About the Papillon

History
What are they like

Feeding
Purchasing a Papillon
What if I want to breed from my Papillon?
Breed Standard

 

History
Many theories have been put forward as to the origin of the Papillon, however it is generally accepted that it is descended from the European Toy Spaniel which feature in many of the Court Paintings from the 15th Century onwards. These Toy Spaniels were firm favourites with ladies of the Court and indeed it is rumoured that Marie Antoinette's own Toy Spaniel accompanied her to the guillotine. The Breed has two countries listed at its home, France and Belgium and in both of these countries it is known as the Continental Toy Spaniel. The original Papillon was 'drop-eared' and whilst today the 'erect eared' Papillon is by far the more popular, the drop-eared variety remain and are known as 'Phalenes'. Further details on the origin of this breed can be found on the web sites of the Papillon (Butterfly Dog) Club and the Papillon Club of America.

What are they like
The Papillon is a happy lively little dog, extremely intelligent and quite certain in its own mind that it is really a large dog in a small body. It has a lively and outgoing temperament and should show no signs at all of aggressiveness. It is quite happy enjoying long walks with its owner and equally content curling up in front of the fireplace at home, or more usually on its favourite chair. Its coat, the texture of which should be silky and fine, needs little attention, a few minutes a day should suffice, ensuring no tangles have developed especially under forearms. ear fringes and trousers. A papillon should be between 8" to 11" inches to the shoulders, with fine bone it is not suited to particularly young children nor, in our opinion, is it suited to mix with larger dogs, not because of any fear on the part of the Papillon but because, in the rough and tumble of play, accidents can happen. The Papillon is a relatively healthy breed and whilst Patella Luxation and more recently P R A have appeared in the breed as a general rule the breed is sound. More details of P RA can be found at the P R A Information Website

Feeding
Despite their reputation to the contrary, Toy Dogs are not finicky eaters and these days there are many scientifically balanced diets on the market suitable for Toy Dogs. Generally the main reason dogs become finicky is that they are allowed to be by their owners who worry that they are not eating enough, the answer with a Papillon is obvious, have two. They will eat out of competition and two Papillons playing in the garden give twice the joy!! Because these diets are scientifically balanced, it is not necessary for additional foods or additives to be given and of course fresh water should always be available. Some Papillons will react to milk, ours often do, as a result milk is never given, although it is not unknown for them to sneak the odd drop of tea from an unattended tea-cup!!

Purchasing a Papillon

You should always purchase your papillon from a reputable breeder. Fortunately these days one rarely sees pedigree dogs for sale in pet shops or on market stalls nonetheless a little care taken at the time of purchase will hopefully ensure you do not have any problems after you purchase your papillon. And if you do a reputable breeder will always be there to help you out. So what is meant by a reputable breeder and how do you find one. Well the first part of the question is easier to answer than the last. A reputable breeder is one who breeds with the utmost care to ensure that not only is the stock they produce typical of the breed (it adheres as closely as possible to the Breed Standard - that means it looks like a papillon when it matures!!) but also that it is sound in body and temperament. If you want a papillon you don't want to find when it matures it looks nothing like one or that it is of poor temperament or has constructional or other problems. Breeding pedigree dogs is not just a question of putting a dog to a bitch and then awaiting the happy event, reputable breeders know their blood lines, they know what is behind both the dog and the bitch, and they select the right dog for the right bitch using their experience in order to produce puppies as near to the breed standard as possible and puppies that are sound in body and temperament. For a dog to stand up to the rigours of exhibiting at some of the very large championship shows it simply has to have a good temperament and it should be counter productive to any breeder's intentions to ignore temperament and soundness. Whilst breeders who perhaps have the odd litter for fun may well take great care of their dogs and may well raise and nurture a litter with every loving care they often lack the experience of knowing what is behind their lines and that at times could present problems. We would not recommend purchasing from commercial kennels that produce large numbers of litters a year or who run a number of breeds and breed purely to provide pets, whilst the premises may well be clean and well looked after in our view often puppies raised in such places do not get the same individual care and socialisation that a show breeder will provide. Nor is such care taken in researching and understanding the blood lines.

