The Papillon is believed to be one of the oldest toy breeds of dogs originated in continental Europe and was a favorite at the French court. The most famous owner was Henry III – documentation of his devotion to the breed lies in his declaration of the Papillon as the official dog of the Royal Court during his tenure. Other famous owners are said to have been Marie Antoinette, and Madame de Pompadour.
There is evidence that these small dogs were favorites of predominantly French royalty during the time of the Old Masters, as the Continental Toy Spaniel (Phalenes and Papillons) were included in many Old Master royal portraits from as early as the sixteenth century.
The are many stories about the Papillon. Marie Antoinette was said to have walked to the guillotine clutching her small dog under her arm. It is said that her dog was a small spaniel that had been brought to the French court from Spain on the back of pack mules. The story goes that that her pup was spared and cared for in a building in Paris still called the Papillon House. Marie's small spaniel was said to have descended from a very old breed drop-eared breed known as the Epagneul Nain Continental, or Continental Dwarf/Toy Spaniel that started showing up in church frescos and paintings as far back as the 13th century.
Still today, this breed is officially referred to in non-English-speaking countries as the Epagneul Nain Continental (ENC). Some say that the name Squirrel Spaniel has also been used, most likely referring to an earlier standard in which the tail set is referred to as "curling over the back as a squirrel's." One version of the story of the history of the two varieties of ears in the ENC ("Papillon" to denote the erect ear and "Phalene" to denote the drop ear) is that toward the end of the 19th century, the breed fanciers bred a version of the spaniel whose ears stood up. This dog was said to have been nick-named Papillon based on the impressively large erect ears that resembled the wings of a butterfly. The drop eared variety of the breed came to be called the Phalène (which means "night moth."). Both types are still bred today and can show up in the same litter although the Papillon variety is much more common.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papillon_%28dog%29)
MORE FUN BREED FACTS
The Papillon is one of the oldest breeds of dog, with a recorded history in Europe going back nearly 700 years. The breed was originally called the epagneul nain or dwarf spaniel, and sported spaniel-type dropped ears. The dog was later known as the Continental Toy Spaniel (or sometimes just toy spaniel), which is the main name the FCI standard goes by. This tiny breed is recognizable in 13th through 15th century Italian frescoes. It was featured in many paintings of the Renaissance period; in fact much of the breed's development is known because of its depiction in paintings. The breed was widespread in Italy during the Renaissance and later perfected by French breeders. Over time, an erect-eared type, fringed as to resemble the ears of a butterfly, developed (Papillon means "butterfly" in French).
In the United States and according to the AKC standard, Papillons (erect-eared) and Phalenes (drop-eared) can be born in the same litter and are shown together as one breed.
The AKC calls the breed a Papillon, with the Phalene being the name for the drop eared variety. Where as the FCI calls the breed a Continental Toy Spaniel with two varieties, the Papillon for the erect eared dogs and the Phalene for the drop eared dogs.
While the AKC allows for the Papillon and Phalene to mix mate, the FCI strictly prohibits mix mating because of problems with the position of the ears. One FCI breeder states, "When a Papillon and Phalene are mixed most of the time incorrect ears on both varieties are the result, i.e one ear erected one dropped or both bended on top or a different combination of the mentioned problems. The correct position of Phalene ears is to lay close to the side of the head showing no gap, but when you mix the two the ears they do show a gap which is called "open ears". If there are the opposite genes in either variety incorrect ears will always show up in the litters."
Some of its talents include: watchdog, agility, competitive obedience, and performing tricks.
Canadian Kennel Club Breed Standard for the Papillon
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.
Size, Proportion, Substance:
Size - Height at withers, 8 to 11 inches. Fault - Over 11 inches.
Disqualification - Over 12 inches.
Proportion - Body must be slightly longer than the height at withers. It is not a cobby dog.
Weight is in proportion to height. Substance - Of fine-boned structure.
Eyes dark, round, not bulging, of medium size and alert in expression. The inner corners of the eyes are on line with the stop. Eye rims black. Ears - 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.
(1) 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 Phalène, are similar to the erect type, but are carried drooping and must be completely down.
Faults - Ears small, pointed, set too high; one ear up, or ears partly down.
Skull - The head is small. The skull is of medium width and slightly rounded between the ears. A well-defined stop is formed where the muzzle joins the skull. Muzzle - The muzzle is fine, abruptly thinner than the head, tapering to the nose. The length of the muzzle from the tip of the nose to stop is approximately one-third the length of the head from tip of nose to occiput. Nose black, small, rounded and slightly flat on top. The following fault shall be severely penalized -
Nose not black
Lips tight, thin and black. Tongue must not be visible when jaws are closed.
Bite - Teeth must meet in a scissors bite
Faults - Overshot or undershot.
Neck, Topline, Body:
Neck of medium length. Topline - The backline is straight and level. Body - The chest is of medium depth with ribs well sprung. The belly is tucked up. Tail long, set high and carried well arched over the body. The tail is covered with a long, flowing plume. The plume may hang to either side of the body. Faults - Low-set tail; one not arched over the back, or too short.
Shoulders well developed and laid back to allow freedom of movement. Forelegs slender, fine-boned and must be straight. Removal of dewclaws on forelegs optional. Front feet thin and elongated (hare-like), pointing neither in nor out.
Well developed and well angulated. The hind legs are slender, fine-boned, and parallel when viewed from behind. Hocks inclined neither in nor out. Dewclaws, if any, must be removed from hind legs. Hind feet thin and elongated (hare-like), pointing neither in nor out.
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.
Always parti-colour 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. A clearly defined white blaze and nose band are preferred to a solidly marked head. Symmetry of facial markings is desirable. 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.
The following faults shall be severely penalized - Color other than white, not covering both ears, back and front, or not extending from the ears over both eyes. A slight extension of the white collar onto the base of the ears, or a few white hairs interspersed among the color, shall not be penalized, provided the butterfly appearance is not sacrificed.
Free, quick, easy, graceful, not paddle footed, or stiff in hip movements.
Happy, alert and friendly. Neither shy nor aggressive.
Height over 12 inches.
An all white dog or a dog with no white.