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Papillon:the butterfly dog

Dainty, royal, graceful, and distinguished by other breeds owing to their beautiful butterfly like ears, Papillon are big dogs in small packages. The y have all that you wish in your pawfect companion. They are smart, intellig ent, active and loving. Can you ask for more?

Papillons are one of the oldest breed of toy dogs. This fashionable dog was loved by esteemed dog-lovers such as Madame de Pompadour and Marie Antoinette and was also carried to court by France’s King Henry III. He was a favourite of many painters of the Renaissance period, who depicted him in many paintings.Small and elegant, equally appealing is their friendly nature…they are simply the best. And what’s more, do not go by their small size as these truly companion dogs are extremely watchful.Those butterfl y-like ears take my breath away…

For Papillon, the name speaks for itself because in French, Papillon means butterfly and the most distinguished characteristic of this breed is his large butterfl y-like ears. “They get a long fringe on the ears, which make them look beautiful and elegant; there is also another variety with the ears hanging down that is called a Phalene, meaning – Moth,” tells Sally Bacus, a reputed breeder of Papillon. Their coat is fi ne-haired, long and silky but puppies have short length fur. Their tail is long and set high and is highly fringed. Their colours can range from black & white, red & white and tri colour with black, brown & white. And, their average height is 8-11 inches and weigh around 3-5 kg.

Smart and active… that’s how a Papillon is

“You have to keep them busy, or they will invent things to do on their own. They are cuddly and affectionate and love to sit on your lap and get your attention. They are great at obedience training & agility.

They learn fast and can train you well,” adds Sally. They are also easy to house-train. On asked about how is it to live with them, Sally quickly replies, “I don’t know what I ever did before we had papillons. They are family.”

Your watchdog as well…

“Papillons are not a “yappy” dog, but do let you know when there is a stranger in the area. You won’t need a doorbell if you have a Pap,” tells Sally.

Living with them is easy…and fun

They can jump really high & fl y like the wind. They are like a cat and like to sleep on the back of the couch and wet their paw to clean their face.

If the children are gentle, they will do well. “If a child is jumping around, they could hurt a light boned little dog,” advises Sally.

Taking care of lil puppies…

“Puppy care can be diffi cult because they are so small. They normally have 2 in a litter weighing up to 4 oz if you’re lucky. The females in general are very good mothers. You do have to watch that the new babies don’t get chilled. Puppies are generally born black & white & their colors come in later. Their ears usually start to stand up about 6-8 weeks.

They will loose their fl uffy puppy coat about 5-6 months & we call this – the Uglies,” tells Sally.

Groom him little…

“I would recommend brushing twice a week. We trim their feet to look like a rabbit foot – smooth & dainty They are really quite easy to groom. Papillons do shed, but not a lot. Females will shed after they have a litter of puppies & after they have a heat cycle,” tells Sally.

What they love to do…

“They love to sleep with us and like our touch, sometimes they even sleep on top of us,” laughs Sally. “Aside from agility, they love to fetch & run.”

Watch out for…

There are two main hereditary problems to watch for: Luxating Patellas (knees) & PRA (eyes). These beautiful dogs are truly companion pooches. “They are like potato chips. You can’t have just one!” concludes Sally.

(With inputs from Bill & Sally Bacus, reputed breeders of Papillons in USA. They have had Papillons for several years & enjoy breeding & showing them. They show in conformation, agility, & obedience. Their main man is Charley, CH Chateau Charlemagne’s Crown CD, RA, NA, NAJ.)