Papillon white black and brownPapillon

The Papillon dog breed is easy to recognize with it’s “butterfly” ears. Butterfly is the French translation of Papillon. The ears are erect with long silky hair that forms a butterfly shape. How cute is that?

They are lively, alert and friendly little dogs that are good with children although due to their size, small children should be taught how to treat them. As smart dogs, they will enjoy training sessions.


Although the origin of the Papillon is unknown, many believe they are from Europe, possibly France or Spain.


The Papillon is a member of the American Kennel Club’s toy group and officially recognized in 1915.


A Papillon is a small dog that is 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder. They can weigh between 7 and 10 pounds.


According to the American Kennel Club, standard colors for Papillons are white and black, white and lemon, white and red, white and sable, and white, black and tan. There are no standard markings.


Papillons are affectionate, smart, playful, alert and friendly dogs that are happy and outgoing. They are good with children, but younger children must be taught how to handle them to prevent injuries from occurring.

They are good with other dogs and cats, but will require exercise and training to prevent bad behaviors such as excessive barking.


Papillons have a moderate energy level and enjoy playing inside as well as outside. These small toy size dogs enjoy agility and training.

Don’t let their small size fool you. They are fast and smart dogs that learn quickly and excel at agility. Agility presents the opportunity to release their physical and mental energy.


Generally healthy dogs with an average lifespan of 16 years. Papillons can develop problems with their kneecaps in the rear legs, deafness and cataracts.

This dog breed will tolerate hot temperatures, but it will not tolerate cold climates and cold temperatures.


The Papillon has long silky hair that hangs straight. They are moderate shedders and should be brushed or combed daily to remain tangle free.

Other Grooming

Their nails should be trimmed regularly and their ears cleaned once a week. You should brush their teeth regularly as they tend to develop tartar on their teeth.


They are easy to train as they are smart dogs, but they can be difficult to housebreak. Be patient and consistent with housebreaking.

They have a strong desire to please their owners and are motivated by food. Keep training positive and both you and your Papillon will have fun.

Separation Anxiety

Papillons love to be with people and can develop separation anxiety. If they are left for long periods of time they will bark excessively and they may relieve themselves inside.

Papillon sitting with head tiltedRescue

If you have an interest in the Papillon dog breed, please consider adoption. Search for a Papillon available for adoption in your area by going to PetFinder.

To find a Papillon rescue organization, you can enter “Papillon Rescue” into a search engine such as Google. You can also search including your zip code by entering “Papillon Rescue + zip code”, replacing zip code with your actual zip code.

What do you think about the Papillon dog breed? Leave a comment below or share a story about your dog. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.