Search the FAQ Archives

3 - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M
N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z - Internet FAQ Archives

rec.pets.dogs: Papillons Breed-FAQ

[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index | Restaurant inspections ]
Archive-name: dogs-faq/breeds/papillons
Posting-frequency: 30 days
Last-modified: 27 Jul 1999

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
There are many FAQ's available for this group.  For a complete
listing of these, get the "Complete List of RPD FAQs".  This article
is posted bimonthly in rec.pets.dogs, and is available via anonymous ftp
to under pub/usenet/news.answers/dogs-faq/faq-list, via
the Web at, or 
via email by sending your message to with
send usenet/news.answers/dogs-faq/faq-list
in the body of the message.

This article is Copyright 1997 by the Author(s) listed below. 
It may be freely distributed on the Internet in its entirety without
alteration provided that this copyright notice is not removed.  
It may NOT reside at another website (use links, please) other
than the URL listed above without the permission of the Author(s).  
This article may not be sold for profit nor incorporated in other 
documents without he Author(s)'s permission and is provided "as is" 
without express or implied warranty.

                                Papillon FAQ
   This is the second draft edition of the Papillon FAQ. Many thanks to
   those who provided encouragement and additional information. I am
   especially grateful to Shirley Varmette, Sue James, Ed and Diana
   Fuchs, Tracy Burdick, Cindy Tittle Moore, and the Papillon-L list and
   SmlDog-L list participants for their contributions. Any errors are
   both unintentional and mine. Suggestions, additions, corrections can
   be sent to me anytime at: All rights reserved.
   However permission is expressly provided for rescue groups and animal
   shelters to make copies for educational purposes, as long as the
   copyright statement is app ended.
   Copyright 1996-1999 by Beverly Miller
Table of Contents

