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Favorite Lap Dog-What Is A Papillon

Updated on May 29, 2016
Tina the Papillon
Tina the Papillon

The Best Companion and Lap Dog

Introducing The Papillon (Pa-pee-yon)

The papillon breed of dog has been around since French Renaissance times -- around 700 years ago. The papillon dog is one of the smartest and easiest breeds to train, has few health problems and sheds minimally, even with all that long hair. Papillons are small dogs, weighing only up to about 15 pounds at the most. They don't bark unnecessarily, aren't aggressive, but they are protective. Papillons are loyal, great companions and usually prefer one person that they love to cuddle with. In fact, at least for my papillons, they love to cuddle next to me or sit on my lap.

Pepper the Papillon
Pepper the Papillon

Why The Papillon Is A Great Dog

Many people say that they want to get a small dog, but the main complaint about small dog breeds is usually that they tend to bark a lot. Oftentimes small dogs can also be aggressive around strangers. For instance, Chihuahua owners often complain that their dog will not stop barking or acting aggressive toward people who visit their homes, even people the dog may see regularly.

I am no expert on all dog breeds, but I have been around a few and if you're looking for a dog that loves to cuddle, is small, isn't aggressive, is loyal, and doesn't bark a lot (unless of course they see cows for the first time like in the video below) may I suggest the Papillon.

Papillon Means Butterfly In French

Papillon, pronounced pap-ee-on, means butterfly in French and the Papillon was given this name due to the butterfly look of the ears when they are held upright. The silhouette of the Papillon resembles a butterfly.

Papillons are sometimes known as Le Chien Ecureuil in France, as well as Squirrel Dog because the way their tails curl over their backs resembles a squirrel's tail.

Tina and Pepper
Tina and Pepper

Tina, Pepper And The California Cows

About The Papillon

Papillon dogs usually have friendly dispositions, but they can be kind of shy to strangers until getting to know them. They are sweet and loyal and make great companion dogs. Papillon dogs have a dainty build, are light on their feet, usually weighing from around five pounds to 12 pounds.

The Papillon breed has been around for hundreds of years. There are some reports of the breed being around since before the 1500s and as far back as 700 years ago, it is one of the oldest type of Spaniels.

The Papillon breed was recognized in England in 1923 and in the United States in 1935.

According to the American Kennel Club, there are two types: the Papillon, which has the erect type ears, and the Phalene, which has more droopy ears. They can both be born in the same litter and are considered to be one breed with two types.

About the Papillon

From the American Kennel Club

According to the American Kennel Club's Breed Standards, the Papillon is a small, friendly dog. The height of the Papillon ranges anywhere from 8 inches to 11 inches at withers, which is basically the shoulder to the floor. Papillons should have weight that's proportionate to their height. and the Papillon must have a body which is a bit longer than dog height.

From personal experience, my two Papillons are very different. Pepper, the male, weighs about seven pounds, but is tall. Tina weighs about five pounds and is much smaller than Pepper.

Papillons are really happy little dogs who love to be anywhere their owner is. They enjoy being outdoors and need plenty of exercise. They get along pretty well with other dogs. Papillons are fairly easy to train, and depends on the personality of the individual dog.

Tina and Pepper

My two Papillons are great! I also have a Rat Terrier and a Fox Terrier, which are another great breed of dog.

I got my first Papillon, a female, Tina, in December of 2009. My son brought her to me from a friend of his who was giving away several puppies. I was hesitant to get a third dog at first, but I am so glad that I did because she is the best little dog. In around October of 2011, we decided to get a male Papillon. We looked around for a while before we found Pepper in January of 2012. He is a sweet, loving, gentle dog like Tina, and like Tina he doesn't bark a lot, doesn't really shed too much, isn't hyper and is easy to train.

Tina Goes to Round Table Pizza

Tina sitting on my lap in Round Table waiting for some pizza.
Tina sitting on my lap in Round Table waiting for some pizza. | Source

Baby Tina Looking Up At Me


Adopt A Papillon Today!

Papillon Shelter Directory

Are you interested in Papillon shelters or becoming a foster parent to a Papillon or other small dog breeds? Click one of the links below.

Papillon Haven Rescue

Papillon 9-1-1 Rescue

Adopt A Papillon

Papillon Rescue Me

California Papillon Rescue

PAPS - Papillons and Playmates

Papillon Pals Rescue

A Word Of Caution If You Decide To Look For A Papillon Puppy


You should be aware that like with other industries, there are scammers out there!

When I was looking for my male Papillon, I came across several instances that I believe may have been scams. One instance was someone asking for a deposit on unborn puppies. There were a couple of people who had an ad for a free Papillon, but they were in other states. So I just needed to send them ($200 at the time) money to pay for the flight to have the puppy sent to me. There were a couple of people that said that they had a Papillon and the owner had died and they just wanted a donation (it was $300 for one and $200 for another) for expenses having to do with that. I finally found a lady who invited me to her home to pick up the puppy. She was kind of far away, but I didn't have to send money and I could see the puppy in person beforehand. That's how we got our second Papillon, a male named Pepper. Pepper will be a year old on August 18, 2012.




