Papillon Dog Breed — The ‘Butterfly’ of Dogs

Look at those ears! You can’t miss the typical erect ears of a papillon. The size and shape of the papillon’s ears resemble wings, which is quite apropos, considering the breed’s name “papillon” is French for butterfly. That being said, not all papillons have tremendously winged ears. Some papillons, known as phalenes, have long floppy ears (papillons and phalenes can be in the same litter). 

Do Papillons Bark a Lot?

Like most toy breeds, papillons are known as excessive barkers. If your pet is driving you and the neighborhood crazy with its barking, the earlier you address it the better. If you allow your dog to bark all the time, you’re teaching it that’s OK, and the more likely the behavior will increase. Papillon temperatment can be manipulative, especially in females, so don’t give in to bad behaviors!

Papillons are true companions to humans and other pets, so they don’t do well when left alone for long periods. Separation anxiety may manifest undesirable behaviors like uncontrollable barking, which can quickly annoy neighbors

Whatever triggers your papillon to bark — loneliness, strange noises, or boredom —  you can reduce your pet’s vocalizations.

How to stop papillons from barking?

This energetic breed doesn’t require an exorbitant amount of exercise. With that in mind, make sure your pet gets enough exercise and mental stimulation every day to lessen its barking. If your pet alarm-barks to passersby outside your house, close the blinds. You may also find a combination of an ultrasonic training tool with a voice command like “quiet” and a treat to curtail your pet’s negative behavior.

Even the most independent dogs love attention from family members. Papillons are no different. They are social creatures and thoroughly enjoy being the center of your universe. So when your attention is directed elsewhere, you may find your papillon acts up. If your papillon barks for attention, ignore him. Don’t look at or speak to him, and don’t pet him. This breed is highly food motivated so once he quiets down, praise your dog and immediately offer him a treat.

Before leaving your papillon at home, take him for a stroll, or play some games with him. White noise, music, or TV sounds can mask outside noises that trigger your dog to bark. Another solution that may help calm a papillon that suffers from separation anxiety is to leave something with your scent on it. Having a family member, friend, or neighbor visit with your dog can prove helpful if you’ll be gone for extended periods.

Facts About Papillon Dogs 

In addition to their pretty faces, papillons are very friendly, people-oriented, and love getting in on the fun. Papillons have been featured in many paintings, dating as far back as the 16th century. This breed is tolerant of children and other pets, making them an excellent pet for families of all sizes. With that in mind, some papillons have a condition called open fontanel, “a soft spot” on the top of their head (similar to that of humans), that leaves them susceptible to head injuries.

Size: Papillons are tiny dogs and range from 8 to 11 inches in height, and only weigh 5 to 10 pounds.

Life expectancy: Papillons typically have a lifespan of 14 to 16 years.

Coat: Papillons have a long silky coat and come in many colors, starting with a white base coat.

AKC group: Papillons belong to the AKC toy group.

Are Papillon Dogs Easy to Train?

Papillons are intelligent, outgoing, and eager to please their humans, which usually makes training relatively easy. However, owners can easily overindulge these little guys, which may cause training sessions to be a bit challenging. 

We recommend early socialization and obedience classes. Use reward-based positive training (praise and healthy training treats). Even though papillons are small, they excel at agility activities and are often strong competitors. Be careful with the type of treats and how many you offer, as obesity can be an issue with this breed.

Does the Papillon Dog Breed Need Grooming?

Unlike most long-hair breeds, the papillon doesn’t require a crazy amount of grooming (yeah!). The reason? They don’t have an undercoat, which can cause a papillon to get cold fast, so keep a sweater or blanket nearby in cooler weather. Grooming for this breed is only warranted once a month or so. However, in between, brushing your pet with a comb or soft slicker brush can help prevent matting and is a great way to bond with your pet. Bathe your papillon every couple of months or when necessary. Papillons’ nails grow fast, so keep your pet’s nails trimmed, including the dewclaw, which, if overgrown, can curl around and pierce the pad. Regular tooth brushing is essential for good oral hygiene.

What If My Breed Is a Papillon Mix?

The papillon is a popular choice for mixed breeds. They are brave dogs, so papillons owners need to be cautious. Furniture, stairs, children, and other animals can pose danger to a fearless papillon. Mixed with a slightly larger breed can give a papillon mix a stronger, larger frame. Remember, genetics is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get! Our bet is you’ll get all kinds of cuteness with a papillon mix.

Here are some popular papillon breed mixes:

  • Austi-Pap — papillon + Australian shepherd
  • Chion — papillon + Chihuahua
  • Papastzu — papillon + shih tzu
  • Paperanian — papillon + Pomeranian
  • Papi-Inu — papillon + Shiba Inu
  • Papillon — papillon +Japanese chin
  • Papipoo — papillon + poodle
  • Papitese — papillon + Maltese
  • Rat-A-Pap — papillon + rat terrier
  • Shelillon — papillon + Shetland sheepdog
  • Tibetan Pap — papillon + Tibetan spaniel
  • Yorkillon — papillon + Yorkie

Resource Links for More Papillon Breed Info

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