     * History
     * Papillons Today
     * Characteristics
     * Health Considerations
     * Acquiring a Pet Papillon
     * AKC Standard
     * Information Sources
          + Books
          + Articles
          + Periodicals
          + Gifts
          + Clubs
          + Rescue Contacts
          + Online Resources
       Papillons (pah-pee-yowns) descend from the Royal Toy Spaniels of
       Europe. Although the breed's origins are subject to debate (Italy,
       Belgium, France and Spain are the leading contenders, but a few
       argue for Asia or Latin America), the little spaniels were
       well-established as continental court favorites by the
       Renaissance. They appear in European art as early as the 1300's,
       and portraits by many of the Grand Masters (e.g. Rubens, Watteau,
       Fragonard, and Boucher) often include a Papillon or two. Madame
       Pompadour and Marie Antoinette of France, Queen Sophia Dorothea of
       Germany, and Queen Ann of Austria are among the aristocratic
       ladies that allegedly owned Papillons. However, royal men also
       doted on these elegant little dogs: France's King Henry III is
       said to have carried his to court in a basket!
       Papillons have not always been called Papillons. Over the years,
       they have been known as Epagneuls Nains, Dwarf or Continental
       Spaniels, Little Squirrel Dogs or Belgian Toy Spaniels. Throughout
       most of their history Papillons had drop ears, making their
       Spaniel ancestry more obvious. The erect eared Papillon now
       popular in the United States seems to be a mutation dating from
       the late 1800's. In some European countries, the name Papillon
       (French for "butterfly") is reserved for this erect-eared dog,
       while the earlier variety, the drop-eared Phalene ("night moth")
       is regarded as a separate breed. In the U.S. and U.K., however,
       the two are considered varieties of the same breed, and are shown
       Another relatively recent change has to do with color. Early
       Papillons were often solid-colored. Today they are predominantly
       white (parti-colored) dogs with colored markings. The AKC
       registers Paps as white and black, white and lemon, white and red,
       white and sable, or tri-color (white, black and tan). Other
       once-common colors such as liver are now seldom in evidence.
       Despite their great popularity among the landed and titled of
       Europe, English-speaking peoples were slow to embrace the
       Papillon. They were introduced to Britain around 1905. However,
       the Papillon that would become the first English champion was not
       born until 1922, and it would be two more years before British
       fanciers formed the Papillon (Butterfly Dog) Club. The breed was
       also shown in the U.S. for some years before the Papillon Club of
       America (PCA) was founded in 1935. Here progress was even more
       delayed. PCA held its first specialty show in 1936, but the club
       subsequently faltered. Although it was reactivated in 1948, the
       second specialty was not held until 1954.
       Papillons Today
       Papillons continue to be among the less popular breeds in North
       America. In the U.S. however, Papillon production has been
       increasing in recent years, in contrast to American purebreds
       overall. In 1995, AKC registrations for Paps totaled 2,592,
       putting them 52nd among AKC-recognized breeds. By 1998, Pap
       registrations had risen to 3,205 and the breed ranked 47th.
       Current litter registration data from AKC suggest that Pap
       popularity will continue to increase, along with that of other
       several other small breeds.
       In 1999, for the first time, a Papillon , Ch. Loteki Supernatural
       Being, won Best in Show -- and many hearts -- at the Westminster
       Kennel Club show. "Kirby," who is the winningest dog in breed
       history, also won the World Dog Show in Helsinki Finland, and the
       Royal Invitational in Canada in 1998, making him a "triple sweep"
       in the world of show dogs, and attracting many new admirers of the
       In addition to being relatively rare (or perhaps because of it),
       the Papillon population is unevenly distributed around the U.S.,
       with Pap breeders clustered in urban areas (especially in the
       East) and pockets of enthusiasts in other regions. This, along
       with the Pap's dainty appearance, diminutive size, and great
       trainability, probably accounts for their reputation as an ideal
       city dog. However, many regard the Pap as a "big dog in a small
       dog's body." Papillons compete successfully with the larger dogs
       in obedience, agility, tracking, and even herding. They are the
       top-ranked of all toy breeds in several sports, and CH and OTCH
       Loteki Sudden Impulse, UDX, TDX, MX has the distinction of being
