The Papillon is a small, friendly, elegant toy dog with a fine-boned structure. He is light and dainty, yet still lively, and is distinguished from other breeds by his beautiful, butterfly-like ears. They are known to be happy and alert little dogs that are not shy or aggressive. The breed must be either parti-color or white with patches of any color.
Papillons, which used to only have large, drooping ears, were known in the 16th and 17th centuries as Dwarf Spaniels and were often depicted on the laps of French and Spanish noblewomen. 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, Papillons (erect-eared) and Phalenes (drop-eared) can be born in the same litter and are shown together as one breed.
Papillons are a happy breed whether living in an apartment, out in the country or anywhere in between. They love to play outdoors, but they can be easily entertained and exercised indoors as well. Because they don't have an undercoat, they don't require a lot of grooming but should still be brushed regularly.