ABOUT A PAPILLON
The following information is taken from the American Kennel Club, whose descriptions and qualifications of a Papillon are what are used to identify purebred dogs:
DID YOU KNOW:
• The name Papillon means "butterfly" in French.
• The Papillon was known previously as the "Dwarf Spaniel."
• Marie Antoinette was an ardent admirer of Papillons.
• They were not fully represented in the AKC by their own breed club (Papillon Club of America) until 1935.
• In Europe, the drop-eared variety of Papillon is called Phalene, and it competes with equality in the ring against the erect-eared type.
• Papillons rose to fame in Spain
Papillon Breed Standard
The Papillon is a small, friendly, elegant toy dog of fine-boned structure, light, dainty and of lively action; distinguished from other breeds by its beautiful butterfly-like ears.
Size, Proportion, Substance
Size - Height at withers, 8 to 11 inches. Fault - Over 11 inches. Disqualification - Over 12 inches. Proportion - Body must be slightly longer than the height at withers. It is not a cobby dog. Weight is in proportion to height. Substance - Of fine-boned structure.
Eyes dark, round, not bulging, of medium size and alert in expression. The inner corners of the eyes are on line with the stop. Eye rims black. Ears - The ears of either the erect or drop type should be large with rounded tips, and set on the sides and toward the back of the head. (1) Ears of the erect type are carried obliquely and move like the spread wings of a butterfly. When alert, each ear forms an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the head. The leather should be of sufficient strength to maintain the erect position. (2) Ears of the drop type, known as the Phalene, are similar to the erect type, but are carried drooping and must be completely down. Faults - Ears small, pointed, set too high; one ear up, or ears partly down.
Skull - The head is small. The skull is of medium width and slightly rounded between the ears. A well-defined stop is formed where the muzzle joins the skull. Muzzle - The muzzle is fine, abruptly thinner than the head, tapering to the nose. The length of the muzzle from the tip of the nose to stop is approximately one-third the length of the head from tip of nose to occiput. Nose black, small, rounded and slightly flat on top. The following fault shall be severely penalized - Nose not black. Lips tight, thin and black. Tongue must not be visible when jaws are closed. Bite - Teeth must meet in a scissors bite. Faults - Overshot or undershot.
Neck, Topline, Body
Neck of medium length. Topline - The backline is straight and level. Body - The chest is of medium depth with ribs well sprung. The belly is tucked up. Tail long, set high and carried well arched over the body. The tail is covered with a long, flowing plume. The plume may hang to either side of the body. Faults - Low-set tail; one not arched over the back, or too short.
Shoulders well developed and laid back to allow freedom of movement. Forelegs slender, fine-boned and must be straight. Removal of dewclaws on forelegs optional. Front feet thin and elongated (hare-like), pointing neither in nor out.
Well developed and well angulated. The hind legs are slender, fine-boned, and parallel when viewed from behind. Hocks inclined neither in nor out. Dewclaws, if any, must be removed from hind legs. Hind feet thin and elongated (hare-like), pointing neither in nor out.
Abundant, long, fine, silky, flowing, straight with resilient quality, flat on back and sides of body. A profuse frill on chest. There is no undercoat. Hair short and close on skull, muzzle, front of forelegs, and from hind feet to hocks. Ears well fringed, with the inside covered with silken hair of medium length. Backs of the forelegs are covered with feathers diminishing to the pasterns. Hind legs are covered to the hocks with abundant breeches (culottes). Tail is covered with a long, flowing plume. Hair on feet is short, but fine tufts may appear over toes and grow beyond them, forming a point.
Always parti-color or white with patches of any color(s). On the head, color(s) other than white must cover both ears, back and front, and extend without interruption from the ears over both eyes. A clearly defined white blaze and noseband are preferred to a solidly marked head. Symmetry of facial markings is desirable. The size, shape, placement, and presence or absence of patches of color on the body are without importance. Among the colors there is no preference, provided nose, eye rims and lips are well pigmented black.
The following faults shall be severely penalized - Color other than white not covering both ears, back and front, or not extending from the ears over both eyes. A slight extension of the white collar onto the base of the ears, or a few white hairs interspersed among the color, shall not be penalized, provided the butterfly appearance is not sacrificed. Disqualifications - An all white dog or a dog with no white.
Free, quick, easy, graceful, not paddlefooted, or stiff in hip movements.
Temperament Happy, alert and friendly. Neither shy nor aggressive.
Height over 12 inches.
An all white dog or a dog with no white.
The dwarf spaniel of the 16th century, depicted in many paintings by the Masters of that era, is the dog that became known as the Papillon. Although the Papillon owes its name and much of its breed development to the French, it was Spain and Italy that gave rise to its popularity. The Bologna region of Italy probably developed the largest trade, selling many dogs to the court of Louis XIV, transporting the dogs through Spain on the backs of mules.
This little hardy dog acquired it name as the breed developed the distinctive erect-ear type, the ears being set obliquely on the head and so fringed as to resemble the wings of a butterfly. Papillon is the French word for butterfly. This breed-type is said to have developed during the days of Louis the Great but the cause of the change remains largely theoretical. It is noteworthy that both drop-eared and erect-ears occur in the same litter and are judged together in AKC shows.
First represented in the American Kennel Club in 1935, this delightful little dog enjoys great popularity in both conformation and performance competitions. As ratters, they are extremely useful. Too small to kill a rat outright, they will worry it until it is exhausted then dispatch it quickly.