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The Papillon is a small, friendly, elegant toy dog of fine-boned structure, distinguished from other breeds by its beautiful butterfly-like ears. The Papillon is one of the oldest of the toy breeds. Papillons were bred for companionship, and make excellent watch dogs.
Appearance Papillons (Pronounced PAP-ee-yon) are white with markings of any color except liver. The most distinctive aspect of the Papillon is its large ears, which are well fringed with colored (not white) silky hair. The color covers both eyes and the front and back of the ears to give the ideal butterfly look. A white blaze and noseband on the face is preferred. Tricolours should be black and white, with tan spots over eyes, inside ears and under the tail.
There are two ear variations of this breed, the completely upright ears of the more common Papillon, and the dropped spaniel-like ears of the Phalène. The AKC considers the Phalène and the Papillon the same breed. Countries whose breed clubs follow the FCI standard consider Papillons and Phalènes two separate breeds.
The Papillon coat is abundant, long, and silky. There is no undercoat. Ears are well-fringed with the inside covered with silken hair of medium length. Tail is long, well-fringed, set on high, arched over back with fringes falling to side to form plume. The head is slightly rounded between the ears, and the muzzle is fine, tapering, and narrower than the skull with an abrupt stop.
The accepted standard size varies slightly among different organizations’ breed standards, but it generally ranges from 8 inches (20 cm) to 11 inches (28 cm) at the withers. papillons usually weigh from 6 to 10 pounds (3-5kg).
Temperament The Papillon has the appearance of a dainty toy breed, but many owners will claim that their dogs act like big dogs in small dogs’ bodies. The Papillion is hardy; some people find that their Papillon is very capable of handling a good five-mile walk. Others believe the reality is that their Papillon will resist such an outing if the grass is somewhat damp, or if there are two clouds in the sky that might lead to rain.
Some Papillon owners believe that their dogs interpret any new event as having been put on for their benefit, and that the dogs do their best to be attentive hosts or hostesses. Another aspect of the Papillon that has led many to believe the “big dog” assertion is this breed’s surprising athletic ability. Perhaps people are surprised that in contrast to its staid and stately representation in the Old Master portraits, the Papillon is highly energetic and intelligent (Stanley Coren, in The Intelligence of Dogs, rates the Papillon eighth among all breeds). This makes Papillons very easy to train as they are so quick to learn. Provided their genetic structure is sound and they are healthy, Papillons are built for movement, and most do not need any encouragement to apply their energy to athletic activities.
The papillon is considered to be a “wash and wear” breed. A pet at home can be as well-groomed as a dog in the show ring, with minimal attention. In order to make a Papillon coat really shine to its fullest, it should be brushed once a day. A premium diet also aids in coat texture and shine. As puppies, papillons have silky, medium length fur. They go through an “Ugly Baby stage,” in which they lose much of their baby fur and grow in their adult fur. (information from Wikipedia)