Butterfly dog,Phalenes,Squirrel Dog
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Aliases: Butterfly dog,Phalenes,Squirrel Dog

Papillon For Sale


Ratings and Attributes

12 to 16 years, depending on the health, diet, and lifestyle.

1 to 3 puppies

The Group for the Papillon is the Toy Group, with an AKC ranking of 52. The family is the Spitz, Spaniel and Companion with its original function as Lapdog and today's function as companion.


white with patches of any color except liver



Moderate Shed

8 to 11 inches high at the shoulders

7 to 10 pounds

8 to 11 inches high at the shoulders

7 to 10 pounds

Papillons can live anywhere, but apartments may cause problems as the little dog communicates in a vocal manner, which may upset the neighbors. They require steady runs or playing in the park, and enjoy their owners company at all times. Good city dogs, the only problem is they cannot tell the difference between casually barking at a shadow or serious barking at a burglar. So--they do both. If kept busy, with adequate exercise, the little dog will not have the time for idle barking. Not a breed to be raise with small children, the best owners are families with older children or single individuals. The dog is fragile, dainty boned, and is rather fragile. If dropped or accidentally stepped on--broken bones will occur.


A Papillon is referred to as a small dog related to a spaniel, which has a long, silky coat and a bushy tail that curves over its back. It's large, flaring ears are its trademark, which are shaped like the wings of a butterfly, but there is a variety of Papillon that has drooping ears. The tail of the Papillon is long and plumed, curled over its back which gave an earlier name the "Squirrel Dog." Considered to be a small and dainty dog, it is elegant and of a fine-boned structure with a build that is slightly longer than it is tall. A small dog with a quick gate, it is easy and graceful with an abundant coat of hair that is very straight, silky, and flowing.

Also known as the American Papillon, the breed called "Phalenes" (a French word pronounced fah-LEN' whereas the American pronunciation is 'FAY-leen) is a dog that has mobile ears, and are placed in a dropped position--but the dog can still lift them up at the base. In the United States, this breed is still recognized as a Papillon instead of a Phalenes--even though it is seeing a resurgence in its own breed lately even though many judges will not accept them in the show rings. There are long-time Phalene breeders located in Sweden and France that consider them a separate breed of their since their earliest origin, and are considered the forerunner of the Papillon.

Papillon Puppies

We have Papillon Puppies For Sale, please support our Papillon breeders!

Coat Description

Besides the butterfly ears, the trademark of the little Papillon is the coat of hair. To tell a good quality Papillon coat is to take the hand and run it backwards against the dog's hair. Quality hair will fall right back into place, and its maintenance will be a breeze as the hair is simple and straight normally. Many breeders of Papillons say that Papillon hair has the "flexibility of nylon but feels like 'peau d'ange', " which is French for angel's skin, or a wonderful type of satin.

The colors of the Papillon is white with patches of any color except liver. If the breed is colored with a color other than white, it should cover both eyes and both back ears to the front. Called a classic tri-color, a Papillon is one that is white and black on the body, with black on the face. Brown spots are above each eye, and also on the cheek. As a puppy, sometimes the brown spots do not show up until later on.


Written history of the hunting and working dogs go back to the Dark Ages, while during the dawn of Classical Greece and Rome the toy breeds developed that had a spitz type of background. With the disappearance of these dogs, it was not until the Renaissance that many different types of toy breeds began to develop--toy greyhounds, dwarf barbets, Cayenne dogs, and crosses of assorted breeds. None of those earlier toys had the body type or personality of the little Papillon, or toy spaniel.

Several early theories state the toy spaniel may have come from China because of Venetian trade over the centuries. History says that the Chinese actually did have such a breed--a parti-colored, long-coated dog similar to the toy spaniel of those early days, in addition to resembling the modern day Pekingese which was very popular with nobility. Some other earlier theories say that eventually, the early lines of the toy spaniel developed out of Spain, with the word spaniel referring to "dog of Spain." Others rebut this theory as the Continental Toy Spaniel did not develop as the "butterfly dog" until two-and-a-half centuries after the Conquest. But regardless, the little dog remained popular in court circles with the nobility, providing a successful market for the breed. Many pictures with royalty and nobility were painted by famous court painters of the little spaniel, with the drooped ears of the Phalene--later developing into the present day Papillon.


