Papillon illustration
Toy

Papillon

Intelligent and dainty butterfly dog

Breed characteristics

Size
Small
Exercise
Up to 30 minutes per day
Size of home
Flat/ Apartment
Grooming
More than once a week
Coat length
Medium
Sheds
Yes
Lifespan
Over 12 years
Vulnerable native breed
No
Town or country
Either
Size of garden
No garden

About this breed

The dainty butterfly dog of France and Belgium is another described as a dwarf 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 the breed standard

Images for this breed

The Toy breed group

The Toy breeds are small companion or lap dogs. Many of the Toy breeds were bred for this capacity although some have been placed into this category simply due to their size. They should have friendly personalities and love attention. They do not need a large amount of exercise and some can be finicky eaters.

 

Breed standard colours

Breed standard colour means that the colour is accepted within the breed standard and is a traditional and well-known colour in this breed.

Breed standard colours in this breed include:

  • Black & White
  • Dark Red & White
  • Dark Red Sable & White
  • Dark Sable & White
  • Dark Shaded Sable & White
  • Lemon & White
  • Lemon Sable & White
  • Pale Red & White 
  • Pale Red Sable & White 
  • Red & White 
  • Red Sable & White 
  • Sable & White 
  • Silver & White
  • Silver Sable & White
  • Tricolour

Other colour/s

'Other' means you consider your puppy to be a colour not currently known within the breed and one that does not appear on either the breed standard or non-breed standard list. In this instance you would be directed through our registrations process to contact a breed club and/or council to support you on identifying and correctly listing the new colour.

Non-breed-standard colours

Non-breed-standard colour means that the colour is not accepted within the breed standard and whilst some dogs within the breed may be this colour it is advised to only select a dog that fits within the breed standards for all points.

Colour is only one consideration when picking a breed or individual dog, health and temperament should always be a priority over colour.

Health

Whether you’re thinking of buying a puppy, or breeding from your dog, it’s essential that you know what health issues may be found in your breed. To tackle these issues we advise that breeders use DNA tests, screening schemes and inbreeding coefficient calculators to help breed the healthiest dogs possible.

More about health

Priority health schemes and tests

The Kennel Club's Assured Breeders must use the following schemes, tests and advice. All other breeders are strongly advised to also use these.

Important health schemes and tests

We strongly recommend that all breeders, both assured breeders (ABs) and non ABs, use the following schemes, tests and advice.

Other health schemes and tests available

Find out about a particular dog's results

Please visit our Health Test Results Finder to discover the DNA or screening scheme test results for any dog on The Kennel Club's Breed Register.

You can also view the inbreeding coefficient calculation for a puppy's parents, or for a dog you're thinking of breeding from.

Have any questions about health in your breed?

If you have any concerns about a particular health condition in your breed then you may wish to speak to your vet or you could contact your breed health co-ordinator.

Breed health co-ordinators are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed. They acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have.

Contact the breed health co-ordinator for the Papillon.

Breed watch

Category 1        

Currently no points of concern specific to this breed have been identified for special attention by judges, other than those covered routinely by The Kennel Club's breed standard.

Read more about Breed Watch

Breeding restrictions

There are a number of The Kennel Club's rules and regulations that may prevent a litter from being registered, find out about our general and breed specific breeding restrictions below.

More about breeding

The option to select Phalene is available when registering a litter online. For any paper applications, a note should be made next to the relevant puppy or in the form of an accompanying letter. If registered as such, the wording Phalene will appear after the breed name on the registration certificate and noted in the Breed Records Supplement.

More information

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