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Papillon Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

He is like a supermodel among dogs.  We say this because we here at IndulgeYourPet feel that the Papillon Dog is one of the best-looking or at least cutest-looking dog breeds out there!  But this is more than a pretty face with unique looking ears!  He’s also a brilliant dog, brilliant and sometimes naughty.  It’s almost as if this dog is too smart for his good!

And while…

He is a small dog; don’t let his size fool you because these guys are surprisingly athletic and agile. He does pretty well in almost all dog sports, such as agility, obedience, and flyball. He also performs superbly well in mental stimulation exercises.

And he has a cute name, too, boot!

Did you know that Papillon is the French word for “butterfly”?  Well, if not, it does!  And that’s because many folks believe that their hanging ears resemble butterfly wings, which we here subscribe to as well.

But is…

Is this the right dog for you?  That’s the real question and one that we hope to help you answer in this here article.  Because… the last thing that we would like to see happen is for you to adopt a Papillon puppy or, better yet, a Papillon rescue dog only to learn three weeks later that you made a mistake!

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

 Papillon Dog Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin: France

Original Purpose:  Lap dog, companion animal

Height: 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 3 to 12 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Toy Group

Life Span: 13 to 17 years

Origin of the Papillon Dog Breed

Papillon Dogs have a long history that goes back to the Renaissance Period. They were the favorite companion dog of the ladies from the royal court and the aristocracy in France.  At first, this beautiful dog could only be possessed by the high and mighty of French society, so you’ll typically only find early references to this dog in “royal paintings” and whatnot.

But then…

There was the French Revolution, and like with anything associated with French Royalty, even the poor Papillons were ruthlessly put down.  Marie Antoinette of the “Let them have cake” fame was a big admirer of Papillons, and as you can imagine, anything associated with her during this time was in a good place.  This is why the Papillon dog breed almost became extinct during this time.  Fortunately, the breed was revived in the late nineteenth century, so we can still enjoy them.

Papillon Dog Beed and the American Kennel Club

The Papillon dog breed was “officially” recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1935, and the Papillon Club of America was formed shortly after that.  Since then, this wonderful little breed has remained immensely popular within the United States.

Physical Characteristics

The adult Papillon stands at 8 to 11 inches. This means this breed barely cuts a show dog. It weighs between 5 and 11 pounds and is light enough to be carried around.  We have already discussed Papillon’s butterfly-wing-like ears, beautiful eyes, and silky skin. He has a dainty look about him, almost like a cat. He has a delicate, tapered muzzle, a long neck, and a sleek body structure.

He has a…

Single coat, long and flowing, and particolored. White is the most common color, but he could have patches of different colors covering his body. Even his eyes are beautifully colored, as though he is wearing an eyeliner. He is simply a delectably beautiful creature.  And believe it or not, the Papillon is not a high-maintenance dog. His grooming needs are minimal, maybe just a good brushing once or twice weekly.  But the truth is, when they look this cute, you’ll probably find yourself doing this much more than is “required.”

Temperament and Personality

We have talked about how intelligent the Papillon is. He is a smart dog with a mind of his own. But he is easy to live with and doesn’t cause any trouble. He is sometimes wary of strangers but forms a strong bond with his human family – especially with the kids.

And he is a perfect apartment dog…

The Papillon Breed makes for a perfect apartment dog. However, he is not the sort of dog that can sleep on the couch for days without exercising. The Papillon Dog is a very active breed; he gets restless when he doesn’t get to go out on his daily walks.  For him, daily walks are a must. He should also get his mandatory playtime to play with other small dogs. He makes for an excellent playmate for your kids as well. He can play with them for hours and is happy to indulge them as they do the things that kids do.


Teaching your kids to be respectful whenever they play with the Papillon puppies is essential. Papillon puppies are sensitive and don’t like it when someone messes with them. They should be given their space.  That’s why in our opinion, it is best to wait until your child is at least five years old before bringing a Papillon puppy home. These puppies get along very well with cats and can become best friends with them. They can live happily in a multi-dog or multi-pet household.

Potential Health Problems

The Papillon is one of the healthiest dog breeds out there. He has a high life expectancy of 15 to 17 years and rarely gets sick. He can, however, suffer from the following health complications on rare occasions.

And while many of these conditions may not be life-threatening, they can become quite expensive, particularly if they become recurring issues.  This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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