An ideal companion dog in your opinion – a lively, light, graceful creature, moderately curious and certainly smart?
Requiring minimal maintenance, feeling comfortable even in a small apartment, loving to bask on pillows, but always ready to play and frolic, ready for both long walks and sometimes even do without them?
The continental toy spaniel, or papillon, as the breed is most often called, fits this description. Miniature size is combined with endurance and good health, unusual spectacular appearance – with very modest care needs. A special feature of the breed (except for the magnificent ears covered with long wavy hair) is outstanding intelligence. In the rating of the “smartest” breeds, papillons rightfully occupy the eighth place!
The content of the article:
History of the origin of the breed
The official name of the breed – the continental toy spaniel – is rarely used, more often dogs are called papillons and phalens. The first – animals with erect ears, similar to the wings of a butterfly (from French this word is translated, and pronounced as “papillon” – sometimes the breed is called that way). Phalens are continental toy spaniels with hanging ears. There is no consensus about the time of the emergence of the breed. On the one hand, it is believed that the breed was formed in the XIV century. On the other hand, there is evidence that back in 1099, the Duke of Lower Lorraine, Gottfried, brought tiny moth-dogs from the crusade to Jerusalem.
The history of mankind is inextricably linked with the history of the development of dogs. Dogs have been our partners for a long time. When mankind went through the transition from a nomadic life of hunters to a settled life, dogs appeared, grazing herds of goats, sheep and cattle. Guard dogs have protected people for a long time from the beginning of cultural existence to the present time.
But the intricacies of human and dog stories weren’t limited to working dogs. Even 200 years ago, in the temples of Tibet, dogs were revered as a deity, they inspired monks. 1000 years ago in Europe it was considered good form to keep small dogs at royal courts. Mankind, apparently, needs indoor dogs in the same way as guards, shepherds, etc.
Papillon, who got into our city apartments, has a rich and regal family history. It is a historical fact, the ancestors of the Papillon were favorites at the royal courts..
Papillon (“papillon” – this is how the word is pronounced in the French manner) is a descendant of the continental spaniel. This breed originated in the 14th century. The birthplace of papillons is supposedly Belgium and France, hence the name – “papillon” (“butterfly” in translation from the French language) and “phalene” (moth) – for the lop-eared variety.
A notable feature of the breed is its beautiful, butterfly-like ears.
This dog was a favorite of members of royal families and nobility.
The history of the breed is closely related to the history of France. King Henry III was accused of ruining the royal treasury, he spent public money on the acquisition of crumbs – spaniels. Henry often visited Leon, where the “butterflies” were bred, and according to historians, in 1576 he spent over 100,000 crowns on dogs. “Butterflies” accompanied Henry III everywhere: to receptions, state councils, comfortably sitting in a basket hanging on the king’s chest. Heinrich ordered dresses with numerous pockets for his dogs. The king had 3 pets, who had access to the king’s bed. One of these dogs was named Lilin. And it was she who was with the king at Saint Cloud, where a monk named Clemen asked for an audience. Lilin loudly barked her dislike for the monk. The dog had to be removed from the reception area to the lobby. Left alone with the king, the monk pierced his chest with a dagger. The dog raised the alarm, the killer was detained, but this did not save the Valois descendant … Dying, the king whispered: “Oh, if I had listened to my Lilin …”
The papillons were also owned by Henry the Fourth, Louis the Thirteenth, Louis the Fourteenth, Marie Antoinette, Madame de Pompadour, the Queen of Prussia Queen Sophie Dorothea.
Description of the breed
The current breed standard was approved by the FCI in 1998. The Continental Toy Spaniel is a luxurious miniature dog with strong yet graceful bones and elegant light movements. Papillons have a cheerful character and lively temperament. The growth of dogs is about 28 cm, and the standard provides for two weight categories: males and females weighing from 1.5 to 2.5 kg, and males and females weighing 2.5 – 5 kg.
- The papillon’s head is proportional to the body, the skull is not too round in outline, sometimes a groove in the middle is slightly noticeable. The transition from the forehead to the muzzle is quite pronounced. In larger dogs, it is more noticeable, in small dogs it does not have a sharp ledge. Muzzle shorter than the skull, graceful, but not pointed or upturned, not sunken on the sides.
- The ears are thin, but strong. The standard provides for two varieties: phalene (hanging ears) and paillon (standing). Both varieties should not have a sharp tip (determined by hand). Ears set close to the back of the head, wide enough.
- Hanging ears (phalene). Set noticeably above eye level, hanging down freely, but at the same time mobile. Decorating coat is rather long and wavy. She makes the dog look cute.
