The Papillon is a small, friendly, elegant toy dog with a fine boned structure. He is light and dainty, yet still lively, and is distinguished from other breeds by his beautiful, butterfly-like ears. They are known to be happy and alert little dogs that are not shy or aggressive. The breed must be either parti-color or white with patches of any color
AKC Breed Standard
Size, Proportion, Substance Size - Height at withers, 8 to 11 inches. Fault - Over 11 inches. Disqualification - Over 12 inches. Proportion - Body must be slightly longer than the height at withers. It is not a cobby dog. Weight is in proportion to height. Substance - Of fine-boned structure. HeadEyes dark, round, not bulging, of medium size and alert in expression. The inner corners of the eyes are on line with the stop. Eye rims black. Ears - The ears of either the erect or drop type should be large with rounded tips, and set on the sides and toward the back of the head. (1) Ears of the erect type are carried obliquely and move like the spread wings of a butterfly. When alert, each ear forms an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the head. The leather should be of sufficient strength to maintain the erect position. (2) Ears of the drop type, known as the Phalene, are similar to the erect type, but are carried drooping and must be completely down. Faults - Ears small, pointed, set too high; one ear up, or ears partly down. Skull - The head is small. The skull is of medium width and slightly rounded between the ears. A well-defined stop is formed where the muzzle joins the skull. Muzzle - The muzzle is fine, abruptly thinner than the head, tapering to the nose. The length of the muzzle from the tip of the nose to stop is approximately one-third the length of the head from tip of nose to occiput. Nose black, small, rounded and slightly flat on top. The following fault shall be severely penalized - Nose not black. Lips tight, thin and black. Tongue must not be visible when jaws are closed. Bite - Teeth must meet in a scissors bite. Faults - Overshot or undershot.Neck, Topline, Body Neck of medium length. Topline - The backline is straight and level. Body - The chest is of medium depth with ribs well sprung. The belly is tucked up. Tail long, set high and carried well arched over the body. The tail is covered with a long, flowing plume. The plume may hang to either side of the body. Faults - Low-set tail; one not arched over the back, or too short. Forequarters Shoulders well developed and laid back to allow freedom of movement. Forelegs slender, fine-boned and must be straight. Removal of dewclaws on forelegs optional. Front feet thin and elongated (hare-like), pointing neither in nor out.Hindquarters Well developed and well angulated. The hind legs are slender, fine-boned, and parallel when viewed from behind. Hocks inclined neither in nor out. Dewclaws, if any, must be removed from hind legs. Hind feet thin and elongated (hare-like), pointing neither in nor out.Coat Abundant, long, fine, silky, flowing, straight with resilient quality, flat on back and sides of body. A profuse frill on chest. There is no undercoat. Hair short and close on skull, muzzle, front of forelegs, and from hind feet to hocks. Ears well fringed, with the inside covered with silken hair of medium length. Backs of the forelegs are covered with feathers diminishing to the pasterns. Hind legs are covered to the hocks with abundant breeches (culottes). Tail is covered with a long, flowing plume. Hair on feet is short, but fine tufts may appear over toes and grow beyond them, forming a point.Color Always parti-color or white with patches of any color(s). On the head, color(s) other than white must cover both ears, back and front, and extend without interruption from the ears over both eyes. A clearly defined white blaze and noseband are preferred to a solidly marked head. Symmetry of facial markings is desirable. The size, shape, placement, and presence or absence of patches of color on the body are without importance. Among the colors there is no preference, provided nose, eye rims and lips are well pigmented black.The following faults shall be severely penalized - Color other than white not covering both ears, back and front, or not extending from the ears over both eyes. A slight extension of the white collar onto the base of the ears, or a few white hairs interspersed among the color, shall not be penalized, provided the butterfly appearance is not sacrificed. Disqualifications - An all white dog or a dog with no white.Gait Free, quick, easy, graceful, not paddlefooted, or stiff in hip movements. Temperament Happy, alert and friendly. Neither shy nor aggressive.Disqualifications Height over 12 inches. An all white dog or a dog with no white.
The origin of the Continental Toy Spaniel, of which the Papillon is the modern representative, can be traced through the paintings of the Old Masters of every country in Western Europe as far back as the earliest years of the 16th Century. Beginning about 1500, Vecelli, called Titian, painted a number of tiny spaniels, rather similar to the hunting spaniels of the day. In that century and the next, dogs so like the Titian spaniel that it is safe to assume this was a pure breed made their appearance in Spain, France and the Low Countries.A favorite of European nobility since the 16th century, the Papillon was particularly popular with the court of King Louis XIV of France. By 1900, this dog was widely shown at dog shows in Europe and North America. One of the most popular toy dogs, the Pap functions well as a loving pet or striking show animal.