A non-aggressive breed which is friendly,intelligent
and very lively. Usually they make good house dogs and perfect companions
but do need plenty of affection.
Description & History
The Papillon, which has existed in
western Europe for many centuries, is quite possibly a descendant
of the dwarf Spaniel. The origin of the breed is obscure, but it
was known to be well established in Spain, Italy and France by the
The Papillons which first came to
England at the beginning of the twentieth century were much larger
and heavier than the present day dogs - some weighing as much as
5.5kg. The majority of the breed nowadays weigh 1.5 - 2.7 kg owing
to selective breeding reducing their size.
There are two varieties of the Papillon.
The dropped-eared variety - believed to have been the original dogs
- and the erect-eared dogs, which were possibly developed in the
latter part of the nineteenth century. The dogs with the dropped-ears
are known as Phalene (French for "moth"), and the erect-eared variety
are called Papillon (French for "butterfly"), as their ears resemble
a butterfly's wings set obliquely on their heads.
The Papillon is considered to be one
of the oldest toy breeds in continental Europe and was a favourite
at the French court. Their famous owners include Henry III, Marie
Antoinette and Madame de Pompadour. There is evidence that these
small dogs were favourites of the Old Masters, as Papillons were
portrayed by many of them - including Rubens and Rembrandt - from
as early as the sixteenth century.
A charming and elegant breed that
is amazingly hardy and active, therefeore a daily walk is appreciated.