Papillon - Cute Lap Dog

Papillon - Cute Lap Dog

Author WDF Staff


The Papillon is a small-sized dog breed that originated in 17th century France. It is one of the oldest toy breeds. The Papillon is a descendant of the Continental Toy Spaniel. Papillons were originally bred for royal court Europe and for ladies of noble homes. Papillons can be seen sitting in laps, in portraits of queens and princesses painted by Europe’s most renowned artists. Van Dyke, Rembrandt, Rubens, and many others portrayed them in various artworks.

FUN FACT: The Papillon was admired by Marie Antoinette, Queen of France.

The Papillon’s name comes from the French word for butterfly, which is a reference to the breed’s upright ears, which resemble a butterfly's outspread wings. This breed has another variety - the Phalène. The Phalène is a variety with dropped-down ears. Both varieties can be born in the same litter.


FUN FACT: The Papillon used to be called “the dwarf spaniel”.

The Papillon - dog breed

Papillons are small-sized, lap dogs, that can reach 8-11 inches in height and weigh 5-10 pounds. These dogs have long, straight, and silky coats, without undercoats. Even the dog’s ears are fringed with hair. The Papillon is always party-colored (white and black, white and lemon, white and red, white and stable, white, black and tan). The coat should be brushed and combed few times a week. Papillon’s nails grow quickly, so they should be trimmed regularly. Also, as small dogs are prone to periodontal disease, it is recommended that you brush your Papillon’s teeth two or three times a week.

The Papillon - agility

Papillons are alert, friendly, and energetic little dogs that are not suited to live outdoors. They require daily exercise. They love to run around and spend time playing with their humans. Papillons are eager to please people and love to be a part of family fun. At home, they love to jump around and are often described as mountain goats. They are born to be around people at all times, so if the Papillon is left alone for long periods of time, the dog may develop undesirable behaviors.


The Papillon - intelligence

Papillons are extremely intelligent dogs and can be trained to do almost anything. They are one of the most popular toy breeds in obedience trials. Papillon is a sensitive breed so make sure to train your Papillon dog using only positive reinforcement techniques. Like every dog, Papillon also needs early socialization. If not socialized properly, Papillon can be overly suspicious or timid.

FUN FACT: The Papillon is regarded as one of the top ten smartest dog breeds.

Papillons usually don’t realize how small they are, so it is not uncommon for them to engage larger animals in play. They also love to play with children. These playdates should always be supervised because animals can see small-sized Papillon dogs as prey, or accidentally can hurt them because of the size difference between them. This is also why they are not suitable for families with very small children that do not understand that they can hurt such small dog by squeezing and grabbing them.

two papillon dogs

FUN FACT: The Papillon breed made history in the late 1990s when a Papillon named Ch. Loteki Supernatural Being (out of show ring he was called Kirby) won the World Dog Show in Helsinki, Finland, and the Royal Invitational in Canada (1998), and Best in Show, at the Westminster Kennel Club show (1999).

The Papillon - health problems

The Papillon is a long-lived breed with an average lifespan of 14-16 years. Although generally healthy, the breed is prone to certain diseases and health conditions (future) owners should be aware of. Some of the conditions the Papillon breed is prone to are luxating patella (a condition where the kneecap is dislocated out of its normal location), hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), progressive retinal atrophy (a degenerative eye disorder that eventually causes blindness), von Willebrand’s disease (a bleeding disorder caused by a lack of anti-clotting agents), open fontanel, collapsed trachea, etc. Also, Papillons are sensitive to anesthesia.

The Papillon - puppies

If you are looking to buy a Papillon puppy, you need to know that these dogs are pricey. The cost of one puppy usually is from 800 to 3000 USD, depending on the puppy’s bloodline, the reputation of a breeder, club registration, etc.


World Dog Finder team

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