By Terri Estes
This week’s spotlight is shining on the PAPILLON! Recognized by the AKC in 1915, the Papillon is a member of the toy group. Average height is 8-11” at the shoulder and weighing 5-10lbs. Paps come in a variety of color combinations with the base color always being white. The coat is long and silky with no undercoat. They have large, wing shaped ears that give the breed its name. Papillon means butterfly in French.
Throughout Europe, dainty little Papillon-type dogs were a favorite of Royal families in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is said that Marie Antoinette carried her Papillon under her arm to the guillotine. According to the story, the pup was spared and cared for in a building in Paris still called the Papillon House.
While the Pap is small in stature, they are big in heart. They are very smart, athletic dogs and are much sturdier than they appear. These quick little dogs are a favorite among agility enthusiasts.
Papillons make great family pets as they are more active than the typical lap dog and are generally good with children. They have lots of energy and love to play. Because of their small size, play should be monitored with small children to avoid inadvertent injury.
Like many small dog breeds, the Papillon is prone to dental disease. Brushing teeth every day with a good quality dog toothpaste will help avoid this problem. Their coat also needs a good brushing a couple of times a week to keep its silky luster. Because they have no undercoat there is minimal shedding. So, if you are looking for a small dog with lots of energy and relatively low maintenance, this could be the breed for you.
FUN ANIMAL FACT
A blue whale’s tongue can weigh 6,000 to 8,000 lbs., as much as a car or small adult elephant!