About the Papillon & Phalene
The Papillon is thought to be descended from the Continental Toy Spaniel. Probably dating as a distinct breed to the 14th century, Papillons were firm favourites with the ladies of the French Court, and it is rumoured that Marie Antoinette's own Toy Spaniel accompanied her to the guillotine. The word ‘spaniel’ means ‘dog of Spain’ as the word Spaniel may be derived from Hispania (the Iberian Peninsular) or possibly the French phase”Chiens de L’Espagnol” (Dogs of the Spaniard), but it is very difficult to pinpoint the Papillon’s exact country of origin. It has been claimed by France, Belgium & Spain, but it is generally agreed that the breed originated in France. This may explain the French names for the two different types ‘Papillon’ (butterfly) for the erect eared variety, and ‘Phalene’ (moth) for the drop eared variety. Dogs similar to the Papillon appear in many old paintings and seem to have been a favourite in Britain for about 400 years. Most Papillons in Britain today are descended from about 12, who were brought into the Country in the early 1900’s. Over the years new bloodlines have been introduced. Today, Britain has some of the best Papillons in the World; many foreign champions can trace their pedigrees to dogs exported from this country. I personally have seen a very old, stuffed Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and were it not for the docked tail, which was customary to do in those days and of course, the label, I would have mistaken it for a Red & White Phalene.
Things That Papillons are capable of doing:
In recent times Papillons have excelled in all spears of the Dog world. They are the 2nd most popular toy breed, entered at dog shows. They compete successfully at Obedience, Agility and Heelwork to Music. They are highly prized as Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, and Assistance dogs. There were even two Papillons who were Mountain Rescue Dogs!!
The Papillon is a happy lively little dog and extremely intelligent, it has an eager and outgoing temperament and should show no signs of aggression. It is as happy enjoying long walks with its owner, as it is curling up in front of the fire at home, or more usually on its favourite chair. It doesn’t like the rain, but if you are outside, whatever the weather, they will want to be there with you.
Its coat, the texture of which should be silky and fine, needs little attention, a few minutes a day should suffice, ensuring no tangles have developed especially under forearms, ear fringes and trousers. It may need a little more attention, when moulting. However, the texture may alter, should you decide to have your puppy spayed or castrated, preferably, over 12 months of age, when your Pap is fully grown, as some do not fare well, under anaesthetic and die whilst being operated on. Also, if she is a bitch, it is wise that she be allowed to have had her first season) Some Paps, not all, when spayed/castrated, develop a thick dense undercoat, which may need more attention and some have a tendency to put on weight more easily. So you may have to be a little more careful, when feeding, not to overdo it.
The Papillon, as a breed, belongs to the Toy Group and the Breed standard states that they should be between 8" to 11" inches to the shoulders, with fine, but strong bone. However as with all things, some are times they are smaller or larger. By larger, I mean in bone and height and not fat. There is absolutely no reason, other than a bitch being is in whelp, for a Papillon to be overweight. Any extra fat that he/she carries, will cause extra strain on its heart, lungs and joints and more than likely contribute on shortening the life of that unfortunate dog.
Over all Papillons are a relatively healthy breed, and whilst Patella Luxation, PRA and more recently PRA1 have appeared, as a general rule the breed is sound & healthy. Ideally, both the parents of your puppy should have been Veterinary tested clear for Patella Luxation and PRA. Paps, as most Toy Breeds, generally live long and happy lives. The oldest Papillon, lived to a grand age of 27 years old. Whilst that is exceptional, it is not uncommon for them to live well into their late teens.
There is a new website dedicated to giving as much information about the Papillon Breed, here in the UK. If you go to my Links page and scroll to the bottom, you can find it. It is www.papillonnet.co.uk
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