Fun Papillon Facts For Kids

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Feb 29, 2024 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Papillon facts tell that the dogs, also known as dwarf Spaniels, are descendants of European Toy Spaniels.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.7 Min

Are you looking for a beautiful lap dog that is highly energetic, happy, playful, friendly, and intelligent with minimum grooming and shedding? Then a Papillon dog is the best choice and perfect for you as a lifelong companion. Here in our article, we will present you with more interesting Papillon dog facts. So, let's explore their canine world!

The Papillon is a domestic dog, tiny and considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds with strong roots in Europe. Thescientific name for Papillons is Canis lupus familiaris. Other than the official name, the breed has other names like butterfly dog, squirrel dog, and dwarf continental spaniel.

According to animal intelligence expert Dr. Stanley Coren, papillons rank eighth among the top ten smartest dogs out of 138 breeds. In 1915, these breed dogs were recognized by the American Kennel Club, ranking 36 in the United States.

If you are excited to make this dog your pet, the Papillon pups may cost you around $800 to $3,000, depending upon the breeder.

Scroll down to learn more interesting Papillon breed facts. For more relatable content, check out these Papillon Chihuahua mix facts and Chiweenie facts for kids.

Papillon Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Papillon?

The Papillon is a small breed, graceful and fine-boned structure dog, originated in Europe. They are classified as toy dogs and differentiated from other breeds by their beautiful butterfly-like ears. These canines are one of the oldest breeds in Europe, which date back to almost hundreds of years.

The Papillons are popularly known for their unique ears, which are large and well fringed, giving them a butterfly wing-like appearance. They are also widely known as excellent companion dogs.  A Papillon with dropped ears is referred to as a Phalene, which means a moth in French.

What class of animal does a Papillon belong to?

The Papillon dog belongs to the Canidae family of the Animalia kingdom and class Mammalia.

How many Papillons are there in the world?

The exact population of the Papillons is not available. However, as this is one of the oldest and most popular breeds, we can safely assume that they are strong in numbers worldwide.

Where does a Papillon live?

Papillons are popular in France, England, and Belgium. This breed can be traced back in history to the 1500s in Europe, where they were initially bred as charming companions to the rich in Italy and Spain. These breed dogs were seen as lap warmers of Spanish and French noblewomen paintings in the royal courts and were brought to the U.S. during the late 1900s.

What is a Papillon's habitat?

Papillons are household canines and adore the company of humans in their houses. They are ideal as companion dogs and adapt well to a city apartment or a country estate. These canines are more sensitive to cold temperatures because of their single-coated fur and are not to be left outside unattended in cold weather.

Who do Papillons live with?

Papillons live with people in their houses and spend time with their families. These dogs are outgoing, friendly and enjoy sitting on your lap and running around the house. They are also known to have the spirit and energy to keep up with humans. With these qualities, Papillons are known to be the perfect companions for any dog lover.

How long does a Papillon live?

The average lifespan of this dog with butterfly ears is 12 to 15 years.

In 2002, the Papillon Club of America survey found that these happy dogs lived an average of 11 years and can live up to 17 years. The life expectancy of every dog depends on the individual's health. These breeds might have some health problems like obesity, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), collapsed trachea, hypoglycemia, etc. Proper diet and exercise or daily activity will consequently help in increasing the dog's age.

How do they reproduce?

Same as other canine breeds, Papillons reproduce puppies through sexual reproduction. Twice a year, the females are in heat for mating for about 20 days. Papillon's gestation period is around 63 days long, with an average litter size of two to four puppies. The litter size of this breed is often single-puppy due to their small size.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Papillons is Not Evaluated.

Papillon Fun Facts

What do Papillons look like?

Papillon Dog

The Papillon is a fine-boned, petite dog with ears that flare from its small round head like a butterfly's wings. The muzzle of the Papillons is relatively thin and short, tapering to the snout. They have dark, medium-sized, circular eyes with black-colored rims and big ears that can either be erect or dropped. The fur on the ears is fringed and elongated, giving a butterfly-like appearance and an elongated tail with long hair. A color mask covers both eyes and ears from back to front.

These dogs have a long, glossy, single coat without an undercoat and have medium to less shedding but considerably more than the light-shedding dogs such as Maltese and Toy Poodle. Their fur is white with patches of various colors and markings like black, brown being the most common, and other colors like lemon, red, sable, fawn, liver. However, in a show ring, an all-white or a no-white dog is disqualified.

