PlayTyme Papillons
PlayTyme Papillons  

Frequently Asked Questions 

PlayTyme Papillons - AKC Breeder of Merit - World Class Papillons - Home of Multiple Champions and Performance dogs

General Information on the breed

With their wing-shaped ears — their name is French for “butterfly” — and endless energy, Papillons are pint-sized packages of joy. Papillons are also fast learners who have no problem picking up new tricks.The papillon is a beautiful dog with a charming personality.  Papillons are called the "butterfly dog" due to their beautiful head and ear silhouette that creates a beautiful butterfly effect.

  • Personality: Friendly, alert, happy
  • Energy Level: Regular Exercise
  • Good with Children: Good With Children
  • Good with other Dogs: With Supervision
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Grooming: 2
  • Trainability: Eager to Please
  • Height: 8-11 inches
  • Weight: 5-10 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 14-16 years

Papillons are a family dog and form a special bond with their owners.  Not only are papillons known for their beauty but their delightful and adoring temperament as well.  The papillon dog has an enormous heart.  They enjoy a long healthy life usually between 13-17 years of age.  The papillon puppy is no exception.  Papillon puppies are sweet and fun.  Papillons love people and are very social with other papillons and dogs.

What is a Papillon?

The quick, curious Papillon is a toy dog of singular beauty and upbeat athleticism. Despite his refined appearance, the Pap is truly a 'doggy dog' blessed with a hardy constitution. Papillon fanciers describe their breed as happy, alert, and friendly. A tiny dog, measuring 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder, you can still spot a Papillon a block away thanks to the large, wing-shaped ears that give the breed its name ('papillon' is French for 'butterfly'). Some Paps have erect ears; in others, known as the Phalene type, the ears are down. Paps are dainty and elegant, with a plumed tail, and a long, silky coat of several color combinations, the base color being white. More robust than they look, Paps are little dogs for all seasons and reasons. They thrive in warm or cool climates, in town or country, and are eager to join family fun. They are excellent agility dogs and are consistent winners at the sport's highest levels; less ambitious owners can train them to do all kinds of tricks.

The Papillon is one of two varieties of the AKC Papillon breed. The Erect ear and the Drop ear variety.The Papillon is a small, friendly, elegant toy dog of fine-boned structure, light, dainty and of lively action; distinguished from other breeds by its beautiful butterfly-like ears.

What are Papillons heath Concerns?

Papillons are tough and gutsy, but they are very small. Owners need to be careful with them, especially when they are puppies, around stairs, furniture, and other, larger animals. A small child can accidentally hurt his puppy friend very easily. Responsible breeders screen their stock for health conditions such as a fontanel in the top of the skull, similar to a human baby's soft spot; and patellar luxation, or kneecaps that can "slip" or dislocate, sometimes briefly, sometimes completely.

Recommended Health Tests From the National Breed Club:

  • Patella Evaluation
  • Cardiac Exam
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation

Where does the name Papillon come from?

The name “Papillon” has its origins in the French word “Papillon” – meaning Butterly. Many of the early papillons lived with royalty as lap warmers. The breed dates back to the 17th   Century 


How big are Papillons?

The Official AKC Papillon Standard calls for males and females to be between 8-11 inches at the shoulder.  In the modern-day breed, it is a fad to find Papillons under the desired size or over based on what people are looking for as a pet.  However, any variation from the Standard should be considered incorrect. Preservationist breeders are breeding dogs to fit the Standard.

How much does a Papillon weigh?

The Official AKC Papillon Standard calls for papillons to be between 8-11 inches tall. It doesn’t give us how much in pounds. However most papillons are between 5-15 lbs. Variation from the Standard should be considered incorrect. Preservationist breeders are breeding dogs to fit the Standard.

How long do Papillons live?

Papillons’ life expectancy is 10 to 15 years, with many living well into their late teens. It is important to select a Papillon from a bloodline noted for good health and longevity. Different bloodlines age differently. We have had many papillons live past 19yrs old. 


What are the Exercise requirements of the Papillon
Thanks to their small size, Papillons make wonderful indoor pets, but that doesn't mean they don't need exercise. They are active, smart dogs, and they will want their people to play with them. Indoors, they enjoy retrieving a small ball or toy a Papillon will quickly learn to bring it back so you can throw it again. Outdoors, true to their spaniel heritage, Papillons will happily run in the yard to chase after squirrels, chipmunks, and even insects. Papillons tend not to realize how small they actually are, so owners need to watch carefully if they set out after a larger dog, or even a cat.

What are Papillons like with Training 

Papillons are intelligent and eager to please the humans they have bonded with. Generally speaking, some small breeds can take a little longer to house train than large breeds do, but Papillons make the process easier. Early socialization is very important, and obedience classes are a good idea your Papillon will learn to do what you tell him to, and you will learn not to overindulge your adorable companion. And remember that the Papillon is a companion dog at heart; they may be unhappy and develop undesirable behaviors if left left alone for long periods of time. Fortunately, a Papillon can bond with other pets as well as humans.

