Papillon – A Charming Entertaining Dog That Loves a Walk

A Papillon dog makes a fine pet for most households, particularly those that enjoy a good walk with an entertaining dog.

General Appearance and Description

Papillon dogs are lively, sweet creatures that take training well and enjoy being part of a family. The Papillon is one of the oldest dog breeds in history. Their history goes back at least 700 years, according to the experts. The frescoes of the 13th through 15th centuries often depict Papillon puppies and dogs.

Papillon breeders and experts know much about how the breed has grown and changed through the ages thanks to the depictions of the Papillon in the frescoes and in Renaissance paintings. Over many years, the dog’s ears became erect and somewhat fringed, which led to the dog being referred to as a butterfly dog (Papillon means “butterfly” in French).

The Papillon dog has a long tail that’s plumed and that curls over the back. It will have long fur and often the coat is lustrous and shiny. Most purebred Papillon dogs will have a white coat with patches of other colors.

Basic Temperament

Papillons are smart, friendly dogs that, while small, are tough. They love to be outside and love to walk and be active, but they are also gentle, affectionate and enjoy sitting next to you as you watch the evening news.

The Papillon can be highly active and playful, amusing those around him with his lively and charming character, but he can also be dignified, gentle and steady, when needed.

The Papillon isn’t a yappy small dog, but will take on some characteristics of “small dog syndrome” if the dog owner isn’t careful.

“Small dog syndrome” develops when the dog is allowed to believe he owns the house in which he lives. It’s a condition of small dogs because people often coddle small dogs and ask little of them in terms of obedience.

The condition can be exhibited through behavior problems like separation anxiety, snapping, biting, being very high-strung or timid, and barking obsessively.

Care Required

The Papillon puppy is relatively easy to care for. If the owner establishes good habits when the dog is young, caring for him will be a breeze as he gets older.

First, that long coat does require some care. It must be combed and brushed each day. Combing and brushing it will keep it silky and shiny.

Fortunately for Papillon owner, the dog is otherwise easy to care for. He should only be bathed or shampooed when necessary. The nails should be clipped often and the teeth should be cleaned regularly. Papillon dogs tend to have teeth that collect tarter easily.

The Papillon doesn’t shed much and, while his coat is long and silky, it doesn’t tangle or matt often.

Exercise Requirements

The Papillon needs a walk on a daily basis.

If you are concerned about your Papillon behaving badly, consider that the motivation you need to give him that regular, daily walk. Papillon dogs that are walked daily are much less likely to have behavior problems.

While the Papillon can be housed in an apartment or area without a yard, he does do better in an area that offers him an area to romp off leash, such as a fenced yard. If you don’t have a yard, he will enjoy the socialization that the dog park affords him.


The Papillon is not difficult to train, though some of this breed will have trouble being housetrained. Otherwise, the Papillon is a highly trainable dog.

This breed particularly enjoys being asked to be a watchdog, or performing in agility trials. He will also generally do well in competitive obedience. The Papillon can learn tricks easily and will enjoy performing them.

Height and Weight

Both the male and female Papillon will be about 8 to 11 inches tall. The male will weigh between 8 and 10 pounds and the female between 7 and 9 pounds.

Health and Longevity

Most Papillon dogs are healthy dogs that might only suffer from kneecap problems in the hind legs. If the dog must have surgery, some Papillons have a hard time with anesthesia.

The lifespan for an average Papillon can exceed 16 years.


The Papillon is best for a household that’s run from a house rather than apartment.

Papillons are typically not a good choice for a household with very small children, or older children who want to be able to “roughhouse” with a dog, because of their small size. This breed also tends to have pretty high self-esteem; a Papillon will protect itself if it feels threatened or mistreated.

This is partly due to the activity level, but mostly due to the fact that these dogs have a strong urge to protect and they will bark quite a bit if they hear a lot of noises. This can be a challenge in an apartment.

The Papillon makes an excellent watchdog (for the aforementioned protection urg

More Information

Further information about the Papillon can be found here.e) and also does well in competitions ranging from agility to obedience.

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