From the pillows and tinsels of the French and English nobility, the Papillon is amongst the most gentle and elegant toy breeds, a perfect Spaniel dwarf from which it descends. 
The Papillon is a small, elegant dog, fine boned which receives its name for its beautiful ears that give it a butterfly appearance (in its native France, “papillon” means butterfly). It stands at 28 cm for the FCI and from 20 to 25 cm for the KC. The eyes are large, well opened, almond shaped (very pronounced), not prominent, dark and very expressive; the ears should be erect and high inserted, with a very open pavilion and directed towards the sides (carried oblique) and should “move like butterfly wings”. The variety with dropped ears is known as Phalene (moth in French). The crossing of both varieties often produces semi erect ears with dropped tips (considered as a serious flaw). The head is small, with a medium skull, slightly rounded and a fine muzzle, much thinner than the skull. The upper outline is straight and leveled with a medium deep chest and slightly tucked stomach. The tail is long, high inserted, with a large plume; it should never curl or be carried flat on the back. To ease free movement, the Papillon should have its shoulders well sloped backwards and straight forelegs; its hips should not be rigid when it moves. The coat, without undercoat, it is abundant and silky, comprised by fine hair, flexible, straight on the body, but forming a collar at the chest. It forms bristles at the ears and at the back of the forelegs. It is always particolor with a white cord over the forehead and the muzzle preferably; another color that is not white should cover both ears and eyes. The face should be symmetrically marked. The color can be red or black and tan, but not liver. In every case, the lips, the eyelids and nose should be pigmented.
The butterfly names the Papillon for its beautiful and perky ears. 
Who wouldn’t like a typical toy dog nowadays? The Papillon is a vigorous, sublime mini-dog due to its grace and elegance. It is kind and extrovert in character, and prefers to have initiative. Being at the lap is fine, it is still a fragile little dog that is not recommendable for a household with small children (under 10 years old). It is very intelligent and prefers a master who knows how to appreciate its subtlety, its beauty and its manners. It is easy to teach, but can be a biter if it is not constantly corrected from young age.
Choose a kind Papillon puppy that is not nervous or disobedient. The female usually loses its hair after delivery, so it shouldn’t be judged by her appearance. However, she should be cheerful, alert and kind. 
The litters are usually four or five puppies, with an average weight of 113 to 140 g. The puppy color can change with age (ex. A bicolor can turn into a tricolor). In general, the white cord over the face thins. The buyers should select carefully and insist on information about the breeder and the mother. A Papillon female should never breed before its second or third heat. Small females should not breed (2 kg or less). Do not be alarmed if the mother has little hair, since in the Papillon it is very normal that the dog loses its hair after delivering. Ask to see a picture of the mother before the pregnancy. The Papillon grows quickly, reaching its maximum height after eight months. Complete maturity is reached between the 10th and the 15th month. Baby teeth retention can be a problem, and if there are any left after seven months, it should be extracted by the veterinarian.  
The Papillon enjoys good health for a toy, free of many of the diseases that affect their tiny peers (i.e., congenital heart disease, hydrocephalia and hypoglycemia). It usually doesn’t suffer from hip dysplasia or progressive retinal atrophy. However, breeders should check for kneecap luxation and epilepsy risks. Entropion rarely appears. The Papillon is prone to bone fractures and other similar injuries due to their small size and fine bones. Hair care is not too demanding, but requires regular brushing and some trimming. Especially in areas around the ears, the anus and pads should be kept clean to avoid infections. Since the Papillion is a lively breed, its exercise demands are met easily within the home’s realm, although it greatly appreciates walks and play outdoors. The Papillon lives from 12 to 15 years, often more.
Although moths may be less romantic than the butterflies, the Phalene is as elegant and graceful as its raised eared brother.