       the most AKC-titled dog of any breed [CH=Champion; OTCH=Obedience
       Trial Champion; UDX=Utility Dog Excellent, the highest obedience
       title currently offered; TDX=Tracking Dog Excellent; MX= Master
       Agility Excellent, the highest Agility title currently offered].
       Paps are often trained to work as therapy dogs, and are
       increasingly used as assistance dogs.
       One result of the Pap's relative scarcity is that while some parts
       of the country offer a lively Pap scene--with specialty clubs and
       many activities---in other areas, show entries may be
       disappointing and the selection of breeders from which to chose
       extremely limited. There are some sections of the U.S. in which
       there are no Pap breeders for hundreds of miles in any direction.
       As a result, some have suggested, regional interpretations of the
       Papillon Standard have evolved. In some parts of the U.S., larger
       Papillons (i.e. closer to the maximum of 12") are popular in the
       show ring, but these bigger Paps are said to be penalized by
       judges elsewhere. This could pose a particular challenge for the
       uninitiated person in search of show or breeding stock. Anyone
       with such ambitions needs to invest many months studying the
       breed, becoming acquainted with the Paps from various lines, and
       learning from experienced breeders.
       The Papillon is a small, fine-boned dog that competes in AKC's Toy
       Group. The average show Pap stands between 8-11" tall at the
       shoulder, and weighs 3-9 lbs. However, pet Papillons may be
       smaller or larger than this show ideal. This in no way affects
       their temperament or value as a companion.
       Papillons have much to recommend them as pets. Because of their
       size, they are easily managed. Their soft, glossy coats require
       little grooming, save regular attention to ear fringe. As they are
       not double-coated, there is no big seasonal shed. Paps typically
       donot suffer from doggie odor. They adapt equally well to close
       quarters and country life. While they are indoors dogs without
       substantial exercise requirements, Paps enjoy the outdoors, and
       fancy themselves great hunters of birds, squirrels, spiders, even
       butterflies! Some are also mousers. Paps usually travel well, and
       because their crates fit neatly under airplane seats, they are
       often spared the trials of the cargo hold.
       Most Papillons are outgoing happy dogs who love to meet people,
       sit in laps, and give "kisses". They do not have a reputation for
       being high-strung, nervous or fearf ul. They generally show great
       enthusiasm for children, cats, and other dogs, if they are raised
       wi th them. However, Paps may be possessive and bossy with other
       (sometimes larger) dogs, and a Pap in motion may even appear as
       prey to some dogs. Responsible owners will always remain alert t o
       the problems inherent in such situations. Many Paps seem not to
       realize that they are vulnerable because of their size. They are
       great jumpers, and puppies particularly must be prevented from
       trying to leap tall buildings. Paps also must be protected from
       rough handling by children, and an active Pap pup can easily
       escape a youngster's arms and land in a way that could break a leg
       or worse. For these reasons, some breeders are reluctant to place
       their pups in homes where children may be too young to appreciate
       the fragility of a tiny pup.
       Papillons are attractive, amusing, and merry companions, and with
       their keen intelligence and desire to please, they can be readily
       trained to household routines. Some Paps like to bark, and as with
       other small breeds, house-training may take longer than for a
       larger dog. Obedience training is recommended for all pet Paps, as
       it can be invaluable in overcoming any stubbornness and in
       counteracting the natural tendency to spoil such a charming family
       member. Because of the sizes and types of dogs found in some dog
       training classes, small dog owners may be reluctant to involve
       their pets in such activities. Ask your breeder, veterinarian or
       dog club for references to responsible trainers, and visit several
       to watch them work. You are looking for an experienced person who
       uses positive reinforcement to train, and does not permit
       out-of-control dogs in their classes. You can also train privately
       (in individual classes) or at home. Books on dog obedience written
       by knowledgeable Pap people are listed in the bibliography section
       New Papillon owners need to carefully review the security of their
       premises. No matter how snug fencing appears to be, there are
       often small spaces between fencing and posts, gates and buildings,
       or under the fence, through which an active and curious pup may be
