Papillon: Care, food, hygiene and everything about this breed


The Papillon, also known as Continental Toy Spaniel, is a breed characterized by its small size, its long coat and its funny appearance. Cheerful, intelligent and brave, very curious. He loves to walk and socialize with other people and animals, and although it can be somewhat stubborn, he usually learns training orders with ease. We tell you more about this dog.

It owes its name to the shape of its ears, reminiscent of the wings of a butterfly ("papillon" in French). During the 16th and 17th centuries it was common as a pet among the high society families, being even often portrayed by artists like Velázquez or Rubens. It is currently one of the races preferred by children.

The Papillon is affectionate and energetic, and has a strong instinct of protection towards his. For this reason it can become something dominant and distrustful of strangers. In addition, it is very active, so he loves outdoor exercise and long walks, as well as games, in fact, it is perfect for sports such as Agility.

Your nervous character can lead you to adopt some negative habits, such as biting objects or breaking what is around them. However, it usually responds well to education standards, so we only need to balance its energy through physical activity and proper training.

Regarding your care, the Papillon requires daily brushes Due to its long coat. It is important to untangle it well and wash it only when necessary, using the right products for your hair type (we can consult it with the veterinarian). It is also important to take special care of your teeth, as it tends to accumulate tartar.

As to your health, but is prone to suffer problems in the patella of the hind legs and fontanelle (opening in the upper part of the skull). Although with frequent reviews and proper care, this dog is usually in good health.

Everything you should know about the Butterfly Dog

Kind, vivacious, curious and playful, this little one gives himself completely to his owners, preferring one that knows how to value his beautiful appearance and the cuteness he does. Very smart and a little barking, it is enough athlete.

A perfect companion animal that is also very obedient and learns easily. Its innate elegance is what makes it worthy of participating in numerous beauty contests.

This beautiful breed owes its popularity to Tiziano Vicelli who painted it in the 16th century, marking a trend followed by other famous painters of the time such as Fragonard or Watteau, who did not hesitate to include some of their specimens in their works.

From that moment on, these kids started to be considered as royalty dogs, since throughout Europe the kings asked that they be included in their family paintings. Without going any further, it seems that Queen Marie Antoinette had a papillon.

For this reason, Spain, France and Belgium began to dispute the fact of being the country of origin of these "pocket dogs." Now, the fact that the papillon name descends from French has made the majority of canine historians think that the breed comes from France, although many consider it among the Spanish breeds of dogs.

There are many anecdotes surrounding the relationship of this race with members of royal families and courtiers. For example, it is said that King Henry was fascinated by her and that his passion led him to spend authentic fortunes on some of his specimens, given the greed of breeders who glimpsed the possibility of asking the monarch for a scandalous amount of money for One of these puppies.

Already in the nineteenth century, this water dog began to change its morphology, as breeders began to select those specimens that showed erect ears, singularity for which this pet is known today. The recognition of the race came in 1935.

In any case, the variety of papillon with drooping ears also still exists and is presented as a different category in dog shows.

Physical Characteristics

This captivating tiny race, fun and mischievous wherever there is, has great bearing and is very faithful ...

With a height at the cross of 28 centimeters maximum, it has a weight that oscillates between 1.5 and 5 kilos and he is qualified as a companion dog. Many are those who affirm that in them the majority of wonderful qualities that catch the followers of the dwarf dogs are combined.

This cotton borlita in disguise stands out for having a soft head with two large ears butterfly-shaped, feature that makes it popular.

Small dog with fine bones, his head It has a certain roundness between the ears and has a well defined stop. Its snout is somewhat thinner and shorter, narrowing towards the nose.

Their eyes They are round, medium and with black edges. Their teeth They close as scissors. The body It is more elongated than tall and the back is quite strong and somewhat arched. The chest It is deep and wide. The extremities well developed and with the bone also thin.

Another of its singularities is its duster tail. Long and implanted, it is covered with long hair, carrying it above the body. When the portal is raised and arched flat with the back, so that the tip reaches to rub the back. It should not curl or remain stretched over the back.

