The Papillon is one of the oldest breeds of Dog and descends from the toy spaniels. They have a recorded history in Europe going back nearly 700 years. Much of the breed’s development is known because of its depiction in paintings. This tiny breed is recognizable in 13th through 15th century Italian paintings in the Renaissance period. They were often painted on the laps of French and Spanish noblewomen.


The word papillon, meaning “butterfly,” refers to the breed’s fringed upright ears, which resemble a butterfly’s outspread wings. They are a small fine-boned little Dog with a small head slightly rounded between the ears with a well defined stop.

Grooming and Physical Needs

  • Grooming Needs: The coat isn't prone to matting but should be combed and brushed once or twice a week to distribute the natural skin oils and keep the hair and skin healthy. They have only a small amount body odor as well.
  • Coat Type: The Papillon's long, flowing coat is straight, fine, and silky, with no undercoat.
  • Moulting: Moderate shedder, despite their long and fluffy coat.
  • Exercise Needs: They are a high energy Dog early on to mid-life and require a lot of exercise to keep them healthy and mentally stable.
  • Average Life Span: 12 to 16 years.


  • Family: Papillons love children, but with both being quite small can lead to accidents. More for the Dog's safety, supervise at all times when your Papillon is playing with children.
  • Temperament: Their sparkling personality makes them a favorite of all who meet them, prone to smiling and panting excitedly.
  • Trainability: Papillons are highly trainable and best trained on a schedule, as well as spend little time unsupervised. Always take them out when they first wake up in the morning, after every meal, after naps, after playtime, after a grooming session or bath, and just before bedtime.
  • Sociability (Other Pets): Papillons get along well with other pets in the family, including cats, if introduced at a young age. The fearless Papillon will often boss around Dogs much bigger than them, which on rare occasions can cause issues.
  • Barking: Excitable when people come to do door, Papillons are moderate barkers in any other situation.


Papillons are great companion Dogs with very loving natures. His energy level ranges from moderate to intense, and being highly trainable he’s a great choice if you want to participate in dog sports such as agility or rally.


Papillons do not do well in environments where there is little time for the Dog. They will choose to be never separated from their human companions. If you get a Papillon be prepare for a permanent puppy pal.