       tempted to seek adventure.
       Health considerations
       Papillons are known as a healthy and long-lived breed. Most remain
       active and youthful well into their teens. Although they have few
       hereditary/congenital diseases, problems common to small dogs
       (such as patellar luxation, "open" fontanels, and bite or palate
       defects) do occur. PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), a hereditary
       eye disease that affects many breeds, has recently been found in
       Paps. Conscientious breeders now have their breeding stock tested
       for PRA, and registered with CERF (the Canine Eye Research
       Foundation). The Papillon Club of America has received much
       positive recognition for its efforts at halting this problem while
       it is still rare in the breed.
       Papillons are among the more anesthetic-sensitive breeds, and
       owners should always discuss this with their veterinarians before
       scheduling surgery or dental procedures. Use of the newer safer
       (albeit more expensive) anesthetics such as isoflurane is strongly
       recomm ended.
       Acquiring a Pet Papillon
       The uneven distribution of Papillon breeders can present major
       challenges for those who want to acquire a pet puppy. In areas
       where demand exceeds supply, and particularly in those parts of
       the country where there are no Pap breeders, pet prospects can be
       few and far between. However, some breeders will ship puppies to
       new homes in adjacent states (expenses always borne by the buyer).
       This process is often facilitated by use of videotapes to show off
       the puppy, its litter mates, sire, dam, and even the breeder and
       their home or kennel. The breeder lists published by national or
       regional breed clubs are generally the best avenue to locating a
       responsible breeder. Many breeders also participate in the E-mail
       Papillon List on the internet, and if you join, you will find many
       helpful folks who can often refer you. (Papillon Club of America
       and Papillon-List addresses are listed below). Other sources
       include referrals by local AKC- affiliated all-breed or obedience
       dog clubs, and the classified sections of fanciers' magazines such
       as the AKC Gazette. There are also some breeders now listed on the
       internet (see the section below on Online Resources). Remember
       that all advertising is promotional in nature, and a truly
       dedicated breeder will be delighted, not offended, if you ask for
       references (names of others to whom s/he has sold pets).
       The wise pet-buyer will concentrate on getting a healthy, happy
       dog with a temperament suitable for their situation. Try to remain
       flexible regarding size, sex, color, and even age. Finding the
       right match is much more important. Don't be impatient. Many Pap
       breeders have long waiting lists, and the dog of your dreams won't
       be on your doorstep next week. Serious, seasoned breeders (you
       don't want to deal with any other kind) will ask many questions,
       and expect to see references from you before agreeing to part with
       one of their dogs. Informed consumers will not be offended,
       knowing the breeder to truly avoid is the one only interested in
       making a sale!
       Pet Papillons should always be spayed or neutered. Having pets
       "fixed" while young provides many health benefits, and results in
       lower vet bills and longer lives. The behavior and convenience
       advantages of spaying/neutering are also well-known. Moreover,
       there are unusual risks, responsibilities, and expenses involved
       in breeding toy dogs. This is a job better left to those who
       really know what they're doing!
       No matter how badly you want a Papillon, or how scarce they are in
       your area, do not purchase one from a pet shop, commercial kennel,
       or supplier. The little dogs these businesses deal in have
       typically been bred and raised under deplorable conditions on
       commercial puppy farms. The pup in the pet-shop window has been
       taken from its dam too young, so that it can be shipped
       cross-country and put on display at its most appealing age. Such a
       pup cannot have been properly socialized and its sire and dam have
       likely never been seen by a vet. They certainly have never been
       tested for PRA or other problems, and are too often depleted by
       constant breeding. The pups may not only be incubating infectious
       diseases, and subject to lifelong stress-related disorders, but
       carrying genes for one or more of the hereditary defects to which
       our modern dogs are prone. "Rescuing" such a pup by buying it only
       perpetuates the cycle. You would be far better off getting a pup