The Papillon is the number one dog in dog shows, excelling in obedience or agility sports, which should say a lot about the personality of this courageous little dog. An entertaining sort of dog, they are considered to be a hardy yet dainty little dog with a long life line, they are very devoted to their owners along with being a very high-spirited dog with a happy and livelily personality. One would think they are the classical lap dog, and that this little "butterfly" of a dog would seem to be the type of pretty little dog that is content to sit on its owner's lap and idly watch the world around them drift by. Not so.

On the contrary, as small as it is--the Papillon loves to hunt and flush out butterflies, moths, and mice--little things within its size range! But it cannot be used in field trials as it is too fine-boned and dainty, even though that is where the Papillon's little heart is. The basic field trials, usually involving the stronger and more durable hunting dogs like the hounds, spaniels, Labrador, retrievers, etc., involves participating in a sport that definitely would do damage to this little dog that has more courage than having some old-fashioned common sense. So it has to "make do" with being a small little watch dog, setting off the alarm whenever a bird flies over-or-a mouse quickly scuttles across the field before the brave little canine hunter finds it.

This particular breed requires socialization of the puppies before their eyes open due to the nature. Many Papillons are reported to be "fear biters" unless handled correctly when they are bred and raised by a reputable breeder. The puppies need to begin developing a calm and trusting nature when young. If raised properly, the breed will be very curious about their surroundings while being calm and assertive, without being so afraid they develop a "bitiness" to anything new. They get along well with other pets and animals, attempting to bring them into play with them.

Health Problems

Health problems for the Papillon are like any other breed--they each have their own particular types. Major concerns for the Papillon is none, with several minor concerns: Progressive Retinal Atrophy and patellar luxation. Testing should be done on the knee and eye areas. The patella in the hind legs, in particular, can occur but can be treated with surgery.


Grooming a Papillon is not like grooming most other dogs. The Papillon tri's, black and whites, and deep sables require a shampoo that is clear, blue, or white shampoos only--some purples are out there, but it is wise to use it before ever showing the Papillon or taking the little dog over to Grandma's Sunday dinner with the entire family waiting to see the new little dog. The other shampoos will eventually yellow the coat.

Rinsing is extremely important as a slightly "bluish or purplish" tinge has been known to remain in the dog's coat if not rinsed well. Many dog breeders use human shampoos for Platinum Blondes or for silver hair successfully, or there are dog shampoos similar in style. The whitening shampoos, if used, do not drain any color off the tri's, black hair, or deep sables. Good dog shampoos never "leach" the color when used, so make sure they work--especially on the red color. Whitening shampoos used on the red hair will wash out the red color of the hair with prolonged use.

A good Papillon never requires a cream rinse as their hair is so silky. BUT, for those who do have Papillons with red or sable colors, a slight bit of the cream rinse never hurts as their hair tends to be a bit drier than the other colors, explaining why red Papillons grow less fringe. Cream rinse used on other colors may have a tendency to look oily and stringy, according to professional dog groomers. But do pay special attention to the ear areas, using a de-greasing detergent in that area if needed due to an "oily" look and feel.

Drying the hair of a Papillon depends on the type of hair. To dry more quickly, the hair can be blown against the grain if the dog has perfect Pap hair. Otherwise, blow it with the grain, drying the whole body not just here and there. When brushing the Papillon, never use a slicker brush as it will break the silky hair, while leaving split ends. That particular brush should be used on Pomeranians and Poodles. Use a comb, but never use it on the wet hair of a Papillon--and use it properly. This is not a tool to be used with lack of experience.


As small as the Papillon is, they still need an average amount of exercise, due to their high-energy nature. They are low on the level of exercise, but need to still be exercised enough to keep them calm when inside or not exercising.


The Papillon is highly intelligent and easily trainable, due to a strong love of their owner and a desire to please. Highly affectionate, this adds to the ease of the training routine for the breed. All breeds were developed for some purpose or another, and the Papillon was raised to be a companion to people--inseparable and within close proximities at all time. A Papillon will never make it with an owner who has little time for the dog, requiring only a moderately demanding companion. They thrive on stimulation, obedience work, agility trials, dog therapy, trick performance, and anything that allows them to use their intelligence and still be close to their human owners--particularly the males as the females have a tendency to be slightly "aloof."

Many novice trainers confuse a dog's intelligence level and their ability to be trained. A trainer who is very inconsistent will not achieve consistent results, even teaching basic command teaching. The Papillon has the highest aptitude for learning, and has the ability to learn from everything around them--one experience after another--without any particular form of training. Forced training does badly with this breed, due to their high response rate for positive reinforcements.

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