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The name Papillon is the French word for butterfly, which the face and ears of this little dog should resemble. For The Best

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The Papillon has its roots in the dwarf spaniels that were very popular throughout Europe from at least the 16th century.  These little dogs were extremely popular with the nobility.

As time went on Spain and Italy became the centers of dwarf-spaniel breeding and trading.

The court of King Louis XIV of France and his wife Queen Marie Antoinette was particularly fond of Papillons and imported many of them.  It is said that Marie Antoinette gave them the name Papillon.

At one time the Papillon was known as the Squirrel Spaniel because it carries its tail over its back in the same way a squirrel does.


These early dogs had drooping ears called Phalenes which is French for moth, but through some unknown event, some dogs now have erect ears.  Some say they bred them with the Chihuahua.

Now days both dropped eared Phalenes and erect eared Papillons can be found in the same litter.  Even today both ear types are equally correct, but the erect-eared dog is much more popular in America.

In Europe the Papillon is sometimes called the Epagneul Nain or the Continental Toy Spaniel.

By the early 1900's the Papillon was well represented at French dog shows. The Papillon was being shown in England and America around the 1920's.  These earlier exhibits tended to be larger than those seen today, and featured mostly solid-colored dogs, usually of some shade of red.

Selective breeding has resulted in a smaller dog that is distinguished by its striking colors broken by patches of white.  A symmetrically marked face with white blaze adds to the butterfly appearance.

The Papillon has become one of the more popular toy dogs, functioning equally well as a loving and caring dog making great pets.


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