This breed has two varieties: Papillon with straight ears and Phalene which has drooping ears. They have the same origin and morphological characteristics and use. The breed has been known for over 500 years. The Papillon appears in paintings of artists like Titian, Goya, Rubens, Rembrandt and Van Dyck and sculptures from the 15th century. These dogs were very appreciated at the royal courts of France. French King Henri III, great lover of this breed, carried with him, in a basket, decorated with ribbons, dwarf Spaniels, no bigger than a fist. They are considered to have French origin.
It is a small-sized, graceful, elegant dog, long rather than tall. It has a small, short head, proportional to the body, the skull is slightly rounded, with a thin, conical muzzle, shorter than the skull, with a small, round, black nose. The eyes are quite big, almond-shaped and dark. The ears of the Papillon are big, erect, placed at the back of the skull, set apart, the outer side being richly clad in long, wavy fringes round the head, like a butterfly with open wings, from where it gets its name Papillon = butterfly in French. The ears of the Phalene are placed above the eyeline and well to the back of the head; they are set apart and covered with long fringes and drooping. It has thin legs and rabbit-like paws. The tail is of medium length, carried high and covered with rich fringes. The fur has medium length, straight, silky hair, longer and thicker on the chest, where it forms a frill. On the legs, ears and tail it has rich fringes. The fur is white with coloured patches.
This dog is intelligent, alert, lively, playful, even naughty, brave and eager to learn. It is obedient, affectionate and devoted to its master, it loves children, but is reserved with strangers. It has no problems with other dogs and other animals.
This dog's fur should be brushed regularly. Excess hair in the ears should be removed.
It is a dog that easily adapts to the offered living conditions. It is recommended to less active people. It likes agility and flyball competitions where it can get beautiful results. It needs socialization and training.
It is a smart, obedient dog, eager to learn and therefore with a varied, gentle training, beautiful results may be obtained.
It is a cheerful and pleasant companion.