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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?

How do I toilet train my cat

I rescued an adult female, desexed cat six months ago. Apparently she’s always been an outside cat. I have another cat who is mostly indoors and I would only let outside during the day if I was home. Luna didn’t like being indoors and wasn’t using the litter tray properly. I had her confined in the bathroom for a few days to get use to it and she would go next to it, rarely in it. She will sometimes use a tray otherwise will urinate or poop on the floor. I am at wits end. I have two trays, I’ve changed the type of litter, put dirt in the tray, picked up the poop and put it in the tray to show her that where it goes. I’ve used spray in the tray to attract her to want to use the tray. I bought felliway diffuser which is meant to calm cats and have also used the rescue remedy drops in her food. I’ve recently moved house where there is a cat enclosure so she can go in and out when ever she pleases but still goes in the kitchen (as I now close the bathroom door when she started going to the toilet in there), but tonight I noticed she’s been going in the spare room if anything is left on the floor which is carpeted. So I’ve now cleared that whole room to prevent her from going to the toilet. She is still going in the kitchen. I’ve tried cleaning the area and eliminating her scent by using water and vinegar then once dry use bi carb soda and hydrogen peroxide and it has made no difference. She’s been tested for a bladder infection which came up negative. I love animals. I have another cat which she now gets along with and two dogs which she is still getting use to. I don’t know what else to do and I don’t want to give her up but feel like I will have no choice.