       of your second choice breed from a reputable breeder, who will be
       there to provide counsel, support and assistance throughout the
       life of the dog, than to invite heartbreak and huge bills later
       AKC Standard
       The Standard is the physical "blueprint" of the breed. It
       describes the physical appearance and other desired qualities of
       the breed otherwise known as type. Some characteristics, such as
       size, coat quality, and movement, are based on the original (or
       current) function for the dog. Other characteristics are more
       cosmetic such as eye color; but taken together they set this breed
       apart from all others. The Standard describes an ideal
       representative of the breed. No individual dog is perfect, but the
       Standard provides an ideal for the breeder to strive for.
       The various national/international dog organizations (AKC, the
       Kennel Club (of England), Canadian Kennel Club, etc) maintain a
       written Standard for each officially recognized breed. Standards
       for any given breed will vary somewhat from one organization to
       the next. Copies of the standards may be found in the publications
       listed below, or from the club in question. AKC Standards are
       accessible from the AKC homepage. URL is
       Information Sources
     * Avebury, Diana. Zelda and the Corgis. UK: Piccadilly Press, 1964.
       The adventures of Zelda Papillon and her three companions in
     * Christiansen, Runa. Papillon. Copenhagen: Clausen Boger, 1976.
     * Cecil, Barbara D. and Gerianne Darnell. Competitive Obedience
       Training for the Small Dog. Council Bluffs IA: T9E Publishing,
       1994. Highly-recommended obedience book by two prominent Pap
     * Gauss, Mrs. D. Christian. How to Raise and Train a Papillon. 1964.
     * Gauss, Mrs. D. Christian. The Papillon. Neptune City NJ: TFH
       Publications, 1991. TFH books are intended for sale in pet stores.
       Although they contain interesting breed histories and are
       attractively illustrated, books in this series often weave
       advertisements for name-brand pet supplies into the text, and
       sometimes offer questionable advice about breeding your pet and/or
       buying pups from pet shops, practices which are not endorsed by
       dog clubs, responsible fanciers, or the author of this FAQ.
     * "Herself" Gertrude. 1974.
     * Hill, Lore. Pap Sketchbook 1986? Collector's item, now out of
     * Hill, Lore. Pap Agility Rulebook 1996. Available from the
       author/artist. Delightfully illustrated tongue-in-cheek "rule
       book" for creative Papillons (Aren't they all?) Write Lore Hill at
       3209 SE 33rd Ct, Ocala FL 34471
     * Houtart, Albert. Les Epagneuls nains Continentaux. Brussells:
       Chasse & Peche, 1925.
     * Millot, Albert. L'Epagneul Nain Continental. France, 1974.
     * Newton, Virginia. Papillon Primer. Papillon Club of America, 1985.
       Highly recommended introduction for the first-time pet-owner.
     * Papillon Club of America, Inc. Illustrated Papillon Standard. For
       pricing/availability information, contact Sandra Schumacher, 4209
       Jefferson Ct, Great Falls MT 59405.
     * Papillon Club of America, Inc. The Pap Talk Scrapbook, compilation
       of popular articles from the club's monthly newsletter, "Pap
       Talk". Now out of print.
     * Papillon Club of America, Inc. Papillons, an introductory
       brochure, no longer in print.
     * Papillon Club of America, Inc. Papillon Club of America Five-Year
       Handbook, 1986-1990; and the Illustrated Papillon Standard. For
       pricing/availability information, contact Sandra Schumacher, 4209
       Jefferson Ct, Great Falls MT 59405.
     * Papillon Club of America, Inc. Papillon Club of America Five-Year
       Handbook, 1991-1995; and the Illustrated Papillon Standard. For
       pricing/availability information, contact Sandra Schumacher, 4209
       Jefferson Ct, Great Falls MT 59405.
     * Radermacher, Mrs. I.E. The Papillon. [U.K.] 1985.
     * Roberts, Peggy and Bob Russell. The Papillon. U.K. , 1959.
     * Roe, Carolyn and David. The Compete Papillon. Howell House, 1992.
     * Rouck, Mme R. G. Historique de la race Epagneul Nain Continental.
     * Russell, Bob & Peggy. The Papillon. Dog Lovers Series. Nicholson &
       Watson, 1959.
     * Swann, Gwen. Papillons and Other Friends. UK. Published by the
       author, 1992. 186p.
     * Tamm, Suzanne. Papillon oche Phalene. Sweden, 1978.
     * Waud, Clarice & Pat Challis. Butterfly Dog: Papillon & Phalene.
       2nd ed, rev. Reprint of 1976 ed. Kathleen Rais & Co, 92p.
     * Waud, Clarice & Mark Hutchings. Papillon Butterfly Dog. Nimrod
       Book Service (U.K.), 1985; Kathleen Rais & Co, 1986.
     * Cecil, Barbara. "Papillon TDX-ceptional: Well-practiced Reina
       seeks the challenge." AKC Gazette 106 #3 (February 1989), p. 68+.
     * Cecil, Barbara. "TDX-ceptional II: How a Petite Papillon Beat
