Illustration of Papillon

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.


Breed Group
Vulnerable Native Breed
How much exercise?
Up to 30 minutes per day
Length of coat
How much grooming?
More than once a week
Supposedly sheds? *
Town or Country
Type of home
Minimum Garden Size
Over 12 Years

* If you are asthmatic or have an allergy, you should consult your medical advisor before considering obtaining a dog. More information can also be found on the Kennel Club website.


  • Phalene

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.

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