Papillons are a type of spaniel. They get their name from the french word meaning butterfly. Their ears look like the wings of a butterfly. They resemble a chihuahua in appearance, but have much more fur than even the long haired chihuahuas. They live around 12 to 15 years. There is a “drop-ear”version of the dog. The Phalene. In the AKC they are both judge as the same breed of dog.


England, France and Belgium are considered to be the countries of origin. They are recorded to date backaround 700 years ago. They are one of the oldest breeds of dog. They are found in paintings from around the 15oos in Italy. These dogs were extremely popular among royal families. A papillon is shown in a family portrait of Louis XIV.


They are very smart and should be easy to train. They are full of energy and life. They are not a good lapdog because they are very hyper. Unlike Chihuahuas, they are kind to guests and aren’t ankle biters. They are very obedient and normally not vicious. They’re friendly, small and gentle.


They have long flowing coats, with no fluffy undercoat. They have long strands of hair flowing off their ears and chests. They have massive, unmistakable ears. They should always be white with an additional color. The color should cover both eyes. A nose-band or white strip on the nose is preferred because it adds to the butterfly look. They weigh from around 7 to 10 pounds. Height is from 8 to 11 inches. The nose should not be black. That is considered a penalty in the AKC.

A papillon will not meet AKC requirements if:

  • Height over 12 inches
  • All white
  • No white


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