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.
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 most iconic aspect of the Papillon is its ears which are large and well fringed, giving them a butterfly wing-like appearance.
Papillons are parti-colored or white with patches of any color. An all-white dog or a dog with no white is disqualified from the conformation show ring. A blaze (area of white extending down between the eyes) and noseband is preferred over a solid-colored head, but not required. Nose, eye-rims, and lips should be black. Paw pads vary in color from black to pink, depending on the coloring of the dog.