The Papillon is one of the oldest of the toy spaniels, deriving its name from its characteristic butterfly-like look of the long and fringed hair on the ears. Sometimes called the “butterfly dog” because of its unusual ear shape—”papillon” means butterfly in French.

Originally called the Dwarf Spaniel or Continental Toy Spaniel, the Papillon was depicted in artwork as early as the 16th century. Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette were known fans of the breed. The small head is slightly rounded between the ears with a well-defined stop. The dark, medium-sized, round eyes have thin, black rims, often extending at the junction of the eyelids towards the ears.

The long tail is set high carried over the body, and covered with long, fine hair. The straight, long, fine, single coat has extra frill on the chest, ears, back of the legs, and tail. Coat color is white with patches of any color. A mask of a color other than white covers both ears and eyes from back to front.

Papillons can be trained to do almost anything. They thrive on mental stimulation and work. Far from being just ornamental, Papillons also tend to learn from every experience, whether good or bad, so consistent, positive training is a must.

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