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The Papillon, also called the Continental Toy Spaniel, is a breed of dog of the Spaniel type. One of the oldest of the toy spaniels, it derives its name from its characteristic butterfly-like look of the long and fringed hair on the ears, the French word for “butterfly” being papillon.


Appearance and behavior

The Papillon is a very intelligent and self-assured dog that has a very easy time learning new tricks. This dog can be sociable with children and strangers but is generally reserved around new people. They can also be socialized to get along well with other pets, but care should be taken with rambunctious pets or cats with claws as they may injure it. If not properly socialized, Papillons can be distrustful and exhibit aggressive tendencies toward other dogs and people. Papillons may also be very playful and affectionate. Widely known as great companion dogs, they have the spirit and energy to keep up with active families, but can also be calm enough to be happy with sleeping in the arms of an equally affectionate owner. Due to their high energy level, they demand an augmented exercise routine, relative to the average companion breed. Papillons are known as excellent watchdogs as they will alert their owner to changes in their environment. They may be considered garrulous like many other toy dogs. The Papillon can withstand heat but is more sensitive to cold temperatures because of their single-coated fur, and should not be left outside unattended in cold weather.


The temperament of a papillon is a happy, friendly, adventurous dog. They are not shy or aggressive. Papillons make excellent family dogs but should be watched around little children, as should any dog, due to a small child’s lack of understanding of a dog’s behavior and the likelihood that they will do something to upset the dog.

Life span

Papillons can live up to 17 years. A 2002 Papillon Club of America survey puts the average age of their members’ deceased Papillons at 11.45 years.


Papillons have only minor health concerns although patellar luxation, seizures, and dental problems can be issues. Additionally, they can be at risk for [wiki title=”Progressive_retinal_atrophy” base=”EN”]PRA[/wiki], intervertebral disk disease, and allergies.


Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs; however, as with all breeds, play is not sufficient for all exercise. Daily walks or runs are an excellent way to exercise a Papillon. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off leash, such as a large fenced-in yard. Papillons are a very active breed of dog and enjoy having a job to perform. Papillon Breeders recommend [wiki title=”Dog_agility” base=”EN”]dog agility[/wiki], [wiki title=”Rally_obedience” base=”EN”]Rally obedience[/wiki], Obedience for Papillons because of their intelligence and energy level.

Papillon (dog). (2017, September 19). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

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