a wide variety of living conditions

    • Confident, steady, and fearless

    Negative Traits:

    • Prone to boredom and separation anxiety when left alone and will find trouble

    • Can be difficult to housetrain

    • Fragile and easily injured because of her small size

    • May have a tendency to bark excessively

    • Needs frequent attention from her family

    • Needs daily exercise

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Papillon to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Papillon will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Papillon you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. She’s counting on you to be her health expert.

    Some health issues a Papillon could encounter:

    Knee Ligament Tear

    Knee Problems

    Liver Problems

    Bleeding Disorders

    Heart Disease

    Eye Problems

    Cataracts

    Distichiasis

    Blindness

    Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's)

    Hypoadrenocorticism (Addison's)

    Retained Puppy Teeth

    Allergies

    Bladder or Kidney Stones

    Epilepsy

    Thyroid Disease

    Deafness

    Pattern Baldness

    Hernia


  • History

    The Papillon was developed in France during the 16th century. They were mainly bred for companionship but also worked as ratters. Papillon is French for butterfly, and they were named for their characteristic erect ears with fringed, feathery hair. They also come in a folded ear variety called “Phalene,” French for moth. Paps are intelligent and are known for their ability to learn quickly and master tricks. They are lively and amusing, typically having more energy than most lapdogs. Papillons are protective and sometimes even possessive of their owners. The Papillon is a gentle and loving family companion.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Papillon shows signs of the following:

    • Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

    • Coughing, especially at night or upon rising after sleeping, rapid breathing at rest

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

    • Drinks and urinates more, eats more, potbelly, poor haircoat

    • General listlessness, droopy facial expression, vomiting, diarrhea

    • Puppy teeth alongside adult teeth

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

    • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

Papillon Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Papillon breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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