The Papillon Dogs

Description: The name of the papillon dogs is translated in English as "butterfly dogs". And they really live up to their name.
Have you seen the two fluffy ears that rise up every moment something important is happening ? And believe me, for the papillons, every moment something very, very interesting happens.

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Papillon de Mardi Gras
Kathleen Sepulveda

Bred in Europe for more than 700 years, the dog was meant to enlighten the life of its owners, as a lap breed. It looks as elegant as a princess, but it surely isn’t as dainty as one.

Group: Toy breed.

Physical characteristics:
Height: Dogs 8-11 inches (20-28 cm). Bitches 8-11 inches (20-28 cm)
Weight: Dogs 8-10 pounds (4-5 kg). Bitches 7-9 pounds (3-4 kg)

Temperament: In the standard of the breed it says "happy, alert and friendly. Neither shy, nor aggressive".
Its relatively high tendency to bark makes him a nice watchdog. What else can you wish from a lap dog ? Plus, this dog seem not to be very distressed when being let alone.
The papillon dogs love human presence and loves being involved in all the activities. It is a companion dog and does not stand life in a kennel at all, and it is tougher than it seems.
Being keen to please their owners, the papillons are amusing and gentle and love to be cuddled. Even if they tend sometimes to be a little bit possessive of their owner, they can be trained to be the best friend in the house, including to the cat.

Health: Being both slender and fragile, and so willing to please their owner by jumping on their lap, the papillon dogs can have patellar problems that might need surgery.
As well, the fontanella on their skull that won't close by itself should be surgically closed to have its skull well protected, but take great care: the papillons might be affected by the anesthesia.
The dog might suffer also from allergies and skin conditions. Otherwise, a nice, healthy dog.

Maintenance/Grooming: The silky coat of medium length needs regular brushing, otherwise it tends to mat, specially behind the ears and on the abdomen. The fur under the pads should be trimmed and the nails as well, otherwise it will make the walk difficult.
The nice part, with the papillons, is that they don't have the doggie smell some dogs have, and this makes them the best lap dogs ever. They do not need baths, and, when required, a dry shampoo will do.
The papillon dogs shed once a year (or after each breeding season) and need, in this period, a special attention.
The teeth tend to develop tartar, so they need to have the teeth cleaned regularly and, preferable, feed them with dry food.

Training: The papillon dog is a sturdy and hardy breed, yet calm and patient.
Due to its intelligence and desire to please, the dog is very trainable. The training and early socialization is a must, because they tend to bark too much and to be possessive with the owner. A good socialization will make the dog very nice and friendly, including the other pets in the house.
They love to do tricks, so you shouldn't have second thoughts before starting the training. The papillon dogs do well in agility training, not only in obedience one. Being highly trainable, they are suited for the show ring.
Even if it is considered a "toy" breed, the papillon can do well as a "working dog", mainly therapy dog.

Breeding, puppies: The litter size is anything from 1 to 5 puppies, with an average of 3-4. Around 3-4 months, the puppies have a fluffy coat, then they become the "ugly duck" of the family. Around 5 months, the adult coat starts to grow, but they will have the final papillons look at 2-3 years old.

Varieties: Mainly white, the papillon dogs have a blaze of color on the forehead that makes you think of a butterfly. The color of the blaze can be red, red sable or black (the most frequent) but it can be as well parti-colored or tri-colored.

Famous dogs: I don't think that this dog is a "career dog", this is why every papillon is a king (or a princess) for its owners.

For papillon dogs pictures, click here.

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