Of mantle copious, it is slightly wavy and bright. The hair is only short on the face, snout and the front of the extremities. The rest of the body should maintain a medium length and lengthen over the neck, so that it forms an original collar and a wavy bow that falls over your chest.

Papillon types

There are two types of papillon dogs:

  • Standard Papillon It is the variety we have been referring to and whose ears evoke the butterflies. Apart from good companion dogs, they are good guardians because they are always alert, being able to bark in a very sharp way. They are great in canine sports of agility style.
  • Phalene Papillon. The variety of papillon with drooping ears, which give it an appearance similar to that of moth, which is why they are called phalene, which means moth in French and they are nicknamed as "moth of the night." With the exception of the ears, they must meet the same standards that the American Kennel Club sets for registration. Both varieties compete together in the American race exhibitions while in Europe they do so separately.

About they colors, we can say that papillon dogs are always bicolor or tricolor, but white is the main color. The other colors would be black, red or brown and those that have solid color, although white, are not purebred.

Your head should have a color other than white from the back of the ears to the eyes. They usually have a white spot on it. They have blacks not only the edge of the eyes but also the nose and snout.


His regal bearing accompanies the extreme self-confidence with which this puppy moves. It has a layer of silky and fine hair and with the advantage that it barely gives off a dog's smell, as with larger breeds or with more hair.

If this puppy is characterized by something, it is because of its impressive intelligence and its very strong desire to please. Constant and obedient breed, it is not a pet at all heavy and can be trained to do tricks.

These dogs adapt well to live in the city, but it is advisable to educate them in obedience from an early age. Keep in mind that if this is not the case, their instinct for protection towards the property can make them bark excessively to those who hear some noise, which could disturb the neighbors if they live in an apartment. Over time you will learn to distinguish between those barks that emit occasionally and those that really should alarm you.

Mansos, patient, lively and full of charm, are one of the most obedient and miniature races receptive, although some may be shy. His numerous virtues have turned him into a loving pet, a beautiful dog for shows and a very skilled competitor given his high level of obedience.

Their enormous intelligence and infinite desire to please those we have already referred to make them a small and willing companions. It is an extremely good breed when it comes to problem solving and that will sometimes go one step ahead of its owner in its actions.

Faithful and sensitive companions where they exist, they perfectly capture human feelings, realizing at the moment if their owner is disappointed or worried, a factor that has to influence their training with a positive attitude.

Rarely loafers or lethargy are shown. Normally, do not stop jumping from side to side and run without stopping. One of his favorite activities is that of circle for pleasure.

Always willing to go for a walk, you will see him jump with emotion as soon as you show him his leash. Not in vain, it's a outgoing and open race who loves to surround herself with people of all ages.

However, at home they can not be more loving and enjoy the beautiful comfortably installed in the lap of their masters. They love to be caressed and lavish all kinds of pampering. They, for their part, usually respond with effusive kisses to those who give them such affections.

Very agile and tremendous jumpersSometimes they act with some unconsciousness, putting themselves in danger, since they do not hesitate to do so from a great height.

Relationship with children

This little rascal, which quickly becomes a member of the family, enjoy a lot with the company of the children of the house, for those who will become an inseparable companion.

Now, given the somewhat reckless behavior of this little boy, to which we have already referred, his relationship with very young children must be supervised by their owners, since their fragile anatomy is prone to harm themselves if the children are somewhat rude or They have little care when handling them, especially if they are puppies.

It should be borne in mind that many papillon dogs will not hesitate for a moment to throw themselves from the arms of a child, which could result in a fractured limb.


Everyone knows that the appearance of a pet depends largely on its appearance and its state of health in general. While he is a puppy he will have to take special food for them and once he becomes an adult, dry feed of the best quality for miniature puppies.

An adequate control of the amounts will prevent your papillon from being overweight, a problem that usually affects you if you do not have enough precaution, since this little one seems to always feel like eating.

Wet feed is not recommended to the extent that it can contribute to fattening and apart produces problems of tartar on the teeth of the pet.

This elegant companion is a very clean puppy that barely emits any smell. Despite this and as is logical, it requires a series of basic care in which the rest of the family is also favored, since dwarf puppies tend to end up on more occasions than they should in the arms of some of their family members and to such closeness the hygienic measures are appreciated.

