Thanks in part to their delightful, plus sized ears and light, fluffy coat, the Papillon are perhaps amongst the most visually distinctive of all dog breeds. Of course, this appearance is quite far from being the only unique quality the Papillon is known for. Besides their distinctive look, the Papillon are also known for several other things. Listed below you will find just a few stories, facts and trivia that have helped the Papillon gain the reputation they carry.
Thanks to their dignified, noble look, the Papillon have been very popular amongst European royalty. Known Papillon lovers include Madame de Pompadour, Henry II, Henry III, Henry XIV and most famously, Marie Antoinette. [...]
The charmingly dignified, noble, even regal appearance of the breed known as the Papillon has made them quite popular in their home country of France and especially amongst royalty and celebrities.
The Papillon might be most famous for being featured in portraits of Royal and merchant class families in France starting in the fifteen hundreds. Before these French paintings by such artists as Watteau, Gonzalez Cowues, Mignard and Gragonard, toy spaniels closely resembling the Papillon were first seen in Italian paintings by Tiziano Vicelli (more commonly known as Titian); the most well known of these probably being the Venus of Urbino. King Louis XIV can also be seen in a famous portrait alongside a Papillon. [...]
Alongside their unusually large ears from which they derive their name (the word papillon being French for butterfly), the most visually appealing quality of the Papillon is almost inarguably their general, all around fluffiness. Maintaining this fluffiness is requisite in preserving the breed's reputation as amongst the most cuddly, demands keeping their hair clean, brushed and evenly trimmed.
The breed are a favorite of many show trainers and a quick search on the internet or a look through a magazine on the breed will provide so many conflicting philosophies on exactly what the dog should look like that the reader's head will have no choice but to spontaneously combust for overflow of contradictive information. In order to prevent this potential danger, the following will attempt to boil all the available information down to just the important tasks in regards to grooming the Papillon, leaving all of the little details and inconsequential aesthetic choices up to the personal taste of the owner and their Papillon. [...]
With regards to allergies, the Papillon may not be the most vulnerable of all the available breeds of dog, certainly, they are not nearly as sensitive as such other toy breeds as the Hairless variety of the Chinese Crested, whose bare skin leaves them especially open to the possibility of developing allergies to wool, but they aren't amongst the least sensitive, either and regardless, any owner of any animal absolutely must not neglect the obligation to know about any potential allergies that their dog might suffer from. Furthermore, the owner should make sure to be on the lookout for signs of these allergies in their pet and to make sure to double check product ingredients and not commit to any pet products that contain these allergens unless they are absolutely certain that they will not be putting the dog's comfort or health at risk. [...]
The Papillon, being far from obscure, has a fair share of publications and clubs devoted solely, or at least significantly, to the breed. While there isn't much in the way of exclusive magazines relating to Papillons, there are more than enough available books to make up for this. Below you will find listed some of the more popular ones, all readily available from most online bookstores and auction sites.
The Complete Papillon, by David and Carolyn Roe, serves as the official book of the breed. The book is said to have, not only the information you can expect, but in fact, almost 100% of the pertinent information regarding the breed. For example, most official breed books don't actually have very much discussion relating to the breed's preferred diet. That is, though, something you will find in this one. Anyone looking to pick up some books on the Papillon might be best advised to put this one at the top of the shopping list. [...]
Whether or not to adopt any dog, of any breed, is not a decision to be made casually, or without quite a lot of forethought and consideration. Given the appropriate attention to research and assessment of the environment the dog will be introduced to, there's no reason picking up a new addition to the family can't be an immensely rewarding experience. However, if these tasks are neglected, the owner and the dog might have nothing to look forward to but a lot of hassle, headaches and heartache. It's better to take a few hours out prior to adoption to ask questions of the breeder, verify the pedigree, read up on the breed and spend some time with the dog him or herself, than to find out that this is not the right breed for you six months from now and be forced to find a new owner for the dog, return the dog to the breeder you bought them from or, worst of all, you may even have to relinquish ownership to a nearby animal shelter. The following advice should hopefully give the prospective Papillon owner a rough idea of what the breed's unique needs are and an impression of what kind of environment they thrive in. [...]
The only commonly reported problem with the Papillon, in regards to temperament, would be the breed's slight tendency towards timidness. In training, this timidness can make housebreaking a bit of a challenge, though far from an insurmountable one. Of course, unless this is countered early on, the Papillon will sometimes opt to mark spots of the house as their personal territory. This is definitely a setback, as the breed really is not capable of living a healthy life as an outside dog and absolutely must be housebroken for the sake of the owner's peace of mind. Luckily, this is the only common major hurdle in training the breed and most trainers will be able to stop the problem in its tracks without too much extra hassle. [...]
If you've decided to take a Papillon to dog shows, the most important advice you can receive would be to find clubs, fellow Papillon trainers and dog show veterans in the area to talk shop with. Ideally, there would be an experienced Papillon show dog owner in the area whom you can recruit as a mentor of sorts to show you the ropes and share their experience with you. Short of this, though, the following should at least give you a good idea of what judges are looking for in Papillons, so that you can formulate a plan with regards to what you need to learn in to train and groom a winning show dog. [...]
If you were to take just a glance at a dog of the Papillon persuasion, their delicate features, the large, butterfly shaped ears, the fluffy coat, and the large eyes, you might assume that the Papillon is something of a dainty breed of dog. While this is certainly understandable, nothing could be further from the truth. The appearance may suggest a dog afraid of getting their paws dirty or putting much effort into anything, but nothing could be further from the truth. As anyone might expect, the breed are amongst the most intelligent and agile, but some people might be surprised to find the Papillon to also be incredibly resilient, confident, relatively strong and, should the occasion call for such an attitude, willful and stubborn in dealing with larger dogs. [...]
In regards to any dog's diet, experts recommend using foods consisting of ingredients native to the breed's country of origin. Being that the Papillon has a lineage of rat and rodent control dogs working on farms in central France, they consisted on the kind of food that was raised and grown there (not to mention the rodents they caught). In the 16th century, the era wherein their lineage is roughly traced back to, the meats available would be poultry and mutton. Also on the menu would be root type vegetables such as radishes and potatoes, along with wheat and corn. Not recommended would be any kind food that includes a soy product, fish, horse meat, beef or rice. [...]