Breed of the Week: Papillon
The Papillon is a small, fine-boned breed that stands 8-11 inches in height with a long single coat of silky hair. The most unique feature of this breed are the large rounded ears which give the dog the look of a butterfly or moth. This breed requires minimal grooming and must have a white coat with colored markings.
Bright, alert and engaged, the Papillon is generally outgoing and friendly though their small stature can lead to injuries if not properly supervised. While they are active and agile, this breed does well in almost any environment and is often seen in urban areas where their small size is advantageous to apartment life. These dogs excel in agility and flyball and are often seen as small performance dogs.
Papillons can suffer from luxating patellas, joint and disc disease, and seizure disorders. They also have poor dentition and carry the PRA, or progressive retinal atrophy, gene which should always be screened for in breeding stock.
- The name Papillon means “butterfly” in French and refers to their elegant ear set.
- Marie Antoinette was an admirer of the breed and helped them gain popularity in Europe.
- The Papillon is likely the oldest spaniel type breed still around in its original form today.