The Papillon (from the French word for butterfly, pronounced: [papiˈjɔ̃]), also called the Continental Toy Spaniel, is a breed of dog of the Spaniel type. One of the oldest of the toy spaniels, it derives its name from its characteristic butterfly like look of the long and fringed hair on the ears. A Papillon with dropped ears is called a Phalène (French for moth). The small head is slightly rounded between the ears with a well defined stop. The muzzle is somewhat short, thin tapering to the nose. The dark, medium sized, round eyes have thin black rims, often extending at the junction of the eyelids towards the ears. The large ears can either be erect or dropped with rounded tips. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The long tail is set high carried over the body, and covered with long, fine hair. Dewclaws are sometimes removed. The straight, long, fine, single coat has extra frill on the chest, ears, back of the legs and the 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 have only minor health concerns although patellar luxation, seizures, and dental problems can be issues. Additionally they can be at risk for PRA, intervertebral disk disease, and allergies.
Like any other dog, Papillons need a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs; however, as with all breeds, play is not sufficient for all exercise. Daily walks or runs are an excellent way to exercise a Papillon. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off leash, such as a large fenced in yard. Papillons are a very active breed of dog and enjoy having a job to perform. Papillon Breeders recommend dog agility, Rally obedience, Obedience for Papillons because of their intelligence and energy level.