The Furry Critter Network
Canine (Dog) Breeds
ADM Ranch

Save-A-Cat
Save-A-Dog
Sitemap /

Continental Toy Spaniel

Continental Toy Spaniel


Additional
Continental Toy Spaniel
Pictures
Breed Organization
Papillon Club of America, Inc.
Website: http://www.papillonclub.org
Native Country
Italy
Other Names
Papillon, Continental, Butterfly Dog, Pap, Epagneul Nain Continental, ENC, Squirrel Spaniel, Phalene
Life Expectancy
13-15 Years
Litter Size
Average 2-4 Puppies
Breed Group
AKC Toy

Breed Appearance
Papillons are white with markings of any color. However, the most distinctive aspect of the Papillon is its large ears, which are well fringed with colored (not white) silky hair. The color must always cover both eyes and the front and back of the ears to give the proper butterfly look. A white blaze and noseband on the face are preferred.

There are two ear variations of this breed, the completely upright ears of the more common Papillon, and the dropped spaniel-like ears of the Phalène. The AKC considers the Phalène and the Papillon the same breed. Countries whose breed clubs follow the FCI standard consider Papillons and Phalènes two separate breeds.

The Papillon has an abundant, flowing coat, short on the head but with a profuse frill on the chest. The Papillon has no undercoat. The tail is a plume of long hair. The head is slightly rounded between the ears, and the muzzle is fine, tapering, and narrower than the skull with an abrupt stop.

The ideal size varies slightly among different organizations' breed standards, but it generally ranges from 8 inches (20 cm) to 11 inches (28 cm) at the withers.


History
The Papillon originated in Spain and was perfected by the French and was a favorite at the French court. The most famous owner was Henry III; documentation of his devotion to the breed lies in his declaration of the Papillon as the official dog of the Royal Court during his tenure. Other famous owners are said to have been Marie Antoinette, and Madame de Pompadour.

There is evidence that these small dogs were favorites of European aristocrats, particularly French royalty, during the time of the Old Masters, as Continental Toy Spaniels (Phalènes and Papillons) were included in many Old Master royal portraits from as early as the sixteenth century.

There are many stories about the Papillon. Marie Antoinette was said to have walked to the guillotine clutching her small dog under her arm. Tradition has it that her dog was a small spaniel that had been brought to the French court from Spain on the back of pack mules. According to the story, her pup was spared and cared for in a building in Paris still called the Papillon House. Marie's small spaniel was said to have descended from a very old drop-eared breed known as the Epagneul Nain Continental, or Continental Dwarf/Toy Spaniel that appeared in church frescos and paintings as early as the 13th century.

The Papillon is still officially referred to as the Epagneul Nain Continental (ENC) in non-English-speaking countries. The name Squirrel Spaniel also has been used, most likely referring to an earlier standard in which the tail set is described as "curling over the back as a squirrel's." One version of the history of the two varieties of ear shape in the ENC ("Papillon" to denote the erect ear and "Phalène" to denote the dropped ear) is that toward the end of the 19th century, breed fanciers bred a version of the spaniel whose ears stood up. This dog was said to have been nicknamed papillon based on the impressively large, erect ears that resembled the wings of a butterfly. The drop-eared variety of the breed came to be called the Phalène (which means "night moth"). Both types are still bred today and appear in the same litter. The Papillon variety is much more common, although recently the Phalène has undergone a resurgence in popularity.


Behavior
Playful and amusing but can also be calm, patient, gentle and dignified. Steady and silent. Loves to be cuddled but also likes to romp outdoors. It may be very possessive of its owner and resent outsiders. They are steady, obedient and are not yappers. Papillons can be trained to perform small tricks. Some blood lines can be nervous, high-strung and timid. They can also be difficult to housebreak, but are in general easy to train otherwise. Papillons do best with older, considerate children. They can be a bit dog-aggressive. Good with cats when they are raised with them from puppyhood.

Health
The Papillon is a fairly healthy breed, but like all dog breeds there are some health problems that are known to occur. Von Willebrand's disease can occur in Papillons. This hereditary coagulation abnormality is described in humans, although it can also be acquired as a result of other medical conditions. Luxating patella is not uncommon in small dogs, such as Papillions. It causes the kneecap to dislocate, and affects Papillons from 4 to 6 months.

Function
Pet.