Papillon.jpg
Breed Group Group 12: Companion and Toy Breeds
Sub-group 12-C: European and African Breeds
Origin Country France
Weight Males: 5-11 pounds. Females: 5-11 pounds.
Height Males: 8-11 inches. Females: 8-11 inches.
Other Name(s) Continental Toy Spaniel, epagneul Nain Continental, Phalene
Breed Type Pure
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Papillon

Breed Group Group 12: Companion and Toy Breeds
Sub-group 12-C: European and African Breeds
Origin Country France
Weight Males: 5-11 pounds. Females: 5-11 pounds.
Height Males: 8-11 inches. Females: 8-11 inches.
Other Name(s) Continental Toy Spaniel, epagneul Nain Continental, Phalene
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Origins

Evidence of small dogs being owned by royalty has existed throughout history, and the Continental Toy Spaniel’s history is no exception. Pint-sized Spaniels have been popular among European royalty for well over a thousand years. These dogs were known as the Continental Toy Spaniel. We can see these small Spaniel-type dogs depicted throughout history and as early as the 1200s, when medieval lords and ladies prided themselves on their small pampered pups. Thanks to many of the famous Renaissance painters who portrayed these little royal dogs in their work from the fourteenth century through seventeenth century, we are able to learn about this breed’s lifestyle, origin, and development. Many paintings, wall frescoes, and tapestries containing the family dog were created, and, not surprisingly, many of these depict the small Spaniel-type dogs that were so near and dear to the royal and wealthy culture of the time.

The French were especially fond of their Spaniels, large and small, and stories abound about their penchant for their small companions. Madame de Pompadour, the powerful and beautiful mistress of King Louis XV, had two small Spaniels that she loved dearly. Their names, Mimi and Inez, are still popular names for the Continental Toy Spaniels to this day. Marie Antoinette owned one of these special little dogs, and is even said to have hidden her little Spaniel under her skirts as she walked to the guillotine for her execution.

Eventually, the little dogs were developed further and became more refined. The drop-eared Spaniels have always been the norm throughout history, and in fact, are common amongst the majority of spaniels. However, as the Continental Spaniels were further developed, the dogs began exhibiting large, butterfly-wing-like ears. These ears were so distinctive that they set the erect-eared individuals apart from their drop-eared littermates. These little dogs were nick-named “Papillons,” which is the French for butterfly. The drop eared Spaniels would later became known as “Phalènes,” which is the French word for moth, in reference to the moth’s lowered wings resembling those of the dog’s dropped ears. Papillons and Phalènes can both occur in the same litter of Continental Toy Spaniel with the only distinction being that of the ears. Eventually, the Continental Toy Spaniel’s reputation spread along with the breed itself. The Continental Toy Spaniels were first brought to America in the early 1900s where, to this day, they remain one of the most popular toy Spaniels in the country and one of the most easily recognized in the world.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Mesaticephalic skull-type, moderate in size, wedge-shaped, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The skull is moderately wide, never appearing narrow or overly broad. It is slightly rounded when viewed from the front. A slight median furrow may start at the stop and run up the center, diminishing toward the occiput. It should never appear appled or overly domed. It is clean-cut, never with excess bone, substance, or skin.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to almond in shape, and medium to dark brown in color, lighter eyes are permissible in non-standard varieties. Blue eyes are never correct or permissible. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging or rounded. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes.
Ears: Moderately large in size, set far apart on the skull at the highest and farthest edges, rather far back. They are triangular in shape, broad at the base with rounded tips. The outer edge is set higher than the level of the eye. The ears come in three varieties, with preference given to none.
Papillon Ears: Firmly erect ears with forward-facing auricles, tips pointed to the 10 and two o’clock position, forming a 45-degree angle to the head. Tips should never point straight up, like that of a Pomeranian or other spitz.
Phalene Ears: Drop or hanging.
Semi-Erect: Often breeding a Papillon to a Phalène will result in ears that are semi-erect, with the tips of the ears falling. This is not considered a fault.
Muzzle: The muzzle is full, yet somewhat fine, and tapers to a point. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight. Upper and lower jaws are well-developed, approximately equal in length, have good bone substance, never snipy or weak.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat in non-standard color varieties. The nostrils are well-opened.
Neck: Moderate length allows for proud head carriage, strongly muscled with an arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows.
Body: The body is compact, light, and exhibits rather good substance. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.
Tail: Set high on the croup. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, but never tucked. When alert, it may be carried above the horizon, or arched over the back, hanging to either side, never lying flat along the back. The tail is of a medium length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down.
Movement: The Continental Toy Spaniel moves with elegance, energy, efficiency, with minimum effort. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the center line of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: Continental Toy Spaniels are known for their friendly, inquisitive, and intelligent nature. Although considered a toy breed, they are capable of learning many disciplines and tricks. They are also excellent watchdogs and will alert their families to any suspicious behavior. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 12: Companion and Toy Breeds

Proportions: Off-square to slightly rectangular, with length of the body, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump being just slightly greater than the height at the withers. The ideal body height to length ratio is between 10:9 and 5:4. The body is well-put together, with sturdy substance and rather fine bone.