When visiting a breeder they should always be willing to show you the mother and if still available litter brothers and sisters of the puppy you are offered and the sire (although often the breeder will have used a dog from another kennel so the sire will not be there), indeed we always ensured that prospective purchasers saw all our dogs, young and old, show dogs and non show dogs, not only does that give the purchaser the opportunity to see the stock the puppy comes from but it also gives us the opportunity to assess the purchaser from how they react to the different dogs. If the breeder won't allow you to see the dogs at their own home or won't allow you to see their dogs ask yourselves why, maybe there is something to hide and perhaps you had best walk away. Never be tempted to buy a puppy if you are not totally satisfied with it and with the breeder. On a number of occasions we have been contacted by folk who have purchased a puppy from a less than reputable breeder only to find they have had problems with it. Often they have said they only purchased it because they felt sorry for it, understandable and commendable but if you take care hopefully you will not be placed in this position. Personally we do not believe it is wise to allow puppies to leave us until they are properly covered by their inoculations. That may well mean the breeder won't let you have the puppy at the adorable age of 8 weeks, but that's best not only for you but more importantly for the puppy. You may find yourself given the third degree by a breeder, do not be embarrassed and annoyed, a reputable breeder guards their puppies well and will want to take the time to ensure that the puppy and you are well suited. Indeed we would have concerns about any breeder who is simply happy to hand over the puppy in exchange for the payment without seeking to get to know you and giving you some information about the puppy and the breed, and never be happy with a breeder who says they will meet you on the road somewhere and hand over the puppy there. A reputable breeder will accept that their responsibility for the stock they breed lasts for life, it does not mean as soon as the puppy leaves and the money exchanged  their responsibility ends. We have always made prospective purchasers aware that if the puppy does not settle, and that does not mean only in the first few days, we will take the puppy back. Indeed we have always made them appreciative of the fact that if at any time during the life of the dog they find that circumstances change and they cannot keep the dog (and divorces, deaths etc sadly happen) we will always help in rehoming the dog and if need be take it in temporarily until a suitable new home is found. We would expect nothing less from a reputable breeder.

So how do you find a reputable breeder. We would suggest you make your initial approach through the Breed Club, the Papillon (Butterfly Dog) Club who run a Puppy Register, Details can be found on the Club's web site, just go to the Links Page for Breed Club's as shown in the above menu. Whilst they may not have anything available on their books they will no doubt be able to put you in touch with breeders in your area who in turn will probably be able to assist you. Wherever you get your introduction to a breeder from the above points should serve you well. Fortunately the Papillon is not a 'popular' breed, although its popularity is growing as the secret of its charm and beauty spreads, and it may not always be easy to find a puppy, especially if you have fixed ideas as to colour or sex., indeed to find a pet bitch can at times be nigh on impossible. Many pet owners feel that a bitch may be cleaner at home than a dog, which is really a fallacy, a pet male or even two together are just as likely to be quickly house trained as a pet female.

What if I want to breed from my Papillon?

Sometimes pet owners and prospective owners feel they want to breed from their bitch,  perhaps they have been told by friends or worse by their vet that it would be 'good' for their bitch. Well the simple fact is that is nonsense, indeed if done without proper care and attention could well be harmful, even the most experienced of breeders can and do have occasional problems. Ask yourself is it really worth the possible risk to your bitch to do so. A reputable breeder will only sell a pet bitch on the condition that she is not bred from, usually the Registration Papers are endorsed to the effect that progeny from the bitch cannot be registered with the Kennel Club. The reason for this is two fold, firstly there may be a reason the breeder does not wish the bitch bred from, she may be too small, she may not be good enough from a breed point of view, secondly breeding is not easy. Whilst generally the breed are good whelpers nonetheless things can and do go wrong even for the most experienced of breeders. If you really feel you want to breed and show then do it right from the start, be honest with the breeder you are dealing with and tell them what you want to do, ensure they are aware you want to buy a bitch to breed from and show - in the long run it will serve you well. If all you want is a pet to love then please do not be tempted to breed from it, apart from the fact that you will most probably lack experience and knowledge of the lines you run the risk of it not only costing you a lot of money in vet's fees but even possibly losing your bitch.

 
Breed Standard
We had hoped to reproduce the Kennel Club Standard, unfortunately the Kennel Club has decided that 'non-commercial' sites must pay a fee of 40 for this privilege. In view of this we have decided not to reproduce the Breed Standard here, however it can be seen on the web site of the Papillon (Butterfly Dog) Club.