Papillon's are regarded as one of the oldest breeds of dogs, mostly due to their depiction in early paintings. With a recorded history in Europe going back nearly 700 years, this pint size breed is recognisable throughout the Renaissance period, particularly 13th-15th Century Italian paintings adorning the laps of French and Spanish noblewomen.
While the Papillon has been referred to by different names throughout it's history, the most recent being the Continental Toy Spaniel, the breed characteristics are quite specific. Most recognisable of it's features are it's "butterfly" ears and coloured mask. It's coat colour is white with patches of any colour, aside from liver, and a coloured mask that covers both ears and eyes from back to front. The long feathered fur seen on the ears is also present on the high set tail, while the rest of the single coat is straight, long and fine with extra frill on the chest, ears, back of the legs and the tail. Papillon's are a fairly clean and tidy breed but their coat requires daily brushing, while uncommon the feathering may require the odd tidy up trim.
The Papillon is characterised as a toy breed with their average height being 25 - 28cms and the weight for dogs is between 4kg and 5kg and the bitches are 3 to 4kgs. Their average age expectancy is 14-15 years, with these friendly and intelligent dogs destined to pack some wonderful family memories in those years. While Papillon's are not ideally suited to life with young children, they make wonderful life companions. Their intelligence can make Papillon's easy to train, however to nurture these smarts early socialisation and exposure to different situations in a positive environment is certainly a good idea. Papillon's are tougher than they appear and will often enjoy outdoor exercise, regular walks are important.
This small, sturdy and intelligent dog can contribute greatly to your life, filling it with love and affection, but remember that as well as reciprocating this, proper training along with daily grooming and walks is a commitment you must make to this beautiful butterfly-eared pooch!