The Papillon dog breed descends from the toy spaniels that are frequently portrayed in paintings by the Old Masters, from as far back as the 16th century.
There are TOP 10 interesting facts about Papillon.
The early toy spaniels from which the Papillon descended had drop ears, but in the 17th-century court of Louis XIV a small spaniel with upright ears was developed and given the name Papillon for his resemblance to a butterfly. But he has gone by other names and nicknames throughout the centuries. He’s sometimes called the Butterfly Dog or Squirrel Dog, along with Belgian Toy Spaniel; Continental Toy Spaniel; and Dwarf Continental Spaniel.
2) Rat Hunter
The Papillon was bred as a ratter in order to rid homes of pests. This adorable dog was too small to directly kill a rat like other breeds, so he had to use clever methods. His main strategy was to bait the rat and tease it until it became exhausted. Once the rat was too run down to fight back, the Papillon could make his final move.
You’ll find Papillons in a rainbow variety of colors, with various combinations including black, brown, red, lemon, sable and tan. All colors are acceptable, but in a show dog white has to be in there somewhere. Papillons that are all white or that have no white is faulted in judging.
4) High Energy
Though the Papillon is registered as a toy breed, don’t expect him to lounge on your lap. This high-energy dog needs a lot of activity to keep him stimulated. He is highly intelligent and gets bored easily, but responds well to interactive games or agility training.
The Papillon is very outgoing and happy. He loves to be around people and gives kisses to one and all. These little dogs get along well with other pets in the household, including cats, and frequently try to boss bigger dogs around. Paps also love kids, as long as they are gentle and non-threatening.
Papillons are alert dogs with keen senses. That means they not only sound the alarm when people are actually at the door, but also when people are walking along the street or puttering in the garden next door. In other words, excessive barking can occur and must be dealt with.
7) Quick Reflexes
Along the same lines, Papillons have lightning-quick reflexes and retain sporting instincts from their spaniel heritage. They will stalk and pursue birds, squirrels, mice, lizards, even flying insects. This is not a breed to let off-leash at the park unless very well-trained.
Too many people acquire a toy breed puppy without understanding how incredibly fragile a toy breed is. You can seriously injure or kill a Papillon puppy by stepping on him or sitting on him. Papillons can seriously injure or kill themselves by leaping from your arms or off the back of your sofa.
The long ear fringes that are the breed's trademark are prone to matting and must be kept combed. Same for their underarm area, which can knot up dreadfully and make it uncomfortable for the dog to move. You will need to trim the hair around their "bathroom parts" for sanitary reasons.
10) Marie Antoinette
The ill-fated Queen of France had many dogs during her short reign, but her favorite was a papillon named Coco. There are rumors that Marie Antoinette actually walked to the guillotine at Place de la Concorde desperately clutching her beloved pet. Other accounts maintain that she gave the dog to the governess of her children, Madame de Tourzel. Regardless, Coco survived the French Revolution and even lived through the Napoleonic era.