Did you know?
The famous painter, Titian included Papillons in many well-known paintings including the Venus of Urbino (1542).
It is fatal to let any dog know that he is funny, for he immediately loses his head and starts hamming it up. – P.G. Wodehouse
The Papillon has been known in Europe for 700 years. Originally he had drop ears and was known as the Continental Toy Spaniel. A royal favourite in the courts of Spain and France, today, both the French and the Belgians lay claim to the breed. Since the Renaissance (1300 to 1700), no known cross has been used in its development, making it one of the oldest purebred Toys.
These little dogs have figured in paintings of royal children and their courtiers by the Old Masters during the 17th and 18th century.
They owe their name to their ears! “Papillon” is French for “butterfly”, a reference to the shape of the dogs’ ears. The white blaze that runs up the center of his forehead helps further the illusion.
Bred to be an amusing and loving companion, he still fills this role admirably today.
Photos displayed courtesy of Nancy Verhoog, Flinters, British Columbia
The Papillon stands no more than 11 inches (28 cm) tall at the shoulder. He has a long, fine, silky, flowing coat in one of two colour types.
The Particolour is white with patches of any colour.
The Tri-colour is black and white with tan spots over the eyes, inside the ears, and on the cheeks. He may also have tan marks under root of his tail.
On the Papillon’s head, there must be a colour other than white which covers both ears, back and front, and extends without interruption from the ears over both eyes, giving the butterfly effect.
Because of his abundant coat, regular brushing is necessary. He has no undercoat. The Papillon’s ears are fringed and his plumed tail is carried high and arched over the back.
A light, dainty, and finely-boned animal, the Pap is nevertheless alert, animated, lively, and friendly. He is very devoted and protective, and makes a good watchdog. His small size suits him to any accommodation.
Although he has a playful and willing spirit, it must be remembered that he is still small enough to be easily injured if mishandled by very young children.
He is a good traveller, and is hardy and long-lived (up to 17 years). Although he is an indoor animal who loves to be with his family, he loves a good romp in the outdoors. An excellent companion for the stay-at-home, he requires minimal exercise.
With an eager to please nature, the Pap is easily trained. He’s smart so he needs mental stimulation and early training to avoid behavioral problems. If he’s bored, he may get into mischief.
Although he gets along well with cats and other small dogs, but his hearty spirit may encourage him to challenge much larger dogs!