Get Pet Insurance for your Cat & Dog
Terms and conditions apply*
Papillon Dog Breed Characteristics & Information
Although these little spaniels have changed in appearance over time, it is the same fantastic companion. The drop-eared variety is called the Phalene, whereas the array with upright ears is called the Papillon. Papillons take all their duties seriously, whether guarding or being a family companion.
In this article, we have discussed Papillons' basic requirements and characteristics. If you wish to learn more, scroll down to the following sections!
What is the History of Papillon Dogs?
Papillon dogs are seen in various famous artworks accompanying their owners. European court ladies were very fond of Papillon dogs, and the traders carried them throughout Europe in baskets. They got their name ‘Papillon’ from the shape of their ears, which resembles a butterfly.
With time, the breeders tried to improve this toy breed. Today, a significant change is seen in colour, bearing colour patches. Although they have upright ears, the initial appearance had dropped ears known as Phalene.
What are the Characteristics of Papillon Dogs?
The common characteristics of Papillon dogs are:
- Lifespan: Like any other toy breed, Papillons have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years.
- Height: Both males and females grow up to 8 to 11 inches.
- Colour: Papillon dogs can be of various colours, such as white and chocolate, white, sable, and red and white.
- Weight: Papillon dogs weigh between 4 to 8 pounds.
- Temperament: Papillon dogs are playful, very active, and intelligent.
- Energy Level: Papillon dogs have moderate energy levels and do not require much exercise.
How to Train Papillon Dogs?
Here are some tips for training your Papillon dog:
- Start Early: The beginning of the training in the puppy stage is essential to facilitate the process. Hence, start teaching basic obedience to your Papillon puppy to gradually establish clear boundaries and expectations.
- Keep Training Sessions Short: Long training sessions might cause your Papillon to lose interest. Hence, ensure the short training sessions include fun activities to keep your pet interested.
- Be Patient: Always remember that your Papillon is in the learning process and will only get some things right the first time. Hence, if your puppy does something wrong, be patient and teach it again.
- Redirect Undesirable Behaviours: If your dog shows some unwanted behaviours, try to redirect it. If your Papillon is running unusually, try to play with him to burn off that excess energy. This will help your pup understand what is good and bad.
What are the Common Health Problems in Papillon Dogs?
Some of the common health problems seen in Papillon dogs are:
- Open Fontanel: Papillons are born with a soft spot on their forehead. As they grow up, this spot closes, but sometimes, it does not fill up. Hence, any kind of accidental blow to that area could be harmful to your Papillon and can even cause death.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy: Progressive Retinal Atrophy is characterised by vision loss due to degeneration of photoreceptor cells in the retina. This condition is detectable even before any signs or symptoms appear. If no changes are made in the environment, Papillon dogs can live a happy life with blindness.
- Hypoglycemia: Most toy breeds, like Papillon dogs, suffer from hypoglycemia. In this, the blood sugar level drops down in dogs. Hypoglycemia is easily treatable if diagnosed early but can be fatal if not treated. During hypoglycemic shocks, place some sweets under their tongue and rush to the vet.
- Collapsed Trachea: The cause of collapsed trachea in Papillon dogs is idiopathic. In this, the trachea gets flat due to rapid air inhalation, causing difficulty in air entry to the lungs. The C-shaped tracheal rings also lose their stiffness and fail to retain shape.
- Patellar Luxation: In Patellar Luxation, the knee joint in Papillon dogs gets dislocated, which involves the femur, patella, and tibia. It manifests as lameness, disturbed gait, or bow-legged appearance and is classified into four stages. Patellar Luxation can further cause arthritis.
- Allergies: Allergies, also called atopy, cause itching in Papillons when they come in contact with mould, dust, or pollen. The itching mainly affects the belly, feet, and the skin folds. The initial symptoms are seen between 1 to 3 years and can worsen with time.
- Portosystemic Shunt: The liver is responsible for draining out the toxins through the portal vein. In portosystemic shunt affecting Papillons, the blood vessel bypasses the liver, and the toxins return to the systemic circulation. It is either congenital or can develop from cirrhosis.
How to Take Care of Papillon Dogs?
The following part lists 4 tips to take care of Papillon dogs:
- Grooming: Papillons have a long and flowing coat with no undercoat. Although they are not prone to matting, their coat should be brushed twice a week to circulate the natural oils in their skin. Give them a nice bath if they have a doggie odour.
- Food and Nutrition: The quantity of food will entirely depend on the dog's weight, activity level, and size. Papillons get the best nutrients from high-quality protein, fresh vegetables, and healthy fats. Overfeeding your Papillon may make it prone to obesity.
- Exercise: Papillons are a very active dog breed even after moderate energy levels. To keep them healthy, Papillons require regular walks twice or thrice per day for 20 to 30 minutes. Shorter walks are best for this breed, as longer walks disintegrate joints.
- Sleep: Like humans, papillon dogs need plenty of sleep to function correctly and stay happy and healthy. Puppy papillons require 18 to 20 hours of sleep, whereas adult dogs require 12 to 16 hours. A changed sleeping pattern indicates underlying health problems.
Papillon dogs have exceptional learning skills and are easy to deal with. However, if you want a calm and quiet lapdog, there may be better choices than Papillons. Owing to their highly active nature, they seldom stay in one place. Apart from this, they have lightning reflexes inherited from their ancestors.