- Erect ears (papillon). Set on high, well open. The angle between the horizontal and the inner edge of the auricle is approximately 45 °. The ear should not be upright like a Spitz. On the inner surface of the ear, fine hairs grow, some of the bottom slightly protrude beyond the edge of the ear. The outside of the ears is covered with long hair, which forms a fringe that extends beyond the edges of the ear. When crossing two varieties of dogs, animals with semi-erect ears appear, and this is a serious drawback.
- The eyes are expressive, almond-shaped, rather large, not protruding, but well open. Set low: the inner corners of the eyes are in line with the junction of the muzzle and skull. Eye color – dark, pigmented eyelids.
- The papillon’s nose is straight, the nose is rounded, small, somewhat flattened on top. Lobe color – black.
- Dogs have an even, normal bite, strong teeth and jaws. The lips are thin, tight-fitting, highly pigmented. The tongue should not protrude from the mouth. If it is constantly visible and does not move away from touching it with a finger, this is considered a disadvantage..
- The body in dogs is harmoniously built, somewhat stretched format. The belly is moderately tucked up.
- The chest is broad, drooping low, ribs well sprung. Chest circumference is ideally equal to the approximate height at the withers.
- The back of the Continental Toy Spaniel breed is neither saggy nor flat.
- The forelimbs of the papillon are strong, straight, not too long. Delivered in parallel. The elbows are close to the body. The paws are long, “hare”, the toes are mobile, resting on strong pads. The nails are strong, most often dark. Light and white nails are acceptable in dogs with a white-sable or predominantly white color. Long hair grows between the toes, forming a plume.
- The hind limbs of the papillon are distinguished by good articulation angles. Paws are the same as the front ones: “hare”, with movable toes, strong claws and hair forming a plume.
- The tail is set relatively high, rather long. Decorating wool is abundant, forming a chic dewlap. In movement, the dog keeps its tail raised along the line of the back and bends it. In this case, the tip of the tail can only touch the back, the tail should not be curled or lie on the back.
- The coat of the continental toy spaniel is devoid of undercoat. It is long, wavy and shiny. Soft yet elastic to the touch. The hairs are thin, close to the dog’s body. The coat must not resemble that of a Spitz. Around the eyes, on the muzzle and on the front of the limbs, the hair is short. On the body, the coat is of moderate length, on the neck it lengthens, forming a collar. Wool descends in waves on the chest, forms lush feathering on the back of the forelegs and ears, and on the back of the thighs – luxurious “pants”. The length of the hair of the suspension on the tail can reach 15 cm.
The color can be any color, provided that the shirt must be white. On the body and legs, the white should prevail over the painted areas. White color on the head is preferable in the form of a more or less wide star. White markings on the underside (front) of the head are allowed, but predominantly white on the head is a defect.
A sociable, lively, curious dog with a spectacular appearance is one of the best candidates for the role of an ideal companion. Papillons love walks, but they can do without them, if the owner does not like to get up early in the morning and go out late in the evening.
The disadvantages of the breed are conditional, this is a direct continuation of its merits. Papillons need to communicate with their owners. They may well be alone for several hours, but daily prolonged loneliness causes them real suffering. They will also feel uncomfortable in the company of unceremonious children, who tend to see a small dog as a living toy.
Papillons are very loyal to their owners, dogs with a lively and cheerful temperament. You might think that papillons are classic tame dogs, which mostly sit on the lap of their owner and observe the world around them. But this is not the case. Papillons are very energetic dogs and even like to hunt butterflies, moths, mice and other small animals if given the opportunity.
Puppies of this dog breed need very early socialization, before they open their eyes. This is due to the tendency of these dogs to bite when they are afraid. With responsible breeding and proper rearing, this breed disadvantage can be overcome. Puppies need to develop a calm and trusting character. If you raise a papillon puppy correctly, he will be quite curious, but at the same time calm. He will not be very afraid and will not react sharply to everything new.
They are also intelligent, easy to train, and submissive.
Papillons are unusually athletic dogs. They are carried away by impetuous games, running, jumping. They love long walks, especially in the company of the owner..
Phalene and other pets
Papillons get along well with other animals and love to involve them in their games. Papillons are affectionate and friendly, they easily get along with dogs of other breeds and cats, they feel great in large families.
Despite their spectacular appearance, the Papillons are called “the dog for the lazy.” Of course, if you plan to conquer the podiums of exhibitions, the dog will need special care. And in ordinary life, the papillon does not need trimming, it is enough to regularly comb the pet. You need to bathe the dog as needed. Dogs with floppy ears need regular examination of the ears.
Caring for papillon hair is different from caring for most other dogs. However, do not think that caring for these dogs is too difficult. It is enough to comb the papillon only twice a week and its coat will always be in good condition. It is recommended to increase the frequency of brushing during shedding. Papillons shed twice a year.