Dental hygiene

Toy dogs tend to accumulate bacterial plaque and tartar on their small dentures and those of this breed are no exception. To alleviate its unpleasant effects, which include bad breath, it is advisable to get used to proper oral hygiene from puppies.

In this way, even though the tooth brushing It may be an activity that you never like, nor will you oppose it if you have always been familiar. Another way to guarantee cleaner teeth to your papillon is to provide some of those cookies or bones that are sold in the market and with which you can reward everything they do well.

Bath and drying

Unless it is very dirty, it will be enough to bathe the papillon once a month with a moisturizing shampoo of the special ones for dogs, with a pH similar to that of your macota, which is usually pH7.

In times of hair shedding you can wash it more frequently, since the warm water will be conducive to hair loss. It is convenient to keep your ears very clean so you can help yourself with a cleaning liquid to dissolve the earwax.

Once out of the bathroom, remove excess water with a towel and end up applying a moderate temperature dryer to avoid burns.

Given its voluminous fur, the specimens of this breed they need at least two brushes a week to wear silky hair. If you notice that it is still entangled, you should brush it more often. Also look at the possibility that your pet suffers from dermatitis, because in that case it would tend to scratch and cause knots.

Common diseases

Although too many health problems are not known to the Papillian race, like all races that have been crossed excessively by the same bloodline, it has a certain tendency to develop some common diseases, by predisposition or genetic inheritance, which is less common in those dogs that lack breed.

In good and robust health and with a longevity ranging from 15 to 18 years, the papillon accuses the following health problems:

  • Patellar dislocation. As a result of the poor alignment of the bone tends to suffer this pathology that causes discomfort and pain both when walking, as when lying down or stretching. Their cases are very frequent in this race and it is a genetic disease.
  • Bone fractures Its slight bone can cause bone fractures and similar injuries, so pay special attention to your games with young children.
  • This problem, which consists in the opening of the upper part of the skull, is corrected only but, if this does not happen, you have to protect it from blows that may affect that area.
  • Teething problems Toy dogs usually suffer from various dental pathologies that must be prevented with proper dental hygiene from puppies.
  • A rather annoying evil and that usually develops both in relation to certain foods and with various environmental factors like pollen. Some fibers are also prone to make these allergic outbreaks appear so you should keep them in mind when dressing. If you notice that your pet does not stop scratching, do not hesitate to take him to the veterinarian's office.
  • Epilepsy and seizures. A disease that without being fatal is chronic and can cause many bad times for family members. It can appear both by genetic inheritance and spontaneously and for no apparent reason.

Special mention deserves the issue that it is a race difficult to operate, since they often show problems with anesthesia.


In principle we have to refer to how important the correct socialization of the papillon from puppy, which will help to forge his friendly character. When he starts to grow and his learning ability leads him to become aware of it, you must teach him a basic order series that allow a perfect coexistence such as sitting, walking with you in the street, going to your call or staying still.

On the other hand, you should not forget that it is essential that you do not allow your pet to become a leader of the pack, since in particular this breed would become very possessive of the owners and very suspicious of strangers. East small dog syndrome It is very dangerous and is induced by the owners themselves, who let their pets believe that they are the ones they send at home.

Dogs trained in that belief begin to develop behavioral problems and become nervous, shy and overly protective. This leads them to experience separation anxiety, and to bite and break everything they find within their reach, also making them distrustful of children.

This inconvenient syndrome is not typical of your pet but is the result of the way in which humans treat miniature dogs from puppies. In many homes, their tiny appearance causes such a level of tenderness in their owners that they end up letting them do whatever they want, when treating it as if it were a baby, incurring various errors such as taking it often in arms, even when they go for the street, not allowing the necessary socialization of the pet.

Avoid it go through make it clear from puppies who is the leader of the pack and set a series of rules for them, so that it is very clear to them which way they can act and what they cannot. Failure to do so and not maintain firmness, we will be doing our little companion a disservice and we will be denying him the possibility of being the good dog with the children and of our total confidence in which he will become well trained.

