A direct connection between the papillon and the phrase “keep your ears stiff” has not been proven. At the same time, the dog’s distinctive ears are an obvious choice. The small dog listed by the FCI under the standard number 77, also known as the butterfly dog, is one of the two varieties of the Continental Miniature Spaniel.
According to different sources, these big-eared Frenchmen can be seen on frescoes as early as the 14th century. From Florence, the little dogs begin their triumphal march to all of Europe. They are often brought along as gifts and are just as popular as mouse hunters and as hot-water bottles in the cold upper-class houses. They have their heyday in the 18th century.
Many world-renowned painters give four-legged friends a place on the canvases of their paintings. The prick-eared variant is first shown around the middle of the 18th century. Its origin is assumed to be due to crossbreeding with the Phalènes.
The outward appearance of the papillon has hardly changed over the years. The slightly elongated body has glossy hair with no undercoat. Strong, silky, and slightly wavy, it is medium long on the body. The neck is surrounded by a collar with long hair, and the ears and legs are clearly feathered.
The idea of the butterfly is supported by the large-looking ears and a white blaze that divides the face. White is desired as the basic color; it is supplemented by colored markings in red, reddish-brown, brown, and even black.
The coat does not smell even when wet. It is easy to care for with a brush – the feathered areas of the body require a little more care. The decline of the French nobility has a strong impact on the population of Papillon and Phalène. Only through the commitment of French and Belgian breeders does the breed gain in importance again.
France and Belgium are recognized as the country of origin of the Continental Toy Spaniel. The small papillons, which are between 22 and 30 centimeters at the shoulder, weigh between two and five kilograms. They impressively refute the assumption that it is a lap dog. Sometimes idiosyncratic, spirited, and very adaptable, the little-known small dogs are a good choice for many life plans.
Papillon Character & Essence
The Papillon maintains eye contact with humans and prefers to stay close to them. He sensitively recognizes the mood in his environment – the state of mind of his owner or moods within the family.
If the signs are pointing to a storm, the four-legged friend will look for a quiet zone. After the bad weather front cleared up, he was right in the middle of the action again. This can be turbulent. In the form of long walks with playful interludes, tracking down, fetching sticks, or chasing the ball.
Letting off steam is an essential part of Papillon’s fulfilling everyday life – he masters agility exercises with flying colors. The little four-legged friend is by no means squeamish. He wants to be treated as a whole dog.
Education is no exception. There must be rules, and the dedicated novice dog succeeds easily in setting them up and implementing them. With him, the papillon learns early on to suppress the hunting instinct, which is present in moderation, or the barking and growling as a result of foreign noise perception. After all, he wants to protect his pack. Dealing with children can sometimes be contradictory.
Jealousy in very young children contrasts with the dog’s playfulness in the company of older children. The papillon likes to live in the center of things, he doesn’t let everyone pet him and he needs a place to retreat.
There is a downside to Papillon’s sociability – he doesn’t like to be left alone. Being alone is not good for the sensitive dog soul. It is much nicer for him to be able to live with other dogs of his breed. Alternatively, they can also be four-legged roommates that the butterfly dog appreciates.