This one is one of the finest toy or companion dog breed type. They are also known by other names such as Phalene, Continental toy spaniel, Butterfly dog, Squirrel dog or the Epagneul Nain Continental.
The history of Papillion can be traced backed to the 15th century where these dogs have been described in paintings. Existence of Papillion has been clearly marked in a picture with Louis XIV. The word ‘Papillion’ means butterfly in French and hence they are popularly and correctly referred to as the butterfly dogs.
There are two types of Papillion – one which is having upright ears (which is the more common one) or the Spaniel like ears (like that of the Phalene). These dogs are registered and recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale, American Kennel Club and various others.
Papillion – At a glance
The following list of general and physical characteristics will help you to get familiarized with your Papillion: –
• Breed type: Pure breed (recognized and registered with the FCI, American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club, Canadian Kennel club, New Zealand Kennel Club and various others).
• Height: The males have an average height of 9 inches to 1 ft. whereas the females have an average height of 7 inches to 11 inches.
• Weight: Males weigh about 6 to 9 pounds whereas the females weigh about 6 to 9 pounds at an average.
• Life Span: These dogs have a life expectancy of more than 13 years, if proper health conditions are maintained. Some dogs have been reported to live even for 17 years.
• Available coat colors: They have a fine, long, straight and a single- layered coat. The Papillion generally have a white coat color, or a mixture of white with other common coat colors.
• They have long fringed hairs that extend to the ears.
Temperament and Personality traits
These dogs are happy, enthusiastic and friendly. If given proper training, then these dogs are never aggressive or shy. They have a neutral behavior towards people they know and with those whom they don’t know.
Papillion are so tiny and delicate that they should be handled with care. Make sure if you have a kid at your home, then these kids should be given proper training for handling these tiny creatures. Naughty kids can hurt these dogs while playing with them. So make sure you supervise both when they are together. These dogs can mingle well with other small pets such as birds and rabbits.
Papillion can be easily house trained as these dogs are intelligent to grasp things that are taught to them. Start puppy training sessions right from puppy hood so that they have a good temperament life long and will know how to behave in society and with friends and foes. Crating training and positive reinforcement training methods such as rewarding them with food and praise is obviously helpful for every dog.
Feeding habits and Nutrition
Feed your Papillion with premium quality dry dog food such as Acana, Dr. Tim or Purina dry dog food. Always ensure that you check the ingredients of the dog food before buying and make sure that the dog food you are buying is AAFCO approved.
Feed your dog with 1 to 1 ½ cup of premium quality dry dog food divided in to two equal parts daily. For puppies – ½ to ¾ th cup of Puppy food formula divided into three equal parts shall be appropriate.
Never feed your Papillion with human food or food that contains cheese, apple core, grapes, ice creams, garlic, onion, cashews, resins, alcohol or other such food stuff.
Health and Immunization
Although these dogs have an exceptionally high life expectancy, yet they can be occupied by several diseases in the course of their lifetime. Some of the diseases that you can expect in these dogs are: –
Patellar luxation, hypoglycemia, collapsed trachea, progressive retinal atrophy or PRA, obesity, cancer
These dogs have an Open Soft Fontonel on top of their head (this soft area is much like that of a human baby’s head). A minute hurt or blow on this part of his head can kill him. So extreme precaution should be taken when they are with kids, strangers or when they are carelessly playing.
A daily 25 to 30 minute walk should keep these dogs fit and away from diseases.
Your Papillion should be immunized at regular intervals so that they are protected from various diseases caused by dangerous viruses. Some mandatory vaccines for this breed includes: – Parvovirus, Rabies, Distemper, Coronavirus, Hepatitis A and B, Influenza and Parainfluenza vaccines. Inject annual booster shots from experienced vets.
Care and Grooming
These dogs are hypoglycemic; hence you should feed them every day with at least one teaspoon of honey syrup to keep their sugar level under control. If your Papillion falls of due to low sugar content in his blood, then immediately rub honey on his gum and tongue. This will help to restore his sugar levels to an appreciable extent. Visit a good vet if the problem persists.
The coat can be brushed once or twice a week as these dogs are average shedders. Bathe your dog only when it is needed or at least once in two weeks. Clean his teeth at least four times a week and cut his toe nails at least once a month. Check for any signs of redness, irritation, scaly or scratchy skin while you are grooming them. Consult a good vet if the problem persists. Ears should be cleaned with a pH balanced ear cleanser (at least once a week).
Rescue or adopt a Papillion according to the set guidelines by various organizations that give them recognition (as mentioned above). Make sure you rescue a dog from a reputed rescue group and the pup should be least prone to diseases and have a good temperament (never take the pup that is fighting with his other litter mates). You can rescue a Papillion from Papillion Club of America, Papillion Havan Rescue or the Papillion 911 Rescue and adoption service.