We have already referred to that it is a very active breed, which needs to run and exercise daily, so we can not stop spending some time a day to meet these needs. A good walk and some outdoor games or at home will be enough and will contribute very positively to open your character, in itself absolutely nothing aggressive.

This breed is well adapted to living in the city, although some specimens are not too good to live in flats because they have a great instinct for protection and bark a lot, as they hear a minimum noise, which can be annoying for the neighborhood. Now, and of course, correcting this behavior depends largely on the training you have submitted to your pet.

Another aspect of the papillon that you will like is the one that will be grateful to be able to accompany you everywhere, which will include the car journeys that you can share together.

An excellent domestic partner who transmits joy

As one of the smaller dogs that can be had, the Papillon is a perfect companion animal, very loyal and full of vitality. Everything you have as a child is restless. If you give foot to it, you can spend hours playing without resting, and when you do it is because before you have tired who plays with it. The vividness of their behavior is something inherent to the breed, and also feels very comfortable getting noticed, so entertainment is assured.

His name, French, means 'butterfly'. It is not enough to look straight ahead to realize that it is his ears that inspired the analogy: large, oblique, stiff, rounded and fringed that give even more volume. Although Papillon is how this breed is best known, there are also those who refer to it as Continental dwarf spaniel.

Artistic origins

It was a fairly popular breed among the upper class of the France from the 15th and 16th century, but it was already in the canvases of earlier times as a member of the distinguished families. In Belgium It was also quite common in those years, which suggests (in addition to the root of its name) that this breed was achieved between Flemish and French lands.

There are many anecdotes (true or not) that circulate around the company that the Papillon offered to the royal families that reigned in France. What is true is that, for a matter of fashion and imitation, the other royalty and much of the European nobility also wanted to have their own copy. Fruit of it are the numerous orders that recognized painters received from these families and that included the Papillon. Goya, Van Dyck, Rubens, Murillo and Velázquez They are just some of them.

Being so linked to the privileged classes, in the years that the wick of the French Revolution was lit throughout Europe its popularity dropped considerably. There are currently many breeder societies that promote and maintain the breed throughout the world, even if it is already outside the prestige of the royalty bubble.

Physicist inherited from the Spanish Breton

The appearance of Papillon is very similar to that of Spanish Breton, but the difference in height inevitably makes them unmistakable: the little more than 25 centimeters of the Papillon can do little with the 50 of the Breton. Being so small, it might be that the length was more striking, but this breed keeps the proportions very well. To this harmonious profile it also contributes that the Papillon gets used to wear the head upright, with good bearing.

Depending on how the ears are, it differs between the Papillon and the Phalène. This second, instead of having them oblique, has them falls and larger. Actually, it is the precursor of the Papillon that we know today and that It has developed with stiffer ears. In any case, and in both varieties, wavy fringes hang from the ears, as does the tail. Those in the tail are especially more striking because they are born curled up and then fall, as if it were a duster.

The fur of the rest of the body is smooth and moderately long, so it needs to be brushed so that no knots or tangles are formed. The predominant color of the layer is white, but it is always accompanied by brown, liver or black spots. Precisely the ears are usually the color of the spots.

Intelligent, affectionate and very active

These dogs have the advantage of detecting and interpreting situations very well. They quickly realize the mood of the people who take care of him. In addition, they do a lot of their part to show their affection and show that they are a excellent companion. As their character is quite outgoing and quickly builds trust with someone who shows him some affection, he is also becoming a therapy dog.

Taking advantage of the fact that they absorb what is expected of them with some ease, it does not hurt that they receive a basic training to help channel your energies (They are quite jumpy, they like to investigate when they go for a walk, they get excited with visits or with the presence of other dogs). In fact, they are well above the rest of toy breeds in this regard, and in many obedience tests they compete with larger dogs.

Being a very active dogIf you are taught routine tasks and obedience guidelines, so much activity will not exceed the limits of living together. Training along with exercise are the key to making your stay more relaxed at home, but like other small breeds, the Papillon does not need demanding doses of exercise to maintain good physical and mental health. With a good daily walk It will be enough.

Sources: Mundoanimal, Perrilandia, Mundoperro.