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Intelligent and dainty butterfly dog


The dainty butterfly dog of France and Belgium is another described as a Dwarf Spaniel or Continental Toy Spaniel in Europe. The breed comes in two varieties – the Papillon and the Phalene. The well-feathered alert ears of the Papillon resemble the spread wings of a butterfly, hence the name. The drop eared Phalene is named after the folded wings of a moth. One theory suggests that the Phalene was the original form of the breed and the erect ears of the Papillon were a product of crossing with spitz-like dogs. The Papillon and Phalene were hugely popular in the royal courts of Europe and were owned by many society ladies including Madame de Pompadour and Queen Marie Antoinette. This elegant, dainty, fine boned breed is highly intelligent and competes successfully in obedience and agility with great success.

Read more about the history of this breed – HERE

OTHER NAMES – Continental Toy Spaniel, Phalene, Epagneul Nain, Butterfly Dog, Continental Miniature Spaniel, Dwarf Spaniel


It is often said that the Papillon is a big dog in a little dog’s body. They can do virtually all that a larger dog can do, but with less effort, upkeep, and space requirements. Truly, their unique beauty goes far beyond their glorious ears! While every dog is an individual, Papillons in general have been genetically fine-tuned for hundreds of years to be companions to humans. They do not thrive in environments where there is little time for the dog, or with people who prefer a moderately demanding companion. Most Papillons will choose to never be separated from their humans if possible – having a Papillon means never going to the bathroom by yourself again! Papillons thrive on stimulation – obedience work, agility, therapy, anything that gives them an opportunity to use their brains and shine for humans. With good care they often live into their late teens, and rarely outgrow their playful, puppyish ways. Typically, the Papillon is gregarious in nature, and especially males can be very lap-doggyish (females are usually a bit more aloof). Papillons are typically not a good choice for a household with very small children, or older children who want to be able to “roughhouse” with a dog, because of their small size. This breed also tends to have pretty high self-esteem; a Papillon will protect itself if it feels threatened or mistreated. Papillons generally do well with other pets, especially other small dogs. Because they are small and fine-boned, Papillons can easily be injured or even killed by a large dog that views them as prey, is active and energetic, or just unintentionally steps on or stumbles over a Papillon. Papillons and cats generally share households quite well and can even become fast friends and playmates.


This information is taken from kennel clubs and other reliable sources

TEMPERAMENTIntelligent, Friendly, Lively
EXERCISE NEEDEDUp to 30 minutes per day
HEIGHT – MALE20-28 cm / 8-11 in (to shoulder)
HEIGHT – FEMALE20-28 cm / 8-11 in (to shoulder)
COAT TYPEMedium-Long
GROOMING NEEDSSeveral times per week


  • This little breed has been used successfully as a therapy and service and assistance dog.
  • These high-energy dogs need a lot of activity to keep them stimulated. Papillons are highly intelligent and get bored if you don’t play with them regularly.
  • Art Masters like Titian, Goya, Rubens, and Rembrandt have all included the attractive pups in their paintings.
  • Since these pups like to be on the go, it is important they are kept on-lead or within a securely fenced garden.


Click the buttons below for more information about this breed


Click on any image to view these pictures larger and in a slideshow.

Papillon Ears

Phalene Ears


Enjoy this video about Papillons, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:


Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to this breed, click to view them. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.

Thanks for reading!

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