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Papillon

Feature image

With irresistible butterfly-like ears, it is hard not to fall head-over-heels for an adorable Papillon. These toy pooches are cheerful in nature, and are sure to stand out anywhere you take them.

Where I'm From

The ancient history of the breed is a bit muddy, as Papillons emerged in Europe around the 13th century but some people believe that they are actually descendants of Asian toy dogs such as the Japanese Chin.

What we do know is that, during the Renaissance, these glamorous dogs were popular amongst the European high-class, as evidence from their numerous appearances in paintings of the era.

Noble ladies would often pose for portraits alongside one of these elegant dogs, and they were a favourite amongst European royalty. Even Marie Antoinette herself owned a little Papillon.

Back then, they were known as Continental Toy Spaniels or Dwarf Spaniels, and it wasn’t until much later that they began to be known by their modern name.

In some parts of the world Papillons are also called Phalenes, referring to the variety with drop-ears.

What I Look Like

Papillons are small creatures with fragile and compact bodies. Their tiny frame gives them a delicate appearance that is almost too adorable to resist.

Their bodies are white but never solid, and multicoloured patches of fur adorn their attractive and feathery coats.

In terms of ear-type there are two varieties - First there are those with upright ears that are reminiscent of butterfly wings, and then there are the ones with ears that rest on the side of their heads. This variety is known as Phalenes in some countries, referring to the moth-like appearance of their ears.

How I Act

Don’t let their fragile appearance fool you; Papillons are not passive creatures. They are active and lively pets, and are not likely to want to spend their time resting next to you.

Papillons are brave and feisty, and are excellent at catching rodents. They are also highly intelligent and obedient, which makes them one of the easiest breeds to train. Thanks to their amazing agility, your clever friend will be able to perform complex tricks without a problem.

They have great personality and a cheerful attitude but they do suffer from small-dog syndrome, believing they are bigger and tougher than they actually are.

This confidence can easily turn into bad behaviour, so try not to spoil them too much.

Papillons are curious dogs that are always looking to play with their owners.

Looking After Me

Papillon’s obedient nature makes them highly trainable, and they will quickly learn to follow your commands.

Remember that this breed can be quite restless. It is important you make sure Papillons get a chance to burn all that energy by either going for walks, or playing around.

You should also keep in mind that, because of their big-dog attitude, these toy dogs could easily hurt themselves. They may be brave creatures, but they are also extremely fragile so you should keep an eye on them whenever they are around children.

Regular grooming requirements are brushing, and having their nails trimmed as soon as they become too long.

Papillons can suffer from Open Fontanel, where the soft spot on their head that they are born with never closes properly – which leaves them vulnerable to fatal injuries

Am I the pet for you?

Hip Surgery for rescued puppy

2 weeks ago whilst we were in Fiji we rescued an abandoned puppy that we estimate is about 3 months old. She was starving, filthy, covered in ticks and could barely stand or walk. We fed her, washed her, removed all ticks and just gave her love. We called her Pretzel as she was so skinny when we found her that all her bones were sticking out and her hip bones looked like a big twisted pretzel and her long skinny legs looked like Pretzel sticks. Our intention was to find her a home in Fiji but after a week or so she had gained weight, but we noticed that her left hip bone was still protruding and that when she walked we noticed that her left back foot turned out slightly. Also, when she ran she would use both back legs together and hop like a bunny. We took her to an animal shelter in Fiji called Animals Fiji and they examined her and advised that they thought it might be dislocated. They X-rayed her and then sedated her to try and manipulate the bone back into the socket. This was unsuccessful. The vet advised that it appeared that the end of the bone where the ball should be round was malformed either from a trauma/injury when young or by birth. He advised that he does not have the equipment in Fiji to treat her properly and that she would need surgery to correct the bone and to tighten the ligaments to her support her leg. We are exporting her to Australia on the 7th of March and are trying to raise some funds to assist us. We are hoping that you can assistance to find a Vet in Melbourne that could assist with the operation at a reasonable price.