       Horses, Heat, and the Odds to Earn her TDX and Join her
       Like-titled Mother." AKC Gazette 110 #9 (September 1993), p. 56+.
     * Franklin, R.J. M. et al. "Neuroaxonal Dystrophy in a Litter of
       Papillon Dogs." Journal of Small Animal Practice v. 36 #10
       (October 1995), p. 441+.
     * Hakanson, Nils and Kristina Narfstrom. "Progressive Retinal
       Atrophy in Papillons in Sweden: a Clinical Survey." Veterinary and
       Comparative Opthamology 5 #2 (1995) pp. 83-87.
     * Newton, Virginia. "Color in Japanese Chin and Papillons." Dog
       World September 1983. [This cite came from the AKC Gazette but is
       apparently incorrect. Does anyone have correct citation?]
     * Palika, Liz. "Dog or Butterfly?" Dog Fancy, May 1991, 48-55.
     * Pflaumer, Sharon. Breed Spotllight: "Dogdom's Aflutter Over the
       Butterfly Dog: the Personable Papillon." Dog World 80 #8 (August
       1995), 12-18.
  Periodicals and Annuals
     * All Ears, published by Papillon Canada. For more info contact:
       Diana Pierce, 61 Prince Edward Ave., Pointe Claire, Quebec, Canada
       H9R 4C4
     * Australian Papillon Handbook. For back issues contact, Mrs. Jean
       Rimmer, P.O. Box 147, Riverstone NSW 2765 Australia.
     * PapPourri: The Magazine for Papillon Fanciers. P.O. Box 992,
       Greensburg PA, 15601. Email:
     * Pap Talk, published by the Papillon Club of America for its
       members only. No subscriptions allowed.
     * Papillon Annual, vol. I (1993)-date. Published annually with a
       deadline of May 15, by Hoflin Publishing Ltd, 4401 Zephyr St,
       Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-3299. Email: Back issues are sometimes
     * Papillon News. 35 Brookside Crescent, RR#1, Kentville, Nova
       Scotia, Canada B4N 3V7. Email:
     * Reflections 1999: A PCA Pictorial. published by the Papillon Club
       of America (expected publication date is October 1999). For
       availability/pricing, contact Sandee French, 91-111 Pua'ina Place,
       Ewa Beach, HI 96706. Email:
  Pedigree Service
     * Prestige Pedigrees, Marie F. Vihonsky, 28370 Acacia, Livonia, MI
     * Prints, note cards, & stationery featuring charming
       black-and-white sketches of Papillons. For information write:
       Dorothea Robinson, DVM; 103 Walton Drive, College Station, TX
     * Stationery, prints, handpainted plates and portraits featuring
       Paps. For information write: Jill Riley, 5984 Plateau, Felton, CA
     * Limited edition Papillon sculptures, stationery, note cards, and
       prints. For information write: Nancy Miller Pinke, 16506 Whitewood
       Ave, Prior Lake, MN 55372.
     * Papillon Club of America, Inc.
       Mrs. June Peterson, Corresponding Secretary
       RR1, Box 23AA
       New Ulm, Texas 78950
     * Papillon Canada
   Mrs. Cindy Hayes, Secretary
          RR #2
          Brampton, ON, l6V 1A1
     * There are regional Papillon Clubs in several parts of the U.S.,
       including the:
     * Greater Chicagoland Papillon Club (Illinois)
     * Greater Delaware Valley Papillon Club (New Jersey)
     * Metropolitan Area Papillon Club of Washington, DC.
     * Papillon Club of Hawaii
     * Papillon Club of Northern California
     * Papillon Club of Southern California
     * Patriot Papillon Club (New England)
     * Papillon Association of Puget Sound (Washington)
     * Texas Alamo Papillon Society (San Antonio)
       For regional club contact information, visit the Regional Club
     * For a list of Australian Papillon Clubs, see
  Rescue Contact
       PCA Benevolent/Rescue Fund
       National Chair
       Lori Bovee
       6507 Koziara Dr
       Burke, VA 22105
       Email: lmbovee@EROLS.COM 
     * Click here for the PCA Rescue Webpage
  Online Resources
     * Papillon Email Lists
       Papillon-L -- The original email list for the breed, Papillon-L
       provides a lively, informative internet discussion forum for
       owners, prospective owners, fanciers, and breeders of Papillons.
   To join, send an email to:
     * Leave the subject line blank, and in the body of the message,
          + Subscribe Papillon-L first-name last-name
        (making appropriate substitutions of your name of course)
       Further instructions/information will follow. The list
       administrators (Tracy Burdick, Susi Gleffe) can be contacted by
       emailing to:
          Papfriends-L -- A discussion list for Papillon pet owners,
          owned by Mary Salvail. To subscribe, send an email to:

     * Leave the subject line blank, and in the body of the message,
       write: Subscribe Papfriends-L
          Butterfly Banter Forum -- For Papillon lovers and owners to
          exchange ideas and information. Go to:
    Papillon FAQ
    Copyright 1996-1999 Beverly Miller,

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index ]

Send corrections/additions to the FAQ Maintainer:
Beverly Miller <>

Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM