Continental Miniature Epagneul

Description:
This dog is very small, elegant, has delicate bones, and its gets its name (also known as Papillon) because of its beautiful ears that make it look a little like a butterfly (Papillon is a French word which means butterfly). Its height is around twenty-eight centimeters. It has big, open almond shaped eyes, which are very pronounced, dark and very expressive. The ears of this dog are highly inserted on its head and stick upwards; the ears should look open and direct towards the sides in an oblique way and should literally move like the wings of a butterfly. There is also another variety of these dogs that have ears that fall downwards and these are known as Phalene (which means moth). Crosses of these two varieties often times results in a dog with semi erect ears with the tips of the ears fallen, however this is considered to be a very serious defect. The head of a miniature Epagneul should be medium sized, slightly rounded and its nose should be fine and much thinner than the actual skull. The superior line should look straight and leveled, it has a longish chest and its stomach should be slightly retracted. This dog's tail is long, and highly inserted; make sure its tail doesn't curl and the dog should not carry it flat over its back either. For easy movement this dog should have its shoulders well inclined back and its front legs should be straight; its hips should not look rigid when it walks either. This dog does not have an undercoat and the coat should be abundant and silky composed by fine, flexible, straight hair all over its body; the hair on the chest forms a collar on it. It also has strands of hair on its ears and on the back of the front legs. This dog's coat always has two colors and there is a visible line of white over its forehead and over its muzzle, the other color of its coat should cover its ears and eyes. The face should look symmetrically marked. The colors of this dog can be either red or black and fire color with white obviously.

Ideal owner:
The small little Papillon is a small but very vigorous fellow, and magnificent because of its grace and elegance. This little dog has a very extroverted and friendly character, it like taking initiative in things and is not shy. It can serve as a lap dog for a little while but not for long. This dog has the temperament of a big dog, however it is very fragile and is not recommended if you have smaller children living in the house that are under the age of ten years. This little fellow is very intelligent and enjoys belonging to one specific owner that will pay attention to and appreciate its subtle ways, beauty and manners. This dog is easy to train but it can become a biter if it is not constantly corrected when it is young.

Growth:
The litter of these dogs is usually around four to five puppies and their average weight is about 113 to 140 grams. The color of the puppy might change as it grows. In general though the line of white over the face usually narrows. Anyone interested in getting one of these dogs will need to pick it out carefully and insist on getting as much information as they can about the mother of the puppy. Make sure to not allow a small female that is under two kilograms in weight have puppies. Don't be alarmed if when seeing the mother you notice that she has very little hair, its very normal for the mothers to lose their hair after giving birth. If you want to make sure, ask to see a photo of the mother before she became pregnant. These dogs grow very rapidly and reach their full height at around eight months of age. Full maturity is reached between ten and fifteen months of age. Puppy teeth retention can be a problem and if there are any left after the age of seven months it will be necessary to get them pulled by a veterinarian.

General health:
For being a toy dog the Continental miniature Epagneul is actually pretty healthy. It fortunately does not suffer from many of the diseases that do affect its congeners such as congenital cardiac disease, hydrocephali, and hypoglycemia. Hip dysphasia and progressive retina atrophy are not common in this breed either. Breeders do advise though to be careful of joint dislocation and epilepsy. This dog is somewhat prone to getting broken bones and other similar lesions due to its small size and thin bones. The care its coat requires are not too demanding, but it is necessary to brush and groom them regularly as well as trim it once in awhile. Since this breed is a very lively dog, it will get its needed exercise even within the house, however it does appreciate taking long walks and playing outside in big spaces. This dog has a life span of around twelve to fifteen years, often times more.

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