Head

General Appearance: Mesaticephalic skull-type, moderate in size, wedge-shaped, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The skull is moderately wide, never appearing narrow or overly broad. It is slightly rounded when viewed from the front. A slight median furrow may start at the stop and run up the center, diminishing toward the occiput. It should never appear appled or overly domed. It is clean-cut, never with excess bone, substance, or skin.
Expression: Alert, perky, plucky, inquisitive, and intelligent.
Stop: The stop is definite, but due to the taper of the muzzle, is less than 90 degrees.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is 3:1, with the topskull being longer than the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is convergent.
Muzzle: The muzzle is full, yet somewhat fine, and tapers to a point. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight. Upper and lower jaws are well-developed, approximately equal in length, have good bone substance, never snipy or weak.
Lips or Flews: Lips are clean and fit tightly over the teeth and jaws.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat in non-standard color varieties. The nostrils are well-opened.
Cheeks: The cheeks are smoothly muscled, without appearing chiseled or coarse.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level or scissor. Contact must be made between the top and bottom incisors. Missing or broken teeth as a result of routine work is not to be penalized. The tongue must be completely concealed when the mouth is closed.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to almond in shape, and medium to dark brown in color, lighter eyes are permissible in non-standard varieties. Blue eyes are never correct or permissible. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging or rounded. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes.
Ears: Moderately large in size, set far apart on the skull at the highest and farthest edges, rather far back. They are triangular in shape, broad at the base with rounded tips. The outer edge is set higher than the level of the eye. The ears come in three varieties, with preference given to none.
Papillon Ears: Firmly erect ears with forward-facing auricles, tips pointed to the 10 and two o’clock position, forming a 45-degree angle to the head. Tips should never point straight up, like that of a Pomeranian or other spitz.
Phalene Ears: Drop or hanging.
Semi-Erect: Often breeding a Papillon to a Phalène will result in ears that are semi-erect, with the tips of the ears falling. This is not considered a fault.

Body and Tail

General Description: The body is compact, light, and exhibits rather good substance. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Neck: Moderate length allows for proud head carriage, strongly muscled with an arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows.
Topline: Level from withers to croup. The back is broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is taut, flat and level, or slightly arched, yet supportive. The back is never swayed or roached.
Croup: Gently sloped.
Underline: Slightly tucked up, but not excessively so. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, and oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Tail: Set high on the croup. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, but never tucked. When alert, it may be carried above the horizon, or arched over the back, hanging to either side, never lying flat along the back. The tail is of a medium length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well-angulated with well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The point of the elbows is approximately half the dog’s height at the withers.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, of moderately fine bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are equal in length, strong, sturdy, of moderately fine bone, and well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: Long, fine, silky, straight, flowing, flat, single coat, well-fringed body, underline, and back of legs. Profuse frill, ear fringe, abundant breeches diminish to pasterns, long, flowing plumed tail. Short on head, face, front of legs, and feet. The ears should be adorned with hair that forms long fringing that extends beyond the edge of the ears.

COAT COLOR OR PATTERN: CKC recognizes two color varieties of the Continental Toy Spaniel breed: the standard color and non-standard color variety.
Standard coat color variety: Black, black with tan points, saddle marking, or creeping tan, sable or agouti, fawn (tan with black mask), cream, lemon, tan, red, orange, mahogany; all must be piebald with dominantly white body markings, and at minimum a symmetrically marked, fully colored head, with preference given to white noseband and clearly defined white blaze over a solidly marked head.
Non-standard coat color variety: Includes solid white dogs, dogs predominantly colored, mismarked or asymmetrical head markings, and other colors not considered in the standard colors, including liver, liver and tan, blue, blue and tan, etc.
Coat Color or Pattern: The Continental Toy Spaniel moves with elegance, energy, efficiency, with minimum effort. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the center line of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Movement

The Continental Toy Spaniel moves with elegance, energy, efficiency, with minimum effort. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the center line of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

Continental Toy Spaniels are known for their friendly, inquisitive, and intelligent nature. Although considered a toy breed, they are capable of learning many disciplines and tricks. They are also excellent watchdogs and will alert their families to any suspicious behavior. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.