Nutritional requirements of the papillon 

The Papillon should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian's supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog's age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog's calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog's weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times

Grooming the Papillon

For a breed with long, silky hair, Papillons needs surprisingly little grooming, mostly because they do not have an undercoat. Grooming every month or so is fine. Between full grooming sessions, you might want to spend a few minutes running a comb or soft slicker brush through the hair inside the hind legs, behind the ears, and on the "culottes," or thigh hair, as mats tend to form there. A Papillon will need a bath every few months, or when he or she gets especially muddy or dirty. The Papillon's nails grow quickly and should be trimmed regularly' especially the dewclaw, which can curl around and pierce the leg. Finally, regular tooth brushing is vital for dental health.

Do Papillons shed?

Papillons shed hair very little and is similar to human hair shedding.  typically they shed once each year. The process is usually completed within 1-2 months. Unlike shorter coated dogs, a Papillon often has no shedding for much of the year. 

When do Papillons shed?

Papillons typically shed their coats in the spring – brought on by warmer temperatures and more sunlight. A non-spayed bitch (female) will shed 2-3 months after her cycle or litter of puppies.

How much do Papillons shed?

A Papillon will shed usually once each year. When they do, they will shed most of their coat over a 1-2-month period. Being a single-coated breed, the shed usually is similar to people shedding hair  since they only have the outer coat. It is important to remove any coat as it begins to loosen, preventing any mats or hot spots from forming. Once the old coat is removed, the new coat will begin to grow. Unlike many breeds that shed continually, a fresh, healthy Papillon coat has essentially no shedding the rest of the year.

What is the Papillon coat like?

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.

What Colors do Papillons come?

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.  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.White & Black, White & Lemon,White & Red, White & Sable, and White Black & Tan. 

How to groom a Papillon?

Grooming a Papillon requires, at minimum, a pin brush, slicker brush, greyhound comb, toenail clippers, hair scissors, and spray bottle with mixed water & conditioner. Using a line-brushing technique, the Papillon coat needs to be groomed down to the skin, removing all knots and tangles. Feet, nails, hocks, and pasterns should be trimmed short to keep feet from picking-up dirt and mud.

When do Papillons get their full coat?

Papillon get their full coat by two years of age, or their third coat. Puppy coats are typically fluffy, but softer and shorter than adult coats. The first adult coat (second coat) will be a harsher texture than a puppy coat, but not the volume or length. The second adult coat (third coat) will have the full shine and length the breed is known for. 

How much do Papillons cost?

Pet quality Papillon puppies usually cost $3,500-$4,500 with AKC Limited Registration (no breeding rights). 

Top-quality Papillon puppies can cost as much as $4,500 or more with a lifetime health guarantee from a quality breeder. 

Show/breeding puppy prospects will cost $5,500-$10,000 for the finest conformation and bloodlines.

Learn more about buying a quality Papillon from a reputable breeder 

Papillon (erect ears) vs Phalene (drop ear) ?

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. 

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. 


What is the personality of a Papillon?

Papillons are Fun, devoted, graceful and Happy dogs. They are particularly fond of their people and make fabulous family pets. They are swift, athletic dogs that thrive on companionship and regular exercise. With gentle training, they learn happily and rapidly. The Papillon’s loyalty, intelligence, and sterling character are unmatched in the canine world.

How smart are Papillons?

Papillons are notably a smart breed. They are very intuitive and devoted to their families. They quickly learn commands but can become bored with repetitive actions. A variety of commands, interactive games, and praise will keep them engaged and entertained. Treats help, too! Papillons have been train to do just about any task  requested of them. From service and hearing alert dogs to agility and obedience  champions. This breed will try anything like barn hunts and dock diving or even herding. This is the athlete of the Toy group. 

How much exercise does a Papillon need?

Papillons are active dogs that appreciate regular exercise. However, they are also intelligent dogs that appreciate rest and relaxation. Papillons are not typically hyper dogs. They can also self exercise in the house which makes them very adaptable to any home situation. 

Are Papillons Barkers?

People often ask if the saying “yappy pappy” is true? Papillons are devoted family dogs and will alarm bark when they hear things out of the normal.  Papillons also like to do whatever you reinforce, so if you like them talking and encourage this barking behavior then they will continue to bark if you allow them to.  As puppies and in our home I don’t encourage barking and so we don’t have dogs who are barking all the time. 

As lap  dogs, papillons are apt to use their voice to communicate, whether with their family, and other dogs,  Papillons can also become barkers out of boredom. Papillons should not be encouraged to bark except in circumstances where barking is desired (i.e. a visitor at the door, and unfamiliar noise, or an intruder in the home.) Prompt & consistent training is the best way to deal with barking.

Do Papillons like water?

A papillon affinity for water is determined on an individual dog basis. Some paps are avid swimmers while others have no interest in getting anything other than their feet wet. 

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