The Papillon has one of longest histories of the toy breeds. They can be traced back more than 700 years! During this duration
they have been known by many different names. Including, but not excluded to,
Epagneuls Nains, Dwarf Spaniel, Continental Toy Spaniel, The Little Squirrel Dog, and the Belgian Toy Spaniel.
has been centered on the Italian Explorers traveling to China. During their travels it is said that they
would transport little dogs, possibly the Titian Spaniel, back to Europe. They found homes in Belgium,
French and Spanish Courts. These distinguished peoples were fascinated. This continued popularity of this little spaniel in the court circles gave the breeders
of the day a ready market for their little Spaniels. The intensive breeding program
refined the spaniel by developing a finer bone structure, more coat and profuse feathering and a very dramatic evolution in
the shape of the head. The Continental Toy Spaniel, the most resent ancestor
of the Papillon, had drooping ears, although they were set far enough apart to show the beautiful contour of the skull. The Papillon whom currently resides in our loving homes comes in two varieties, the
younger, erect eared dog, the Papillon or Butterfly Dog, and the older the Phalene or Night Moth.
beautiful pooch boasts a long fine silky coat with profuse frill on his chest and ears, and a long plume-like tail. He elegantly wears a beautiful skirt along his legs. His fine-boned
body will grow to 8-11 inches and 3-10 pounds, proportionally.
is a very happy, alert and friendly. They are a very lively and outgoing companion. He is very spirited and will, if allowed, try to hunt and flush small game, very small,
like mice, small birds, butterflies and moths. His spirit does not understand
that he is a small dog, he is not content to just sit on the porch while the big dogs play, he must play along. He must be watched though, because although his spirit can handle it, is little body cannot. He is extremely intelligent and highly trainable. He can be
trained to do just about anything. With training, persistence, patience, and
praise you can have your beautiful Papillon achieve anything.
of this breed starts the day that they are born. The puppy must be handled and
played with, and socialized with different types of people in order to develop a calm trusting companion. If socialization is not done properly or during the right time the dog may become a fear biter and not
trust its human companions.
live long, healthy lives. Their lifespan is 13-16 years and they remain their
happy playful self until their last days. They, as with all breeds, sometimes
experience some health problems.
problems are a common problem in all dogs, this is not breed specific. Most veterinarians
recommend daily tooth brushing and regular veterinary visits for dental care. Bite
problems may be the most common problem in Papillon’s, but it is also the mildest.
There are three most common bites; they are Underbites, Overbites, and Level bites.
There is a genetic mouth ailment called Wry Mouth.
are very sensitive to anesthesia. Anesthesia is usually administered according
to weight. This can be a problem for the Papillon because their odd bone structure
tends to absorb the anesthesia causing an overdose. Another issue to consider
when administering anesthesia is whether or not to administer Penicillin. Penicillin
given while under anesthesia can cause an adverse reaction and cause death.
retinal atrophy (PRA) is a more serious ailment affecting Papillon’s. PRA
is when the retinal tissue begins to slowly die away resulting in blindness. The
retina is the tissue at the back of the eye. It contains the rods and cones which
translates the light entering into the eye into signals which the brain translates into a picture. The Rods help with Night Vision and the Cones assist with Color vision and Daytime sight. As PRA causes the tissue to die these Rods and Cones die also, causing the eye to not function properly. The first signs of PRA are the pupils not responding to brightness changes in the
amount of light the dog is in. He will also act disoriented when placed in the
dark. There will also be an abnormal shine about the eye because of the lack
of response of the pupils. PRA does not cause discomfort or pain. The dogs slowly and progressively go blind.
most painful ailment that commonly befalls Papillon’s is called Patella Luxation.
This is when the Patella (knee Cap) becomes disjointed from its notch in the joint.
It is caused by the ligaments which hold the joint together not holding it together.
There are four categories of Patella Luxation. Category 1 is called Medial Patella Luxation it most commonly affects Toy, Miniature and Large breed dogs. Category 2 is called Lateral Patella Luxation and it affects Toy and Miniature breeds. Category 3 is called Lateral Patella Luxation as well, only it affects the Large and
Giant breed dogs. The Fourth category is called Trauma Patella Luxation. This type affects only dogs that are injured from one thing or another. There are also 4 grades of Patella Luxation. They are Occasional,
Frequent, Permanent with limited use of affected leg, and Permanent without use of the affected leg.