Thank you for stopping by and reading my Hub on Papillons, one of the best dog breeds. At least I think so. They can be a little pricey, but you just have to look around and be patient. Oftentimes breeders will sell the male puppies on an agreement that you will get the dog neutered within six months.

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    • daisyjae profile image


      6 years ago from Canada

      Very, very cute dog! I like little ones like that.

    • SUSANJK profile image


      6 years ago from Florida

      Tina is so cute. Papillions are so pretty, I have a friend who has one.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Tank is my adopted papillon. He has the same hair as Tina, how old is Tina? I have no idea how old he is and wonder if Tina has had less or more hair at anytime in her life with you. How old is she?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi, We are having an online auction to benefit Papillon 911 Rescue and Adoption,Inc. at All proceeds go directly to Pap 911 Rescue.

      If you love Paps, you won't want to miss it. There will be a huge variety of items available at incredible prices, including items just for Paps! You can go to the website now and take a peek at some of the many items we already have up and get signed up to bid, or try to win the $200.00 Dog Lovers Basket of Items, no purchase necessary! So come out support the Paps and get a great deal in the process. Bidding Begins May 1st and runs through May 15th 2011.

    • ErinElise profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Near Sacramento, California

      I don't know what happened, I just posted a comment to this and it disappeared. Hmmm...

      Anyway, thank you so much. She is a great dog and papillons are a great breed. Mine is a total lap dog and cuddler. I will add more pictures of her in the next couple days -- I just took some more. : )

    • KristenGrace profile image


      7 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      Looove these pictures. Some great information here on this breed, but even more so than reading, I TRULY loved looking at the photos!!! :)

    • ErinElise profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Near Sacramento, California

      I'm sorry I didn't respond to this before. I just figured this section out, haven't seen it before. Thank you. Yes, dogs are great, I agree. Thank you for reading and talking.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      Oh what a gorgeous dog. I like you love dogs and always have done. They are faithful to the end aren't they.

      Thank you for finding me on here and I look forward to reading more of your work as well. I'm voting this one up and a beautiful.

      Take care.

    • ErinElise profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Near Sacramento, California

      Hi Tirzah, sorry it took me so long to respond. Yes, mine is definitely a licker. Every chance she gets. I guess she can be the fastest tongue in California. LOL

      : )

    • Tirzah Laughs profile image

      Tirzah Laughs 

      8 years ago from USA

      Is yours a licker? My licks and licks. LOL. The Fastest Tongue in Kentucky.


    • ErinElise profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Near Sacramento, California

      Hi Tirzah Laughs,

      Thank you so much for your input. I will edit my hub with the information and apologize to you and everyone for inadvertently putting inaccuracies in my hub.

      I think what happened when I gathered my information from the AKC website, a book, as well as my own observations, I saw the breed standard for height and weight and I transposed it or something. Nonetheless, thank you, thank you so much for taking time out to comment.

      Mine also gets carsick -- she always wants to go with me and will sit quietly on my lap, she likes to ride in the car, but if she's recently eaten, she will undoubtedly get sick. I always take a towel for her to sit on and keep wet wipes in my car just in case.

      When she's nervous, she loves to be held and get up on my shoulder almost to the point where she's trying to wrap herself around my neck. I call her my parrot dog. She loves to sit on my lap. She comes and puts her feet up on my chair and stretches her body for me to pick her up to my lap. If I don't notice her or do it right away she starts making these cute little playful growly-barky sounds until I put her on my lap. As a matter or fact, she's on my lap right now. My two rat terriers are cuddlers but of course too big to sit on my lap.

      Tina is really sweet dog and does well with our other two dogs, barks a bit at other dogs. When someone comes over, she is very protective and barks at them until I pick her up. She doesn't seem to mind getting dirty, but not wet. I haven't noticed any foot chewing with her, but have with one of my rat terriers. I wonder if the wheat is causing it.

      Again, thank you very much for your input.


    • Tirzah Laughs profile image

      Tirzah Laughs 

      8 years ago from USA

      A few updates, Paps occasionally get up to 14 pounds. These super tall paps show up occasionally so your size range is a bit off. Although most papillions fall into your size range, a fourteen pound Pap is not out of the question. I've confirmed this with several breeders and three vets when my full blooded Pap reached a skinny twelve pounds.

      The smaller Paps are preferred by people and dog shows but the larger size is not a fault. My vet say Paps started out this size and have been breed to be smaller for demand.

      Not all Paps like the car, mine hates it. She gets carsick.

      Mine is also not a cuddler.

      She loves being petted and giving kisses but if you put her in your lap she will get right out again.

      They do like to protectively bark but they are not obsessive about.

      They are usually quite obedient and train easily.

      About 60% seem to have the clean gene and prefer not to get dirty or walk on wet, dirty ground.

      Paps are people dogs and seem to enjoy spending time with people. They tolerate other dogs and usually avoid small children.

      Some cannot handle wheat products in their food and will develop itchy skin. Paps are normally a very healthy small breed and this only rarely is an issue. Should you have foot chewing with your Pap, just change her diet.

      Just my thoughts.


    • taty96 profile image


      8 years ago from Ecuador

      Nice info on the breed

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      nice post..awesome


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