Also known as the continental toy spaniel, or phalene which has dropped ears, the breed was developing on the continent at the same time as the King Charles spaniel, both being descendants of the toy spaniels of the time.
A proud, clever and lively little dog, the papillon makes an excellent companion. His long, silky coat should be maintained with daily grooming and regular baths. He can live in the town or countryside and needs a daily short walk to keep him happy and content. He is clever and easy to train and can be seen taking part in many different canine disciplines from obedience to agility.
He has a small rounded head, with small eyes and a small, thin tapering muzzle. There are many coat variations colours of white with patches of any other colour except liver. The most common colours are black and white and red and white. He stands between 20 and 28cm high at the shoulder and weighs between 3 – 4.5kg. His tail is long and curls over the back giving him a squirrel-like appearance.
Papillons can be reserved around new dogs and people so need to be socialised well to avoid any aggressive behaviors developing. The papillon has very few hereditary health problems but can be prone to patella laxation, dental problems and seizures. They have a fantastically long life-span of up to and over 17 years.