The papillon is one of the oldest purebred toy dogs, known as the Continental Toy Spaniel, the breed was a favorite of the Old Masters appearing in paintings as early as the 13th century. The breed later became a favorite of Marie Antionette, but the modern up-eared variety did not appear until the late 1800s.
The American Kennel Club defines the Papillon as standing 8" to 11" at the withers, with a fine bone structure. The dog is tall, with a pointed snout, long flowing coat, and long curled tail. The defining feature of the breed is their large ears, the hair of which defines the shape of a butterfly, the Phalene has droop ears. The dogs are always white with large patches of color, they can be black, brown, fawn, or tri-colored.
The breed is lively, not generally nervous or shaky, and not yappy like many toy dogs. They are happy dogs, easy to train and eager to please their family. Unlike their King Charles Spaniel cousins, they are generally not gentle and not suitable for the elderly, but would fit more with a young to middle-aged family with few or no children.
Papillon's are alert watchdogs, though not terribly intimidating if an intruder were to see the dog, they possess a bark that sounds larger than they are.
The dog would be perfect for someone looking for a small dog that is not nervous and skittish like many small dogs.