For bathing this breed of dogs, you need to choose a shampoo that will not leave a yellow tint on the papillon’s wool. Many dog breeders use human shampoos for platinum blonde or gray hair. After using the shampoo, it is important to thoroughly rinse the papillon’s hair with water, otherwise the shampoo residues can also cause a tint to appear on the dog’s coat.
If the papillon hair is in good condition, then it does not need additional moisture and the use of creams. However, a small amount of cream can be used on papillons with red and black flowers, it will not damage their coat, since their coat is usually slightly drier than that of papillons of other colors.
Professional groomers note that when using cream on papillons of other colors, the coat tends to look greasy and unkempt. For hygienic reasons, it is recommended to trim the hair on the belly and around the paw pads of the papillons. It is also necessary to periodically check the ears of the papillons, they must be clean and dry.
Papillons also need to regularly brush their teeth and trim their claws.
Despite their small size, papillons are energetic dogs and need enough exercise. Daily walks with these dogs are important to keep the papillons in good shape.
The eyes are the window to the soul. To keep the eyes and hair around the eye sockets in the Papillon in perfect condition, hygiene procedures should be carried out every three days..
If a small amount of secretion accumulates in the corners of the eye, after sleep it is necessary to carefully remove the accumulated mucus with a cotton pad dipped in an eye care product (or simply in boiled water). Each eye is processed with a separate clean cotton pad. If there is little mucus and it appears only in the morning, Papillon’s eyes are not red, then there is nothing to worry about. If purulent discharge appears, the eyes turn red, you should contact your veterinarian.
Quite often, papillons suffer from lacrimation.
There can be several reasons for lacrimation in dogs: inflammation of the lacrimal sac, blockage of the lacrimal canals, curl of eyelashes or eyelids, an extra row of eyelashes, too thick eyelashes in the corners of the eye, foreign object entering the eye. In these cases, only the intervention of a veterinarian will help.
But papillon’s eyes often flow due to the high content of protein or carbohydrates in the diet, it can be a reaction to the wind with dust and sand particles, a reaction to thawed spring snow or an allergic reaction to spraying various aerosols near the dog.
If you find out that watery eyes is a reaction to dry food, which may well be, you should gradually transfer your dog to another brand of super premium dry food.
It is extremely difficult to get rid of the lacrimal paths and only daily systematic eye care and hair around the eyes will help..
They eat papillons a little, and are not particularly fastidious. Review the feeding guidelines for small breed dogs so that your dog is eating a balanced and quality diet. The general rule is not to overfeed or treat food from the master’s table..
Working tests for this breed are not provided – miniature dogs become exclusively companions. The developed intellect allows them to quickly learn all the commands and rules of behavior necessary for a well-mannered dog, and tirelessness and liveliness of character ensures good results in agility for continental toy spaniels.
Strictly speaking, agility is just one of the disciplines included in the competition of dogs on the passage of a track with obstacles at speed. In addition to agility itself, they also distinguish jumping, gamblers, snooker and the relay.
Of course, the closest word for an ordinary dog breeder is relay race. The Canine Relay is exactly what you thought: teams of pets and owners, united by club or any other principle, compete with each other in the cleanliness and speed of passing the distance with obstacles. Of course, the previous pair “dog-master” passes the baton to the next one.
The next more or less understandable word is jumping. It hides behind itself a rather spectacular and dynamic competitive discipline. Its peculiarity is that the dog must cover a distance consisting of contactless obstacles. Actually, the name “jumping” and says that most of the shells need to jump over. Jumping, like agility, are the key disciplines in which the overall winner is determined in the competition.
For creative and inspired athletes, a special kind of obstacle course has been invented – a gambler. In this case, the dog is required not only physical return on the principle of “faster, higher, stronger”, but also the ability to perfectly understand the owner and his tasks. A gambler is the ability to build a winning strategy. Here it is not necessary to go through all the obstacles, without exception, in a certain order. You can win by excluding a number of shells from your route, or by passing them cleanly and all in the sequence in which it is beneficial for the dog. One way or another, a sports pair “man-dog” must score a certain number of points in a given time. Moreover, it is forbidden to pass the same test twice, and each of the shells has its own “price”. Passing the route should appear consistent, not spontaneous.
The miniature size does not prevent the breed from being in good health. There are diseases to which the papillons are genetically predisposed, such as dislocated patella or deafness, but when choosing a puppy from a good kennel, they most likely will not bother you. Remember that small dogs at puppy age are quite fragile creatures, and be extremely careful at home so as not to injure them.
The most common diseases in this dog breed are:
- Entropy (turn of the century)
- Corneal dystrophy
- Congenital deafness
The approximate cost of a Phalen puppy
The average cost of a papillon and phalene puppy is from 30,000 to 50,000 rubles.
Photos of Falen
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