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About papillons
The Papillon is one of the oldest toy breeds - a direct descendent of the Continental Toy Spaniel. Papillon is the French word for butterfly, and the dogs were so named for the shape and position of their ears which when erect, resemble the spread wings of a butterfly. These little dogs were great favourites of the ladies of the Royal Courts in France and Belgium, during the 17th and 18th centuries. In our country this race isn’t famous, people replace them by Chihuahua e. g.

The original dogs were drop eared like all other Spaniel breeds and today both varieties can still be seen and are judged on an equal footing in shows. The drop-eared variety is known as Phalene (pronounced Falen), the French name for a moth that droops its wings.

The ancestry of todays dogs emerged from hunting dogs - tracker dogs. Early in 17th century was selected and separated the breed of the midget dogs. The roots of papillon are more closely to springer than to spitz. The really differentiation of these two breeds became in the second half of 19th century, when French and Belgian breeders "create" the "papillon with nose" and in England was made a "noseless" cavalier and king. Their intimate consanquinity is not much remarkable today.

The general appearance of a Papillon is that of a small, alert, friendly, elegant Toy Dog of fine bone structure, with light, graceful and lively action. Their height oscillate between 26-28 cm. The weight of a mature dog is 1,5 - 4,5kg. Papillons are always parti-coloured being predominantly white with patches of any other colour expect liver. The colour should cover both ears and both eyes. A central blaze on the head is preferred, as it represents the body of the butterfly, but it is not essential. Patches of colour on the body may be present or absent.

Papillons are inquisitive and fun loving, refusing to believe that they are small dogs. They like nothing better than a romp with a ball, or a walk in the country where they can chase a butterfly, bird or a squirrel and investigate the world around them. They are long-lived, remarkably resistant to disease, and retain their playfulness right into old age. Their acute hearing makes them excellent watchdogs and they will soon let you know when a stranger is around. However, they are not persistent barkers and once visitors are inside the house and the greetings are over, they will return to their favourite spot and lie down quietly.

Coat care is minimal, for Papillons have silky hair that sheds the dirt easily. There is no need for trimming, and as there is no undercoat there is little shedding. A gentle but thorough brushing once a week and a bath every couple months or so is all that is required. They keep themselves very clean and have no doggy odour. Regular trimming of the toe nails is required.

Papillons are naturally eager to please and are devoted to their owners. Their exceptional intelligence and easy trainability have placed them at the top of the Toy Breeds in Obedience and Agility. Their happy manner of working has endeared them to the public. They are "naturals" for training as Hearing Aid dogs and in Pet Therapy programs. For versatility there are few breeds to match them; for loyal loving companions, they are second to none.

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