History The Papillon was first bred in the early 1500's in Italy. The word "papillon" means "butterfly ears" in French.
Even though it is an Italian Breed, it has a French name since it was perfected there. The breed was first recognized by the AKC in 1935. Today, the Papillon is ranked in the top 50 for most popular breeds in the U.S.
Small but Smart Since the Papillon was bred as a lap dog for royal monarchs a long time ago, it is unknown where their distinct intelligence comes from.
Papillons always make the top 10 list for smartest dogs and have won the National AKC Agility and Obedience Championship Competitions.
Breed Characteristics The Papillon is known for its many breed characteristics. Some of the more famous ones include:
Temperament Since the Papillon was bred as a lap dog, it is known for having a friendly, happy temperament.
However, since the Papillon has been used in AKC Competitions in recent years, the modern-day Papillon is known for being alert, active, athletic, and adventurous.
Fur Colors The most common fur colors:
Lemon brown and white
Red and white
Black and white
Brown and white
Hollywood Fame Hollywood directors have used Papillons in several movies because they have become a popular breed in America over the years.
Since 1996, Papillons have appeared in nearly a dozen American films, and have also been in a Canadian film and a Japanese film.
Health and Lifespan The Papillon is considered to be one of the healthiest breeds around with few health issues.
However, the Papillon can be more susceptible to seizures, dental problems, and patellar luxation (knee dislocation disorder). They generally live 14-17 years.