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Country of Origin:
Height: 8–11 inches
Weight: 5.5–11 pounds
Coat: Single coat is long, straight, fine, silky, flowing, abundant; chest frill; feathering
Colors: Particolor (white with patches of any color)
Registries (With Group): American Kennel Club (AKC); United Kennel Club (UKC)


Papillons are descended from toy-sized spaniels, called Continental Toy Spaniels, who were popular among European royalty since the beginning of the last millennium. Their exact origin is a mystery; some argue that their ancestors are toy breeds from Asia, like the Japanese Chin; others believe that the miniaturization of spaniel breeds in Europe happened simply by crossing in smaller pet dogs, without using any breeds from the Far East.



Happy dogs at heart, Papillons need plenty of socialization from puppyhood to help them feel confident in as many situations as possible. This is a dog who enjoys being out and about and who draws attention wherever he travels, so socializing him shouldn’t be a problem. Papillons are full of energy and fun, and they are not generally yappy. Extremely intelligent and hardier than they may appear, the versatile Papillon can be trained to do all sorts of things.


  • Exercise: Although he won’t mind being coddled now and then, the sturdy Papillon needs to use his own four feet to get enough exercise. Inquisitive and athletic, he enjoys playing outside and being a part of family activities.
  • Grooming: The Papillon doesn’t have an undercoat, so he sheds little to no hair. His silky fur is quite easy to care for and doesn’t require trimming or special grooming. He should be brushed regularly to prevent matting.
  • Life Span: The average life span of the Papillon is 13 to 16 years.
  • Training: The Papillon has proved himself a versatile dog in many arenas owing to the fact that he is easy to train. With a keen desire to please, positive rewards and motivational training will have him doing most anything his owner asks. He learns quickly and retains his lessons.
Find a Nylabone chew, treat, or toy for your Papillon or small dog!


Excerpted from World Atlas of Dog Breeds, 6th Edition. © 2009 T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Used by Permission.

World Atlas of Dog Breeds Book

World Atlas of Dog Breeds

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