• Hungarian Language
  • English Language

Papillon Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Papillon so you can get to know the breed more.

Group Companion Dogs
Popularity Rank53
User Ratings
Compare the Papillon With Other Dogs
Select at least one dog breed to make the comparsion.
Papillon dog profile picture
OriginSpain flagSpain France flagFrance Belgium flagBelgium
Other Names
What other names does the Papillon have?
Continental Toy SpanielEpagneul NainEpagneul Nain ContinentalPhalèneSquirrel DogButterfly Dog
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?
Purebred The Papillon is considered a purebred dog breed, but many mixes and hybrids have been created from this breed. We have compiled a list of Papillon Mixes.

Papillon Size and Weight

Is a Papillon small, medium or large dog?

How big do Papillon get?

What is the average size of a Papillon?

How much does the Papillon weigh? How much should a Papillon weight? What is the normal weight of a Papillon? How much does a full-grown Papillon weight?
Male: 8-10 pounds (4-5 kg), Female: 7-9 pounds (3-4 kg)
Average Weight
What is the average weight of a Papillon?
Male: 9 pounds (4.5 kg), Female: 8 pounds (3.5 kg)
How tall is the Papillon? Papillon height:
Male: 8-11 inches (20-28 cm), Female: 8-11 inches (20-28 cm)
Average Height
What is the average height of a Papillon?
Male: 9.5 inches (24 cm), Female: 9.5 inches (24 cm)

Papillon Price and Availability

How much does the Papillon puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of a Papillon in the United States? How much money is a Papillon?

Where to buy a Papillon with a good pedigree?

If you choose to purchase the Papillon, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Papillon for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Papillon gets to a happy place.
How easy is it to get a Papillon? How many Papillon are there in the world?
Very frequent: The Papillon is quite easy to get. There is a risk of overbreeding, as it is an extremely popular breed.

Inbreeding is common because of its popularity. A new study suggests that inbreeding contributes to the incidence of disease and health problems.

So be careful, buy from a trustworthy place or kennel and seek the help of an experienced person, a professional, to make the right decision.

Papillon Trainability and Intelligence

Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Papillon? Is the Papillon breed dumb or smart?
Outstanding: Papillon is one of the brightest dog breeds. They desire to learn tricks and commands often. The limit is your creativity. They understand and memorize new commands in fewer than 5 repetitions. This breed obeys the first command 95% of the time or better.

The Papillon is one of the best breeds in the dog intelligence ranking.

Are Papillon dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training? How hard is it to train a Papillon?
Papillon dogs are easy to train. They find out the association between commands and actions quite quickly.
Watchdog Ability
Is Papillon good as a watchdog? Are they alert at night?
Papillon dogs are average watchdogs. If they sense something different, they will alert you, but observation isn't considered their main job.
Guarding Behavior / Territorial
Do Papillon dogs have aggressive behavior to protect their home/house/territory? Do they have guarding instincts?
Papillon dogs strongly protect their territory. This breed is a complete security guard, so you don't have to be afraid in case of danger.

Papillon Personality and Temperament

What kind of personality does the Papillon have? What characteristics or traits does the breed have?
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Papillon sensitivity:
Papillon dogs have an average emotional level and are not the most sensitive dog breed. Sometimes it's okay to change the daily routine, have guests and listen to loud music.

Some dogs handle moderate punishment very well, while others crumble apart at a dirty look. This breed is not affected emotionally by moderate punishment.

Affection Level
How affectionate are they? Is a Papillon a good family dog?
High: Papillon dogs are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving, and affectionate dogs toward their handlers. They enjoy quality time with their owners despite the activity and are considered great therapy dogs for those in need. This breed responds strongly to their handler's emotions because they bond closely. Their happiness is your happiness.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Continental Toy Spaniel need? Papillon social needs:
Papillon dogs need a lot of social interaction. They desire to always be with someone or around people. This breed hates being left alone.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Papillon to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Papillon roam?
Papillon dogs are not the biggest explorers. They have low wanderlust potential. Low chance of escaping from home with this breed.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Papillon have high prey drive?
Papillon dogs have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds. Cats or any other small animals might be in danger. It's a natural instinct, doesn't necessarily mean that Papillon dogs are aggressive. Better to keep this breed on a leash.

Papillon Activity and Playfulness

How playful is this breed?
The Papillon is a highly playful breed. Excited barking and sometimes nipping will alert you to play.
Do Papillon dogs bark a lot? Are they barkers/noisy? Why does my Continental Toy Spaniel bark?
A lot: Papillon is a particularly loud breed. They often enjoy barking and howling loudly. If you want a quiet dog, not the best choice.

The main triggers for barking are fear, attention, alarm, boredom, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking, and defense.

Apartment Friendly
Is Papillon good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat? Can you have a Papillon in an apartment?
It is not the best choice if you want to keep them indoors, however, with careful exercise and several walks a day, they will tolerate the indoor environment, so it is possible to keep Papillon indoors.

Papillon Adaptability and Independence

Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Papillon dogs adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments. They don't mind moving from one place to another with their owner.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
How long can a Papillon be left alone? How long can you leave a Papillon alone?
Papillon dogs tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.

Papillon Bite Characteristics

Bite Force PSI
Does the Papillon has a hard bite? What is the bite force of a Papillon? How much bite force does a Papillon have? How strong is a Papillon bite?

Between 100 and 200 PSI 🔽

Papillon bite force: Weak. The Papillon bite force is considered weak when compared to other dog breeds. The bite force Papillon measurements usually fall below 200 PSI, making them one of the breeds with the weakest bite force. The bite force of a Papillon may be weak, but it's important to remember that any dog's bite can still be dangerous if not managed properly. Despite the bite force of Papillon being lower, it does not make them any less lovable or enjoyable as pets.

Papillon bite wounds might not be as severe, but it is still essential to be cautious and prevent any biting incidents.

They are usually not aggressive and very friendly towards children and other animals. To ensure a well-behaved dog, it's essential to learn how to train a Papillon puppy not to bite from an early age. With proper training and socialization, a Papillon can be a wonderful addition to any family, providing love and companionship for years to come.

Biting Potential
Do Papillon bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Continental Toy Spaniel? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Papillon? Why do dog bites happen?

Low 🔽

The Papillon has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Papillon do?
Papillon dogs have an average tendency to nip, chew, playbite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Papillon dogs need to be taught a good attitude.

Papillon Health and Lifespan

Health Issues
Is it a healthy or unhealthy breed? Do Papillon dogs have health problems or genetic diseases?
The Papillon is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
Health Problems
What genetic/health problems does the Papillon breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the Papillon breed? Most common health risks of Papillon:
Collapsed TracheaOpen FontanelPatellar LuxationProgressive retinal atrophy (PRA)Hypoglycemia
Veterinarian Visits
How often does the Papillon breed need to go to the vet? How often should you take your dog to the vet? How often should the Papillon see the vet?
The Papillon should have a complete physical check-up at least once per year. If your dog shows any symptoms, call your veterinarian.
Life Expectancy
How long do Papillon dogs live? How old can a Papillon be? What is the age limit of the Papillon? How many years can the oldest Papillon live?

What is the average life expectancy / lifespan of a Papillon?

How long is the lifespan of a Papillon?

12-16 years
The average lifespan of Papillon: 14 years
Weather and Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot or cold weather and climate?
Prefers average to warm weather conditions
Different dogs have different preferences when it comes to weather conditions. However, in general, most dogs prefer average to warm weather conditions, as they typically find hot weather conditions to be uncomfortable and taxing.

Papillon Energy and Activity

Energy Level
How much energy does the Papillon have? What is the activity level of the Papillon?
Papillon dogs have a higher energy level than other dog breeds. If you want a dog for snuggling on the couch, this breed isn't the perfect choice for you.
Activity Requirement / Exercise Need
How much exercise does a Papillon need? How much exercise do Papillon dogs require per day?

Do Papillon dogs need a lot of exercises?

Papillon dogs need a lot of exercises. Long walks should be on a daily schedule. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does the Papillon breed need?
Papillon dogs are quite energetic dogs and they don't spend too much time with sleeping. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.

Papillon Diet and Weight Management

Average daily food consumption
How much food does a Papillon need? What dog products should I buy? How much food does a Papillon breed eat per day? What is good dog food for Papillon? How much food should I feed my Papillon?
1/4 to 1 cup of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Papillon risk for obesity:
Average: The Papillon has an average risk for obesity. Daily walks should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding.

If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Papillon weight regularly.

Papillon Allergies and Grooming

Coat / Hair Types
What type of coat does the Papillon have? What does this canine coat/fur look like?
What color is the breed's coat? What color are proper Papillon coats?
BlackTan Red White SableLemon
How to groom the Papillon and how often? How often should I take my Papillon to the groomer?
Average: The Papillon requires average grooming effort. Cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer isn't essential.

Brushing the dog's coat is useful to reduce shedding. Ears and eyes should be cleaned regularly to avoid infections.

Don't skip the seasonal flea treatment too. Dog nail trimming and dog bath can be helpful sometimes.

Check the local pet store for dog grooming supplies and find the best dog shampoo to keep its coat healthy and give your dog a pleasant experience of a dog bath.

If you don't have the time, skill, or money to take care of your Papillon, search for a dog groomer or clipping service in your area and book an appointment.

Maybe you're lucky to have a dog boarding service that includes grooming or walk-in dog bath places nearby.

Shedding Level
How much do Papillon dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Continental Toy Spaniel? Do Papillon dogs shed a lot?
Papillon dogs shed none to minimal. Having a puppy from this breed you don't have to be afraid of your couch or car being covered by dog hair. Papillon dogs could be the best choice if you don't tolerate dog hair.
Bath Time / Bathing Frequency
How often does the Papillon need a bath? How often should you give a Papillon a bath? Can I bathe my Papillon every day?
6-8 weeks
Rarely. Bathing your dog is beneficial to them in more ways than just one. It’s also a good time to look for unusual scratches, bumps, fleas, and other irregularities. When their hair is wet and flat against their body, these details are more visible.

For example, short-haired dog breeds can go a very long time in between baths. These short-haired breeds shed regularly and that shedding works to naturally remove excess dirt and oil. So unless your weenie dog got into the garbage can, you can probably hold off on a bath for a while.

Is the Papillon breed hypoallergenic?
Papillon dogs don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reactions. Some dog breeds are even considered to higher possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?

Low 🔽

The Papillon has a low chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling Tendency
Does the Papillon drool?
The Papillon is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency. If you're disgusted by slobber spots on your clothes, the Papillon could be a perfect choice for you. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. Certain dog breeds drool minimum compared to others, just like the Papillon.

If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.

Papillon Good With

Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Papillon dogs get along with other pets? Are Papillon dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Papillon dogs are one of the friendliest dog breeds.
Stranger Friendly
Are they aggressive or friendly towards/with strangers? Papillon temperament with other people:
Papillon dogs are very stranger-friendly dogs.
Child Friendly
Are Papillon dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Papillon temperament with children:
Papillon dogs are kid-friendly dogs. This breed is a good choice if you have children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Papillon dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats? Can they be good with cats? Can the Papillon breed live with a cat?
Papillon dogs are very cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly
Is Papillon good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Papillon dogs get along with other dogs?
Papillon dogs are not the most dog-friendly dogs. If you want more dogs in your family or you'd like to join dog meetups, the Papillon is not a good choice.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Papillon breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners? Is Papillon breed suitable for first-time owners?
Papillon dogs are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Office Friendly
Are Papillon dogs good office canines? Do Papillon dogs make good office-friendly pets? Can they be office dogs?
Papillon is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Papillon dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Continental Toy Spaniel temperament with senior people? Are Papillon dogs good for elderly owners?
Papillons are usually recommended for elderly people.

Papillon As a Working Dog

Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Papillon be a guide dog? Are they used as seeing-eye dogs?

Not really

This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

Papillon is not the best breed for service purposes.

Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Papillon be a therapy dog? Are they good anxiety dogs? Can a Papillon be an emotional support animal?

Not really

This breed is generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and people with anxiety disorders or autism.

Papillon is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.

Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Papillon be a sniffer dog?

Not really

They are not typically employed for this type of work, but there may be exceptional cases. A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.

Papillon is not the best breed for detection purposes.

Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Papillon be a search and rescue dog?

Not really

This dog breed is not typically used as a search and rescue dog. The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and locating missing people.

The Papillon is not the best breed for SAR purposes.

Boat and Sailor Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Papillon be a boat dog?

Not really

Papillon breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.

Boat dogs were typically bred for their strength, stamina, and water resistance, as they were often required to perform tasks such as pulling in fishing nets, and jumping into the water to retrieve ropes or lines, or helping to move cargo.

Sailor dog is a type of dog that was bred to accompany sailors on their voyages. They were typically used for three purposes: as a working dog, a watchdog, and as a companion. A boat dog is a term used to describe a type of dog that was traditionally bred and used as a working dog on boats.

Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Papillon be a drafting dog?

Not really

A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination.

Papillon is not the best breed for drafting purposes.

Fighting Dog / Military Dog
Where Papillon dogs used as fighting / military dogs in history?

Not really

In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Papillon Reproducibility

Gestation Length
How long is a Papillon pregnant?How long does it take to have puppies? How to tell if the Papillon breed is pregnant?

60-64 days

Reproductive cycle of the female Papillon: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days.

During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge.

The second part is the Estrus when the female is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days.

The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color.

The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the female’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating.

The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.

Litter Frequency

Once a year.

More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Papillon have in a litter? How many puppies can the Papillon breed have for the first time? How many puppies does a Papillon have? How many puppies can a Papillon give birth to?
2-4 puppies

Papillon Recognition

AKC Group
Is Papillon recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1915 as a Toy breed.
FCI Group
Is Papillon recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Recognized by FCI in the Companion and Toy Dogs group, in the Continental Toy Spaniel and Russian Toy section.
Breed Recognition
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the Papillon breed?
American Canine RegistryAmerican Kennel ClubAmerica's Pet RegistryCanadian Kennel ClubDog Registry of America Inc.Federation Cynologique InternationaleKennel Club of Great BritainNorth American Purebred Registry, Inc.American Canine Association, Inc.Australian National Kennel CouncilContinental Kennel ClubNational Kennel ClubNew Zealand Kennel ClubUnited Kennel Club

Papillon Pros and Cons

  • Intelligent Rank: Outstanding: Papillon is one of the brightest dog breeds.
  • Trainability: Papillon dogs are easy to train.
  • Shedding Level: Papillon dogs shed none to minimal.
  • Drooling Tendency: The Papillon is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency.
  • Stinkiness: The Papillon has a low chance of bad smell.
  • Impulse to Wander or Roam: Papillon dogs are not the biggest explorers.
  • Adaptability: Papillon dogs adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
  • Child Friendly: Papillon dogs are kid-friendly dogs.
  • Cat Friendly: Papillon dogs are very cat-friendly dogs.
  • Senior Citizens Friendly: Papillons are usually recommended for elderly people.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Papillon dogs are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
  • Hypoallergenic: Papillon dogs don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reactions.
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone: Papillon dogs tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
  • Dog Friendly: Papillon dogs are not the most dog-friendly dogs.
  • Office Friendly: Papillon is not the best dog breed for office environment.

Papillon History

The Papillon is a portrait come to life, the modern representation of the small spaniels often seen in paintings from centuries past. The dwarf spaniel, as he was once known, has changed in appearance over the years. The breed takes its name from the French word for butterfly, which actually refers to the Papillon’s fringed upright ears that resemble a butterfly’s outspread wings. However, this breed also comes in a dropped eared variety which is called the phalene, meaning ‘moth’, a cousin of the butterfly that folds its wing at rest. The two varieties, papillon and phalene, were accepted at the Belgian shows in 1902, and the name papillon was given to the dogs with oblique ears.

Furthermore, across Europe, the Papillon was the favorite of the ladies of the court, especially in France. At that time it was mostly the royal families who could afford to buy and even breed dogs as companions. Several famous people owned this breed such as Queen Marie Antionette who carried her pet Papillon with her to the guillotine and the mistress of King Louis XV, Madame Pompadour, whose dog was called Inez. There are also several evidence found in paintings featuring the 17th and 18th century’s royal children and ladies with their dogs at court done by such old masters as Rubens, Titian, and Van Dyck.

The Papillon descended from the continental toy spaniel but it is difficult to tell when it became a separate breed. These early specimens were also known as dwarf spaniels or Epagneuls Nain, especially in non-English speaking countries. However, according to researchers the fact that they were called Epagneuls could indicate Spanish origin because the name ‘spaniel’ means ‘dog of Spain’.

The Papillon is not nearly as delicate as its appearance might suggest, and in fact, it greatly enjoys chasing vermin if given the opportunity. As a pet it is delightful, being lively, irrepressible and affectionate, and liking nothing better than being in the company of those whom it becomes attached.

The Papillon Club of America was formed in 1935 and then the breed was also recognized by the AKC. However, because of World War II, the club stopped functioning for a period but then in 1948, it was back running again. Today it ranks 48th from the most famous registered breeds by the AKC.

Rate The Papillon Breed

Papillon Comments, Reviews and Questions

  • Lou

    Dec 17, 2021, 11:36:56 AM:

    These dogs are nothing short of amazing. Super smart, soft, cute, low shedding, very low odor, healthy, playful... I could go on and on. I'll never be without a Papillon if I can help it.

  • Sky

    Aug 14, 2021, 1:47:38 PM:

    Best dog I have ever had. So playful and excellent for people who are at home a lot.

  • Sarah

    Aug 3, 2021, 9:25:53 PM:

    Wow what a cutie! I feel like this is the breed of dog that I should be getting. They are a great little dog. I have seen these a lot where I live. I just wish I could buy one.

  • Joyce Wendeln

    Oct 28, 2019, 4:59:00 AM:

    I have a Phalene Papilion. He is loving, gentle and sweet, but as he aged (he is 11years now) he had developed small dog syndrome. If you don't know what that is look it up, you will remember it better.