Grooming a Papillon dog is quite simple, which needs daily combing, brushing, washing, and clipping the hairs according to the dog's requirement.

How cute are they?

The Papillon is a toy dog, fluffy and cute with a striking appearance. They have a long, gorgeous silky coat with outsized butterfly ears that help them stand out from other breeds.

How do they communicate?

Papillon dogs may bark, whine, growl, and use other facial expressions or body language to communicate. They express their emotions like excitement, affection, and anger by wagging their tail, running around, licking faces, cuddling, and moving ears quietly. It also raises its paw when it wants something. A study states that dogs bark only for humans and not to communicate with other canines or animals. These dogs are alert and full of energy but are not typically a barking breed. However, when they are left alone at home, Papillons may bark for hours.

How big is a Papillon?

Papillons, also nicknamed toy Spaniels, can grow to a maximum height of 8-11 in (20.3-28 cm) tall. The petite size of these purebred dogs has put them in the toy breed category. These dogs are similar in size to an English toy spaniel.

How fast can a Papillon run?

Papillons may be tiny, but they are mighty. They can run at a speed of 18.6 mph (30 kph). So, you might have a hard time catching them in your garden or house. They are at the same pace as a Boston terrier and a little slower than a Beagle in terms of running speed.

How much does a Papillon weigh?

An adult female Papillon weighs around 7-9 lb (3.2-4.1 kg), and a male Papillon weighs around 8-10 lb (3.6-4.5 kg). The male dogs are a little heavier than the females. They grow as big as a toy poodle.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Like other dogs, a male Papillon is known as a dog and a female is known as a dam or bitch.

What would you call a baby Papillon?

The baby of a Papillon dog is called a puppy. You can name your new Papillon puppy with any name of your choice.

What do they eat?

A Papillon eats dog food specially formulated for small breed dogs. A good-quality,small-size kibble diet is appropriate for their tiny teeth and tummy. For good health ensure their food is filled with vitamins, Omega 3, Omega 6 fatty acids, and nutrients. They can't eat much food at once and should be divided into two or three meals a day, so it’ll be easy to eat and digest.

Adult Papillons need about half a cup (around 400 calories) per day, and puppies need about two-fifths of a cup (around 300 calories) per day.

Are they slobbery?

Papillons are an incredible little canine variety that is not slobbery and barely drools.

Would they make a good pet?

Papillons dogs are alert, happy, friendly, and has pleasant temperament. By nature, they are not aggressive or shy and make excellent companions for your family. These elegant little breeds are energetic, affectionate, friendly that are easy to train and make good companion dogs. They are very adaptable and enjoy the company of humans or other pets in the house. Papillons like to cuddle but can't stay still for very long. They are also alert dogs with sharp senses.

Did you know...

Papillon puppies are born with a baby coat which will start shedding at the age of seven to eight months, and the adult coat will start to appear. Then, at around 15 months, Papillons will shed again and get the final adult coat.

The American Kennel Club and the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) consider the Phalene and the Papillon as the same breed.

Papillon’s nose prints are like a human's fingerprint and can be used to identify them.

What are Papillons known for?

Papillons are well known for their butterfly wing-shaped ears that give the breed its name Papillon, which is a French word for butterfly.

How to pronounce 'Papillon'?

Papillon is a French word, which means a butterfly and is pronounced as 'papiyon'. The other nicknames of the Papillon dog breed include Continental toy Spaniel, Belgian toy Spaniel, Dwarf Spaniel, and Epagneul Nain.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our Dorkie fun facts and Yorkipoo facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Papillon coloring pages.

Papillon Facts

What Did They Prey On?


What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

2-4 puppies

How Much Did They Weigh?

Female: 7-9 lb (3.2-4.1 kg) Male: 8-10 lb (3.6-4.5 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?


Where Do They Live?

france and belgium

How Long Were They?

12-17 in (30.5-43.2 cm)

How Tall Were They?

8-11 in (20.3-28 cm)







Scientific Name

Canis lupus familiaris

What Do They Look Like?

White with any color - black, lemon, red, sable, fawn, liver, brown

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?


What is their Conservation Status?

Not Evaluated
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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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