This week, Best Bully Sticks celebrates a dog that was a European celebrity as far back as the 16th century. Its history can be traced through the painted depictions of wealthy families and royalty in Italy, France, Belgium and England. We’re talking about the Papillion of course, a vibrant little dog that has been capturing hearts for hundreds of years.

History & Background: The Papillon’s name is derived from the French word for “butterfly” because this dog’s erect and feathered ears resemble the winged insect. However, the dog’s ancestors had drooping ears and sometimes called “Dwarf Spaniels.” It wasn’t until the 16th and 17th centuries that the Papillon began “perking up” and the erect ears became more common. This is known because Papillons were often seen in European paintings as the dogs of the wealthy and ruling class.  It has even been said that Marie Antoinette highly favored the dog and was holding it under her arm when she went to the guillotine.

This breed was recognized in by the AKC in 1935 when the Papillon Club of America was formed.

Height: 8-11 inches

Weight: 5-10 pounds

Coat: The Papillon has a great amount of hair that is flowing and long. The fine and silky fur lays flat on back and sides. Shorter hair appears on the face, around the head and muzzle and on the front of legs. The most distinguishing feature of the Papillon is the feathering of fur, especially around the ears, which gives this breed its name. Feathering also occurs at the back of the fore and hind legs as well as sprouts from the chest. This dog’s tail is plumed as well.

Color: This breed is most commonly a parti-colored dog. The breed standard has a streak of white around nose and going up the middle of the head. Colors other than white usually cover both ears and eyes. Papillons have dark, average-sized eyes that have thick black rims.

Appearance: This small, elegant, toy breed is very light and graceful. A Papillon’s head is slightly rounded and their muzzle tapers to a sudden stop at the nose. This dog’s tail curves upward and is sometimes called a “Squirrel Spaniel” because of the tail resemblance. Most Papillon’s have erect ears, but some littermates can have drooped ears and are called Phalenes, which in French means “moth.”

Temperament: Papillon’s are happy, affectionate and energetic dogs. They aren’t reserved or aggressive. This dog is happy in any environment, whether in a city apartment or in open country. A very intelligent dog, the Papillon is a quick learner.  This dog can be seen as the best of both worlds because it’s happy to be with an energetic and active family yet is known to fall asleep in its owners lap as well. This breed needs plenty of exercise.

Health: This dog has a very fragile bone structure, so a fall from any distance could be hard on this breed. It’s recommended that small children do not handle this dog for this reason. On average the Papillon lives 12-15 years.

Product Suggestions:  Little dogs need little treats, but of course Best Bully Sticks doesn’t sacrifice health, so we would recommend Fruitables Skinny Minis Pumpkin and Mango Flavor Chewy Dog Treats. They have all the health benefits of soft and juicy mango and combined it with fresh, all natural pumpkin to make a delightful dog treat! A little dog also needs a little toy, but the Papillon needs a tough toy and the West Paw Mini Jive Ball is perfect! This ball is a limited-edition spring pink and measures 2 inches in diameter!