Dog Profiles: Papillon


  • The name “Papillon” comes from the French word for “butterfly.” This name refers to the butterfly like shape of the dog’s ears. 
  • Other names for the Papillon include the Belgian Toy Spaniel, the Continental Toy Spaniel, the Dwarf Continental Spaniel, the Epagneul Nain, or the  Dwarf Spaniel/Toy Spaniel. 
  • According to the American Kennel Club, a Papillon must have white-spotting but shouldn’t be entirely white if they are to be considered show quality. 
  • Owing to their relation to Spaniels, Papillons rank number eight on the top ten list of the most intelligent dog breeds
  • Papillons excel in agility courses when they compete in dog shows. 
  • Historically, Papillons have been included in many paintings and portraits especially during the Renaissance. Titian famously included the breed in some of his sketches and finished paintings 
  • When Marie Antoinette went to the Guillotine, she was accompanied by her pet Papillon who, legend has it, was pardoned by the revolutionaries for their association with the monarchy. 
  • Only once has a Papillon won Westminster’s Best in Show. It was won by a dog named Kirby in 1999. 
  • Though they are a furry breed, the Papillon do not shed very much but do require regular brushing
  • Papillons stand 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder and weigh 4 to 9 pounds.